Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Northwest Angle

I am always in the mood for a good mystery.  There's nothing better than trying to guess the outcome.  But I've noticed that a few mysteries tend to fall flat.  I'm left feeling dissatisfied; almost cheated for all my effort.

But along comes 'Northwest Angle', by William Kent Krueger.  The man certainly has a way with words.  He brings to life a people and place that instill a desire to belong.  His description of the NW Angle is breathtaking, yet at the same time, slightly forbidding.   

Cork O'Connor (the protagonist from Krueger's other excellent mysteries) is on a vacation with his family on the NW Angle in Minnesota.  He decides to take his daughter, Jenny, to an island on the Lake of the Woods, but before they arrive at their destination, a derecho, a powerful, sudden storm, catches them offguard and they are stranded on one of the many islands.  While looking for shelter, they find a trapper's cabin, where they soon discover the body of a teenage girl.  She hadn't been killed by the storm; she was tortured and murdered.  After hearing whimpering sounds outside the cabin, Jenny discovers a baby boy, alive and hungry, hidden under fallen branches.  The discovery sets into motion the hunt for a vicious killer intent on finding the baby.

Interwoven in the story are ruminations on faith, love, loyalty, and family.  Every emotion experienced by the characters rang true to this reader.  

'Northwest Angle', a mystery full of many surprises, has earned it's plaudits...and I'm adding one more.

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