“Vermilion Drift”
by William Kent Krueger
Published by Atria books, 2010
305 pages

When it comes to sitting down with a good book, you have to get one that not only piques your interest but also is told in such a way that you not only get lost in the story but the setting as well.  William Kent Krueger does this superbly.  This is the second of his novels I’ve read and both novels have the intriguing storyline that gets tangled and twisted the more involved you become in the story.   Krueger also has a skill when it comes to wordcraft.  He describes the scenery of the settings in such a masterful way that the his world comes to life.  I found myself not only easily visualizing the settings but I could do this in full panoramic color.  Krueger is the Michelangelo of words.

This story is another Cork O’Conner mystery.  Cork is a part Native American former Sheriff now performing services as a private detective in Tamarack County, Minnesota.  He recently lost his wife and his children are pretty much out seeking their own lives.  Cork begins this book working two cases; one, a missing person and the second mysterious threats to mine workers.

The Department of Energy is looking at an abandoned iron mine to bury nuclear waste.  The locals, especially those that live on the Reservation above the mine are protesting.  Several members involved have received notes written in a dripping blood font warning not to go through with the nuclear waste disposal plans.  When the same warning appears in a section of the mine that is supposed to be inaccessible unless through security stations Cork sees a mystery that needs to be solved.

On top of that Cork is hired to find a prominent woman that has gone missing.  The two cases come together when a hidden section of the mine is discovered along with numerous dead bodies.  Some of the bodies go back to when Cork was only 13 years old, nearly 50 years, when his dad was sheriff and the area was plagued by the disappearance of several local women.

The case then  forces Cork to revisit his past and uncover secrets that may have been best left buried.

With twists and turns in the story and plotline, this book will keep you guessing through to the end.

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