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"Fox Creek" | Reviewed by Pat Sainz

William Kent Krueger has written his 19th book in the Cork O’Connor mystery series. “Fox Creek” follows familiar characters as they learn of a heinous ploy by predatory investors to destroy precious land that belongs mostly to Native Americans in Alaska, Canada, and the most northern states in the United States. Nefarious lawyers, greedy corporate CEOs, and underhanded representatives of the United States government all have a part in a self-serving scheme that will decimate many reservations and communities.

Henry Meloux, an ancient Ojibwe healer, has lived his entire life in a cabin deep within the Superior National Park in northern Minnesota. Delores Morriseau, from a nearby town, has sought Henry’s help with healing her marriage. Her mostly absent husband, Lou, seems uninterested in saving their relationship.

Unbeknownst to Delores, unsavory men have approached residents in Aurora, home to the O’Connors, looking for Lou. Rachel, Cork’s wife, visits Henry’s cabin to warn Delores of the men looking for her. Since Lou has disappeared, the men plan to use Delores as a way of getting to her husband. Rachel, Delores, and Henry spot the men and flee deep into the forest.

Lou has documents they need that will foil the investors’ plans for a massive land grab. These human hunters plan on murdering the witnesses, Henry and Rachel. Cork, a private investigator, former sheriff, and expert tracker, follows the men to save his wife.

The setting of Krueger’s books is as important as the characters who inhabit his novels. The deep lakes, rocky ridges, and thick forests which populate northern Minnesota are beautifully portrayed in “Fox Creek”. It is this environment that Rachel, Henry, and Delores seek to elude their predators.

Krueger’s readers know of his respect for the Ojibwe and Anishinaabe people. Important characters in the Cork O’Connor series are of Native American origin. They emulate moral strength and appreciation for the richness of the Anishinaabe culture.

“Fox Creek” is a must for fans of Cork O’Connor. It is not necessary to have read all of the series books, but I knew that I was home in Aurora, Minnesota, when I opened this book and encountered familiar beloved characters.

About the Author: Kruger has written stand-alone novels which include “Ordinary Grace” and “This Tender Land”. He is the recipient of many awards, especially The Edgar Awards, for exceptional mystery writing.

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