I’ve been a huge fan of William Kent Krueger’s books since I read ‘Iron Lake’ back in 2008. The author is from Minnesota and has obvious love for the state, for nature, and for the Native American culture of the north part of the state.
‘Desolation Mountain’ is not up to par with many of his other Cork O’Conner stories (‘Iron Lake’ and ‘Boundary Waters’ are still my faves) but it isn’t the worst either (‘Sulfur Springs’ anyone). Krueger takes Cork and his family on a familiar story – some bad guys come to the small Minnesota town of Aurora, crash a plane, put the O’Connor’s family in danger, and Cork tries to save the day with the help of old friends. Cork O’Connor is an ex-cop turned private investigator. He is part Irish and part Native American so he often acts as a go between for the Sheriff and the Ojibwe community.
Usually I find Krueger’s stories thrilling and his study of the characters interesting enough to keep me reading into the wee hours of the morning. This one didn’t quite have that effect. It’s still an enjoyable read but it left me wishing it had more.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s still a good story and worth a read on a snowy Sunday afternoon. Krueger is going to have to say goodbye to one of the characters, old Native American Mide Henry. The author has taken great care with Henry over the course of the O’Connor book series and obviously cares for him greatly. I think ‘Desolation Mountain” maybe Krueger’s way of beginning that hard goodbye.
If you haven’t read any of William Kent Krueger’s novels, I suggest starting at the beginning of the Cork O’Connor series with ‘Iron Lake’. It is on of the strongest in the series. You don’t need to start there but you’ll miss some of the history the characters share in the later books.