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by William Kent Krueger
Atria Books, August 2018
336 pages
ISBN: 1501147463

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

At one point in DESOLATION MOUNTAIN, a character says that things are getting weirder and weirder. This inexplicable sense of something being "off" permeates the book until, in the end, we find out what that thing is. A plane carrying a controversial senator and her family crashes in the Iron Lake Reservation near Cork O'Connor's home in northern Minnesota, and members of the local tribe are the first on the scene. The flight recorder cannot be found, and as mysterious and brutal military men and women show up along with the FBI and other investigators, the tribe members who witnessed the crash begin disappearing. Cork's old colleague and ex-Secret Service agent, Bo Thorson, also arrives, paid by a secret interested party. And, to top it off, there is an active underground militia operating in the area.

Cork's sensitive son is on track to become an Ojibwe shaman, and he has had a vision that both obscures the source of the plane crash as it suggests the evil behind it. Cork tries to keep Stephen safe, but Stephen's knowledge and intuition are essential as Cork, Bo, and Stephen work together to uncover the truth about what happened on the reservation and race to try to bring their friends to safety. In the midst of official misdirection, obfuscation, threats, and violence, these three form an uneasy alliance. By the time the monstrous evil Stephen sensed behind his back in his vision is revealed, Krueger has taken the reader through a very complex plot involving sinister conspiracy at the highest levels of power. In spite of this, the book ends with an act of courage and provides hope that all is not lost to that conspiracy.

This latest (the 17th in the Cork O'Connor series), is an excellent book for those who want to just jump into the series, as well as for those who have been following it. The characters are well developed between the covers of this one book, as well as their being enriched for those who are already familiar with Cork and his family. As always in Krueger's writing, the landscape is beautifully described and the reader is transported. This one kept me up quite late at night to finish, and it has me hungering already for the next in the series.

Sharon Mensing, retired educational leader, lives, reads, and enjoys the outdoors in rural Wyoming.

Reviewed by Sharon Mensing, October 2018

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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