That paragon among lawmen, the Sheriff of Tamarack County, Minn., starts his sixth adventure on the run.
There’s a price on Cork O’Connor’s estimable head, put there by a man who thinks Cork killed his son. He didn’t, but that’s an old story (Mercy Falls, 2005). Now he’s holed up in tiny (pop. 1,207), out-of-the-way Bodine, Mich., because certain acquisitive hit men are hungry for a $500,000 bounty. The bullet they put in his leg has been extracted by Cousin Jewell DuBois. Cousin Jewel, a nurse, doesn’t much like Cousin Cork, but in the Upper Peninsula, family rules. Widowed Jewel’s son Ren, 14, is the only friend of Charlie, who’d be a good kid, too, if only she were parented by Jewel instead of the abusive drunk who actually is her father. When someone beats the old man to death, she’s the obvious suspect. Her flight sets in motion a chain of events that leads to the discovery of a grisly, monstrous conspiracy aimed at girls like Charlie. Naturally, the fugitive sheriff corks his own woes and takes on Charlie’s. No one will be surprised when selflessness and virtue, not hit men, are rewarded.
Lots of backstory, lots of marking time and, at the end, a flurry of overplotting.