Third suspenser set in hardscrabble Aurora, Minnesota, featuring ex-sheriff Cork O’Connor (Iron Lake, 1998; Boundary Waters, 1999), whose lawyer wife represents the Anishinaabe tribe. The tribe holds sacred a great white pine woods they call Minishoomisag, or Our Grandfathers. Lumberman Karl Lindstrom’s mill lies close by the sacred wood—too close, say the Anishinaabe. The area becomes as feverish as the red sun through smoke arising from the sawmill following a mysterious explosion that kills a night watchman. Many locals want Cork to run for sheriff again and take on the case. Trouble is, Cork is part Anishinaabe himself and with the Anishinaabe under suspicion, and with his wife as their lawyer, the wiser course isn’t easily chosen.
Krueger’s stripped storytelling wins no prize for fine prose but does move straight down the track toward purgative vengeance and devastation.