Blood ties lead to bloody murder.
Cork O’Connor, ex-sheriff of Tamarack County (Minn.), has rusticated himself to his home town of Aurora. Thought he’s got himself a brand-new private-eye license, modest Aurora is not going to overwhelm him with gigs, and he knows it. Instead, he’s content to run his increasingly popular hamburger joint and pay more attention to his wife and three kids. But best-laid plans don’t make the most compelling stories, and for better or worse Cork finds himself bound for Canada’s Thunder Bay to search for a man he isn’t absolutely sure exists. It’s the son of old Henry Meloux, who’s been friend, mentor and spiritual advisor to Cork for more years than he cares to remember. Hospitalized and reputed to be dying, Meloux, in his quiet, understated, inflexible Ojibwe way, asks for what amounts to a miracle. Seventy-three winters ago, he tells Cork, he fathered a son he’s seen only in visions. “Bring him to me,” he asks, and Cork feels he has no choice but to try. At length, he laboriously stitches together some clues and arrives at an identity for Meloux Jr. At least that’s what he hopes he’s done, until murder most Oedipal seems to rear its malevolent head.
Krueger (Copper River, 2006, etc.) is less sententious than usual, and his storytelling benefits markedly.