Midwest Book Review's "Reviewer's Bookwatch"

Trickster’s Point
By William Kent Krueger
Atria Books
August 21, 2012
ISBN:  978-1-4516-4567-5
Hardcover, 336 pp., $24.99
Reviewed by Theodore Feit

Cork O’Connor has faced many perplexing situations in this long-running series set in Upper Minnesota.  None, however, is as stunning as takes place in this latest chapter, perhaps because it begins at Trickster’s Point, where, according to Native American legend nothing is what it seems as the spirits play games.  At the foot of the monolith sit Cork and Jubal Little, the presumptive future Governor of Minnesota.  An arrow protrudes from Jubal’s chest, right through his heart.  He asks Cork to remain with him rather than go get help, and it takes three hours for him to die, during which he rambles on, sort of confessing many past transgressions, but really leaving more questions than answers.

The arrow is an exact replica of those Cork makes for himself, leading to the suspicion that Cork may have killed his boyhood best friend.  And Cork has to solve this mystery to exonerate himself.  Another body is found nearby, that of a white man with a rifle.  Who is he, and why is he there?  Was he to have been backup in case the killer missed his target?

While the murder mystery is an essential element of the novel, more important is the look at the relationships of the various characters, to each other and to the locale.  The author’s appreciation of Native American culture and the environment in which the story takes place is, as usual, sensitive and insightful.  Jubal is an enigmatic character, almost too large to be believed.  Cork, however, continues to grow with each new entry in the series.

Highly recommended.

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