Superior Reads


Desolation Mountain is the 17th book in William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor Series.  If you’ve followed this series, you know that Cork O’Connor is the former sheriff of Tamarack County turned businessman and part-time investigator.  He’s also half Irish and half Ojibwe. Many of the books in the series are based in Northern Minnesota.

In Desolation Mountain, Cork’s son, Stephen, has a vision of a boy shooting an eagle out of the sky, and soon afterwards a Minnesota Senator’s plane crashes onto Desolation Mountain, killing everyone on board.  In Cork’s opinion, the senator, a well-known opponent to a proposed mining operation as well as a loud voice against providing arms to violent regimes around the world, was a big target, and his suspicions of foul play are heightened when various government agencies show up to investigate the crash.  Shortly after their arrival, witnesses to the crash and friends of Cork’s from the reservation, begin to disappear. Cork, his son Stephen, and his son-in-law Daniel go to work to find the black box and their missing friends.

An old friend mysteriously shows up, Bo Thorson – a character from one of Krueger’s stand-alone novels, The Devil’s Bed. Bo is a former Secret Service agent, and now an independent investigator unable to tell Cork who he is working for.  The two share information and agree to help one another, but each is uncertain if they can trust the other.

At the center of this story is Cork’s relationship with his son Stephen.  Stephen is trying to understand his vision and the responsibility it entails. Henry, his mentor is 100 years old, and as wise as ever. Krueger takes a poke at corporate money and politics, as well as mining and the environment. There is action, adventure, and suspense, but woven throughout is a deeper, quieter message: one about family and nature and how closely we are connected to each other and the earth.

Listen for my interview with William Kent Krueger December 27 at 7:00 pm on Superior Reads WTIP 90.7 Grand Marais or on the web at


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