Tamarack County by William Kent Krueger
Series: Cork O'Connor
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
Violence and murder blow into Minnesota’s sleepy Tamarack County as ex-sheriff Cork O’Connor returns in the latest installment of William Kent Krueger’s New York Times bestselling series.
As a blizzard swells just days before Christmas, the car belonging to the wife of a retired local judge is discovered abandoned on a rural road in Tamarack County. After days of fruitless effort, the search-and-rescue team has little hope that she’ll be found alive, if at all. Cork O’Connor, former sheriff and now private investigator, is part of that team.
Early on, Cork notices small things about the woman’s disappearance that disturb him. But when the beloved pet dog of a friend is brutally killed and beheaded, he begins to see a startling pattern in these and other recent dark occurrences in the area. After his own son comes close to peril, Cork understands that someone is spinning a deadly web in Tamarack County. At the center is a murder more than twenty years old, for which an innocent man may have been convicted. Cork remembers the case only too well. He was the deputy in charge of the investigation that sent the man to prison.
With the darkest days of the year at hand, the storms of winter continue to isolate Tamarack County. Somewhere behind the blind of all that darkness and drifting snow, a vengeful force is at work. And Cork has only hours to stop it before his family and his friends pay the ultimate price for the sins of others.
With complex plot twists, rich characters, and a vivid setting, Tamarack County is a relentlessly fast-paced novel that will chill, thrill, and shock you.
Earlier this year I read William Kent Krueger's Ordinary Grace. It was the first book I had read by Krueger so I was anxious to get my hands on another one of his books. Tamarack County is Krueger's latest release, and it's part of his Cork O'Connor series.
Overall I'd have to say this was a middle of the road book for me. Some of it was from coming into the series late, but some of it wasn't.
Like most adult mystery series books, the main story of Tamarack County is stand alone. I didn't need to have read any other Cork O'Connor books to enjoy the plot or the mystery aspect of Tamarack County. I did feel like I was missing out on the back stories of Cork's family and his love interest, though. There was also some Native American culture I can only assume was explained in previous books. That being said, someone who has read all of the series thus far will probably appreciate not having it rehashed for them. I could also probably read the next book in the series now with less issue.
Now for the part that had nothing to do with it being a series book. Even though Tamarack County kept me engaged as a reader, there were times I felt like I was being told about the good the stuff after the fact instead of experiencing all of the action myself. I also think some things were supposed to shock me, but they either fell flat or I simply saw them coming.
This isn't to say I didn't enjoy Tamarack County because I did. There is a quality to Krueger's writing that I really enjoy. I may even go back and start this series at the beginning. I have no doubt folks who have been reading the Cork O'Connor series will enjoy this installment; I just wish I had started out earlier in the series.
5/10: Decent Read
Review copy provided by publisher