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Red Knife (Cork O'Connor #8)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  2,266 ratings  ·  195 reviews

The newest book in William Kent Krueger's award-winning Corcoran O'Connor series finds the charismatic private investigator caught in the middle of a racial gang war that's turning picturesque Tamarack County, Minnesota, into a bloody battlefield.

When the daughter of a powerful businessman dies as a result of her meth addiction, her father, strong-willed and brutal Buc
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Atria Books (first published September 2nd 2008)
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"The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation." (Numbers 14:18)

In Krueger's 8th Cork O'Connor novel, many issues cause much violence a small town in Minnesota. Conflicts between the Ojibwe Indians and the white population bring Cork into the conflict even though he is no longer sheriff. Though Cork has promised his family to stay ou
There is a lot happening in this book, much of it dire and depressing. I understand the vigilantism of the Ojibwa and Whites in the story perhaps because I live in an area with that tension. The ending surprised me. There are changes coming. Although some of the future has been revealed, there is a feeling of dread in my heart.
Carl Brookins

So readers know, Mr. Krueger and I are very well-acquainted. This is his eighth entry in a powerful award-winning series about Corcoran O’Conner, family man, ex-sheriff, sometime private investigator, and an upright and very moral man. O’Connor’s life is complicated by his staunch roots in both Native American and Caucasian ethnicity. His life is also complicated by his two daughters, a son, and his feisty, bright and somewhat uptight wife, Jo. Their communication at times seems as obtuse as bet
The Cork O'Connor mysteries are always consistently very good. But, this one seems the best so far. There are lots of twists and the book was very hard to put down. The plot was well-structured and the story was told well. I highly recommend this series but they should be read in order as the stories build one upon the other.
Kent Kueger's work has always had a friendly, down home quality to it. Cork O'Connor is decent, do-the-right-thing-even-when-no one-is-watching values.In Red Knife he no longer sheriffbut is called on to head off a brewing civil war within the Ojibwe tribe.

As always, Krueger's descriptions of Cork's family life, his devotion to finding peacful answers to violent questions, his internal toughness are fascinating as they depict a man who is examining himself as he investigates others. Krueger als
This is the eighth book in the series. If you look through the previous seven, you'll see three and four star ratings. This one almost got two stars. I found it less interesting than the others. It's based on vengeance/vigilante type thinking.

Having said that, the ending was different from the others, and appealing.

There is a secondary story that surfaces at the end, that I have mixed feelings as to its inclusion, but the way it is written (stylization) I found very interesting/compelling.

He add
Jul 09, 2008 S.D. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to S.D. by: Mary Welk
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Cork O'Connor is no longer a cop but still gets involved in cases. Since he is part Ojibwe he is able to ease the friction between the races. This time it explodes when a teenager dies from a drug overdose and her father blames the gang from the Ojibwe Reservation. I especially like Henry Meloux, an elderly member of the Grand Medicine Society, who spews words of wisdom which need an interpreter to decipher. This time he sees a darkness. And the prediction comes true in an explosive ending that ...more
Change is so slow in coming. When we were young we planted the seeds of change is everything common today. In this novel Cork O'Connor is gradually dragged into a potential racial problem between the Ojibwe and the other races in Northern Minnesota when a wealthy man of that area has his daughter killed and her death is centered around drug use and the fall from a cliff. There is a organization within the younger natives the whites believe to be responsible. Shortly after that the leader of the ...more
Brent Soderstrum
This is the 8th installment of Krueger's Cork O'Conner series.

Where Kent comes up with his ideas is a question that I would love to hear the answer to. This installment is another in which I just couldn't put it down because I wanted to find out what had happened. Then when I reached what I thought was a satisfying ending Krueger had something else in store in the last couple of chapters which started out as very tangential and ended up being something very big. Kind of like events like that re
Kathleen Hagen
Red Knife, by William Kent Krueger. A. narrated by Buck Schirner, produced by Brilliance Audio, downloaded from

This is the latest in the Cork O’Connor series, a man with mixed heritage, White and American Indian, who lives in a small town, Aurora, Minnesota. A White girl dies of a meth overdose. Her father blames The Red Boys, (a young gang of American Indians) for getting her hooked on meth. Cork is asked by the head of the Red Knives to arrange a meeting between him and the girl’s
William Kent Krueger writes the best mystery novels that I’ve read in a long time. My Mother-in-Law loaned me Thunder Bay, which I loved and now Red Knife. Both novels are about former sheriff, now private investigator Cork O’Conner.

Cork lives in the remote Northern Minnesota community of Aurora. Aurora is located on Iron Lake and close to an Ojibwa reservation. A new gang called the Red Boyz has formed on the reservation and rumor is that they are running drugs. After a girl dies as a result of
Linda Branich
I have read several of Krueger's Cork O'Connor series, and one other stand alone work, and this one surprised me. It is my least favorite; not bad, but not great.

This booktook involves drugs, gangs, secrets, prejudice, and murder. Once again, Cork finds himself too Indian for the whites, and too white for the Indians, which is a perpetual problem for Cork. At one point, Cork finds himself in a position where he must choose between the two branches of his heritage.

I cannot exactly pinpoint why t
Another great Cork O'Connor mystery. For me the strength of these novels is the character of Cork and the characters in general. Henry Meloux for example is a favorite. I like the way Cork's faith is mixed with the Native American myths with a very light hand. I love that the characters are not static but grow older and change with each book. I'm am listening to these and really enjoy them.
Kruger’s Cork O’Connor books are always more than mere suspense. This one is about the identities young people choose for themselves. Will the youth of the Anishinabe reservation identify with LA drug lords or with their own people? For that matter, what is the essence of native-American identity? Will a lonely, picked-on mixed-race teen seek revenge or embrace a different way? Will Annie O’Connor follow her softball scholarship college dreams or her childhood vocation as a nun? Some of the adul ...more
A new author that I just picked up off the shelf. A surprisingly good find. (Vince Flynn likes this guy if that tells you anything.) I am not one for summarizing story lines but I will tell you that the mystery is pretty good, a few good twists. This is part of the Cork O'Conner series. In this series the author explores an interesting take on modern life--different cultural aspects-- in and around Indian Reservations.

What I really enjoyed about this book was the writing. This author creates r
People who like Tony Hillerman particularly for the setting in Navajo country may enjoy Krueger's Cork O'Connor mysteries. The book is set in Northern Minnesota. The Ojibwe play a role in each of these mysteries that I have read. I thought I had the various killings figured out early on, but was fooled repeatedly. The ending to one of the stories that runs through the book is tragic. I prefer more "happy ever after" or "riding into the sunset" to something as realistic and grim as the ending. I ...more
Life is never easy. Cork Corcoran is Ojibwe-Irish; a former police chief in a town near an Ojibwe reservation. The leader of a group of young Ojibwe's and his wife are murdered, which creates much unrest both on the reservation & in the town. A subplot involves the teenage brother of the murdered man and Corcoran's daughter. Plot provides insights into the mistrust that many Native Americans have of the white establishment. Also, the desperation that teens feel when they are bullied. I've re ...more
Every time I read a William Kent Krueger novel, I amazed at his at his skill. Red Knife is no exception. He is so good at creating place and atmosphere, characters, and plot. In Red Knife, the divides between reservation and town are more tense than in any of the previous books. Cork is really in the middle of this conflict: torn between his Indian heritage and his former sheriff's sense of law and justice. He manages to walk this line and honor both impulses as well as he can, but not without s ...more
I am not going to go into a plot synopsis, you can read plenty of those elsewhere. One of my least favorite of the series so far. I thought the show-down with the Latin Lords was a bit on the ridculous side, and I also felt that Cork would never make the decision to stand with "The People" when they were deciding to do what they did. There were a lot of little sub-plots in this book and I thought that was how Kruger hid the truth rather than a good standalone mystery. Hopefully that makes sense.
Ruth Ann
"Is it always wrong to kill?" ( Stevie, age 9, p. 70)

LeDuc speaking of Kingbird : I challenged him on the whole drug thing, told him the Red Boyz were a blight on the Anishinaabe name. Accused him and his gang of preying on the weakness of others. Know what he said? Said the Chippewa Grand Casino did the same thing, just had the power of the law behind it, and law didn't make a thing right. Had himself a point there, I suppose." (p.53)

"I have been told, Corcoran O'Connor, that the heart has two
The most recent (2008) of the Cork O'Connor mystery series, and now (sniff) I'm up to date. It's been a great run - this is a very fun series. "Red Knife" is nicely done, with unexpected twists and turns, albeit slightly slower in pace compared to some of the other books. That's OK - it's nice to have this read at a more stately pace. The writing remains quite good and I look forward to the next book in the series, probably ~ 2010 or 2011. It will be a long wait.
I can't put my finger on what I didn't like about it - it was a good mystery and the native american angle adds a point of view...hmmm the whole daughter part was boring..and was a waste of reading time since it added nothing to the plot, main characters, or story in general..and who couldn't see a mile away what was going to happen at the school which was cheap writing and not at all important to the story -

I would probably give it more stars if it was a tighter read.
This story centers around race relations and conflict between the whites and the ojibwae in Northern Minnesota. Cork has left the police force for a life running a food shack in a popular fishing area. The book beings with a a killing of the leader of the red boyz - some feel it is in retaliation for a white girls death from drugs sold by the ojibwae. Cork is asked by both the tribe and the local police to help mediate the tension and find the killers. Good read.
Jim Krotzman
A husband and wife are murdered in Tamarack County where Cork O'Connor once was sheriff, but now he is a hamburger restaurant operator in tourist season and a private investigator whenever the situation calls for it. The husband is Objibwe, and the wife is Latina. The husband Alexander is the leader of a young Native American gang called Red Boyz. The Red Boyz are seen as a problem to the white community. Rumors the Red Boyz operate a drug warehouse for a Spanish-American gang raises anger towa ...more
Krueger's very deft at telling this story set in rural Minnesota at the crossroads between white and native American society. He does a very good job at creating a sense of the time and places in which his characters live.

The story is satisfyingly engaging and suspenseful.

I had not read previous of his books, but have since read several others, encouraged by how much I enjoyed this one.
Jane Brant
I did not like this book as well as I did "Iron Lake" because of the makeshift gang motif and staged Columbine type ending. The plot fell flat in places. You can read a lot of the other reviews and basically find out what worked and what didn't. But I will still continue reading his books....but won't recommend this one to friends as a place to begin tasting this author's work.
I have read most of the series starring Cork O'Conner and his small town. They have all been good stories about the things that could happen anywhere and how small towns deal with these things. The stories show the good and the bad that is inside of everyone and how that comes out in daily living.

I enjoyed this one as much as all the others.
Deciding upon a rating for this book gave me pause. I did not enjoy the first 3/4 of this book, and had to force myself to slog through it -- a first for a WKK novel. On the other hand, the final few scenes were perhaps the most powerful WKK has written.

As he did with the last Cork O'Connor novel, WKK again digs into his bag of literary tricks. At one point he switches from past tense -- the standard for Cork O'Connor novels -- to present tense. My initial reaction to this change was to shrug it
This seems to be a fictional retelling of the actual school massacre that took place on the Minnesota Red Lake Indian Reservation several years ago. The book had different facets to it...a murder mystery to solve, drug dealers to dispose of and then the school shootings. It really wasn't a happily ever after book.
Krueger does a nice job of showing Native American culture and how it's struggling to define itself in the modern era, but the plotting here (particularly in the last 75 pages) feels like a pedestrian retread of stories I've read before.
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Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, William Kent Krueger briefly attended Stanford University—before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at freelance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota. He currently makes his living as a full-time author. He’s been married for ...more
More about William Kent Krueger...

Other Books in the Series

Cork O'Connor (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Iron Lake (Cork O'Connor, #1)
  • Boundary Waters (Cork O'Connor, #2)
  • Purgatory Ridge (Cork O'Connor, #3)
  • Blood Hollow (Cork O'Connor, #4)
  • Mercy Falls (Cork O'Connor, #5)
  • Copper River (Cork O'Connor, #6)
  • Thunder Bay (Cork O'Connor, #7)
  • Heaven's Keep (Cork O'Connor, #9)
  • Vermilion Drift (Cork O'Connor, #10)
  • Northwest Angle (Cork O'Connor, #11)

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