Red Knife (Cork O'Connor, #8)
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Red Knife (Cork O'Connor #8)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  1,527 ratings  ·  150 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...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Atria Books (first published September 2nd 2008)
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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...more
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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.
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.
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...more
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.
Centers around race relations between a local population and their objibwa neighbors. The plight of the native americans in the good 'ol USA isn't given the attention it deserves. Good mystery, good exploration of human nature.
All the qualities of a good thriller--great characters, dilemmas with no easy answers, many suspects that coulda dunnit so you keep guessing, relationships that enhance rather than detract from the plot, and the BWCA.
Not one of my favorite Cork O'Connor books. Stlll a good one, but...

As usual, there are a couple different story lines that kind of merge into one.
While the basic storyline is familiar, the author's artful use of the locale makes for a very interesting, thoughtful and compelling tale. If you are a fan of Dave Robicheaux, Joe Leaphorn, or Harry Bosch, you will like this story. One thing, there are several threads within the story and each concludes differently, in fairly quick order, and maybe too far. However, I suspect there is a subtle message being sent which at least resonated with me. In any case, the story seemed to transcend from lo...more
It is no huge secret I have turned into a huge William Kent Krueger fan, and love his main character Cork O'Connor that he writes about, and all of his other colorful quirky characters. This book is one of the few of Krueger's books that starts out slow and was a little harder to get into. Silly me I should have known, it's like putting a pan of cold water on the stove and waiting for it to boil. It doesn't take long and the water starts to heat up and before you know it is boiling over. Same go...more
William Kent Krueger's Cork O'OConnor series comprise a series of stories set in Aurora Minnesota, an area of the country of which I'm blatantly ignorant. Frankly, in reading the reviews of this setting I managed to barely stifle a yawn. Small town mysteries set in a frozen wasteland? With boring backgrounds that involve Indian supernatural folklore - I don't stomach mysteries that resort to such subterfuge, avoid beyond this world explanations when the genre is detective/mystery, decry irration...more
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Jul 24, 2013 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime fiction fans
Number eight in William Kent Krueger's award-winning Corcoran (Cork) O'Connor series finds the ex-sheriff and recently minted private investigator involved in a drug war with racial overtones. The situation has the potential of tearing Tamarack County, Minnesota apart.

The murder of a meth addicted young woman is the catalyst for the plot. Her father, Buck Reinhardt, vows revenge against the "Red Boyz", an Ojibwe gang accused of supplying drugs to the girl. When the head of the "Red Boyz" and hi...more
RED KNIFE (Unl. Inv-Cork O’Connor-Minnesota-Cont) – VG
Krueger, William Kent – 8th in series
Atria Books, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9781416556749

First Sentence: It was not yet dawn and already he could smell death.

A young woman has died from her Meth addiction and her father vows revenge. He blames the Red Boyz, a group of young Ojibwe men, and their leader. When the leader and his wife are found brutally murdered, there is fear of a war breaking out between the whites and the reds. Cork O’Conner...more
Cork is on another adventure as a PI. This book finds him back in Minnesota with the story taking place in the present. It all starts with a murderer and a group who feels the police are not working quickly enough to bring he alleged killed to justice. But is everything is as it seems? Do they have the right killer as a suspect? This books takes many turns and several murderer before the truth is finally revealed.
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William Kent Krueger is a multi award-winning American author and crime writer, best known for his Cork O'Connor series of books, which is mainly set in Minnesota. USA.[1:] In 2005 and 2006, he won back to back Anthony Awards for best novel - a feat only matched by one other writer since the award's inception.[2:]

William Kent Krueger has stated that he dates his desire to be a writer back to the t...more
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