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Mercy Falls (Cork O'Connor #5)

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,882 Ratings  ·  236 Reviews
Back in the saddle as sheriff of Tamarack County, Cork O'Connor is lured to the nearby Ojibwe reservation on what appears to be a routine call -- only to become the target of sniper fire. Soon after, he's called to investigate a mutilated body found perched above the raging waters of Mercy Falls. The victim is Eddie Jacoby, a Chicago businessman negotiating an unpopular co ...more
Paperback, 434 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by Pocket Books (first published 2005)
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Wolves by Cary GriffithNorth of Nowhere by Steve HamiltonA Cold Day in Paradise by Steve HamiltonNorthwest Angle by William Kent KruegerA Stolen Season by Steve Hamilton
Lake Superior Mysteries
12th out of 27 books — 19 voters
Below Zero by C.J. BoxOpen Season by C.J. BoxBack Of Beyond by C.J. BoxBlood Trail by C.J. BoxWinterkill by C.J. Box
Fiction Novels for the Outdoorsman
61st out of 77 books — 17 voters

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Community Reviews

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Apr 16, 2012 Robert rated it it was amazing
Starting near the end proved to be a clever way to begin the fifth book in the Cork O’Connor series (and my first introduction to the Minnesota sheriff). Surrounded by beautiful prose, the reader becomes engrossed in the story, and the pace doesn’t disappoint either. There’re more than enough sub-plots to keep the reader entertained and guessing about what might happen next.

Cork isn’t perfect; he has just enough flaws to keep him human, instead of being larger than life. Like Cork, the other cha
Mark Stevens
Sep 12, 2011 Mark Stevens rated it really liked it
This is my first William Kent Krueger, so keep that in mind. I like strong regional mystery fiction (Stephen Hamilton, Margaret Coel, C.J. Box) and Krueger certainly hangs with the best. “Mercy Falls” lays out a compelling plot and one of the strengths here for me was the way Krueger fully realizes both of Sheriff Cork O’Connor’s two families. First, his wife & children. Second, his cop shop team. Krueger reveals warmth in both of these circles, which contrasts well with the danger and one g ...more
Apr 04, 2012 Joe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
WOW! WOW! WOW! and after saying that....OMG!
I was so wrapped up in reading "Mercy Falls" that I didn't notice that I was almost to the last few pages and the answers were still not there! WHAT WAS GOING ON? and suddenly as I turned the last page, I realized ON NO! a TWO PART-ER! Mr Krueger, you are so devious! I was STUNNED and SHOCKED and at the same time, SO GLAD that I had planned ahead and bought "COPPER RIVER" at the same time as when I purchased "MERCY FALLS" and thank goodness I had or I
Jun 03, 2015 Jacqueline rated it really liked it
Another good addition to the series. This one didn't wrap anything up though for the first time. The story continues in the next book Copper River. This series continues to be entertaining. I love Corc and his whole family. The setting is lovely and the descriptions are making me wish to visit the area in Minnesota. I do think that the characters missed a clue that was super obvious but that was only a minor misstep.
Linda Branich
This is the fifth book in Krueger's Cork O'Connor series, but the sixth that I've read. Unfortunately I was not able to read them in order. My introduction to Krueger came with Windigo Island, which is still my favorite, but Mercy Falls is a very close second.

Krueger continues to entice the reader to join Cork and the other characters in the beautiful Minnesota woods and Ojibwe reservation. Cork is part Irish and part Ojibwe. In this book, Cork is serving once again as Tamarack County's Sheriff.
Oct 28, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it
Sheriff Cork O'Connor received a telephone call from a woman who tells the sheriff she and her husband are having a fight and she wants them to come out and take care of it. The woman and her husband always have these fights and the police always break them up so the sheriff and his woman deputy rush out to the house located in the woods to intercede. The lady deputy Marsha is driving and when they arrive at the cabin all is quiet, then a burst of gunfire and the deputy is hit in the chest and t ...more
The Tamarack County Sheriff’s Office is having a very bad day, actually a very bad 36 hours. The clock starts ticking when a sniper tries to kill our main protagonist, Sheriff Cork O’Connor, when he and a deputy respond to a domestic disturbance call on the Ojibwe reservation. The deputy, a close physical match to Cork in the dark shadows of sunset, is driving, is first to step out of the vehicle and is first to be cut down. Several shots later, Cork is wounded, though not critically, has pulled ...more
Jan 16, 2015 Brenda rated it it was amazing
I am so loving the Cork O'Connor series by William Kent Krueger! They just keep getting better and better. The best thing I can say about this book is, "Man, I wish I had the next one on hand!!"
Nov 07, 2014 Ed rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Crime thriller fans
An excellent hard to put down story by one of my favorite authors.

The plot is not overly complicated but Krueger putting a scene that happened at the end of the story in the beginning certainly whets the appetite. Sheriff Cork O'Connor, the protagonist of the entire series has his deputy, Marsha Dross, shot while answering a domestic disturbance call on the Ojibwe reservation. It soon becomes evident that the shot was meant for O'Connor. Soon thereafter an obnoxious Chicago businessman, Eddie J
Jan 12, 2013 Harry rated it really liked it
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
Dec 28, 2008 Margaret rated it liked it
Fifth title in the Cork O'Connor series (northern Minnesota). Enjoyable addition to the series thus far, although a shark was jumped in this one... Krueger is running into the usual series problem of just too many bizarre, twisted murders (and one in particular is very twisted in this book) for a small town, even given that the main character is in law enforcement or on the edges thereof. However, Krueger writes well and the characters are very appealing. He's also good at keeping the reader gue ...more
LInda L
Apr 06, 2016 LInda L rated it it was amazing
Love all the Cork O'Connor books, and this is no exception -- exciting, scary and a real thriller. If you're a mystery fan, or a William Kent Krueger fan, don't miss this one. I had to hunt it down, but it was worth the wait. Go, Cork!!
Sep 01, 2014 Aisling rated it it was ok
This book was compelling--but I did not feel satisfied with the ending. Was thinking I would begin this series at the beginning while I was reading this book, but now I probably won't. The suspense and the convoluted plotting led me to expect that there would be a resolution at the end--but there wasn't. What seems to be happening here, and I would wager in all the other books of the series as well, is a lure to get readers to spend money and time on the next book in the series, because this one ...more
Susan Stonesifer
Oct 17, 2015 Susan Stonesifer rated it really liked it
I keep thinking this series will grow old. Instead, I just finished this one, #5, and immediately wondered if the next one was on the shelf.
Andy Plonka
Jan 29, 2016 Andy Plonka rated it really liked it
Shelves: src
Lots of interplay between Cork and his wife in this one. Seems they both can be tempted and haunted by their past.
Teri Pre
Sep 04, 2015 Teri Pre rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sept2015
Looks like I'll have to buy the next one too!!
Apr 07, 2014 Becky rated it liked it
MERCY FALLS by William Kent Krueger
MERCY FALLS is the 5th in the Cork O’Connor series of mystery/thrillers written by William Kent Krueger. The author’s descriptions of the North Woods area of Minnesota are excellent and add greatly to the story giving it a sense of place usually lacking in this genre. Krueger is also careful to detail his characters as real, living, breathing persons instead of the stereotypes and stock characters so often found in mysteries. The tempo and pacing of the novel g
Brent Soderstrum
Nov 05, 2014 Brent Soderstrum rated it really liked it
This is the 5th installment of Krueger's enjoyable Cork O'Conner series set out in northern Minnesota. Krueger begins the book with the end of the book. He gives you a glimpse of how the book ends which had me thinking of it throughout the story. Can't say I had the best thoughts about Cork's wife Jo as I was reading. Keep in mind however that Krueger always has twists and turns in his story which I enjoy.

Many are also up in arms about Mercy Falls not having an ending. The book ends with much of
Jennifer Goodrich
This is the 2nd of the Cork O'Conner books that I have read and I Love them!! The characters are well developed and plot line(s) are interesting and keep you wanting to read more. There are just the right amount of twists and turns in the book to not be overwhelming, but keep you on your toes!!

Mercy Falls involves 3 different murders and Cork O'Conner and his family end up being "involved" in all three - with/without their knowledge and/or personal involvement. Only part of the mystery is solved
Dec 18, 2015 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, series-book
A good series and this one ended in a bit of a cliffhangar - can't wait to read the next one...
his characters keep developing and the setting of the boundary waters on the US and Canadian border is well constructed. I guess I am attracted to wilderness mysteries like the Dana Stabenow Alaska setting and the Nevada Barr books set in National Parks... feel a bit educated after reading each one..
Jan 22, 2014 Rae rated it really liked it
Read this in two days .. OMG, the author is being so mean to his characters. Life is getting a bit tough for Cork and his family ... the only thing keeping me sane is (a) I keep reminding myself THESE ARE NOT REAL PEOPLE and (b) there are lots more books in the series so obviously they work everything out. But it's just NERVE RACKING!
Jan 24, 2015 Alicia rated it liked it

This has been rewritten to reflect that this storyline does in fact pick up with the next novel in the series.

As the reader, we're aware from the synopsis that both Cork and Jo's relationships are tested in this one with a coquettish (love this word and plan on trying to use it in a sentence whenever possible) woman for Cork and a former lover for Jo. The opening scene has so many negative implications for Jo!
Cork targeted by a sniper attack. Why? Who did he arrest or put away?
Business man bru
Lucy Crowe
Apr 06, 2016 Lucy Crowe rated it it was amazing
"Mercy Falls" finds Cork O'Connor back where he belongs as the Sheriff of Tamarack County. It suits him! (Although in reality, he managed to pretty much fill those shoes even when he wasn't officially obligated to.) As it often does, William Kent Krueger's narrative entwines two separate and seemingly unrelated story lines - in the first, Cork is the target of a careful trap laid by a skillful sniper. The second involves the body of a wealthy and not-so-nice man whose brother turns out to be a r ...more
Dec 13, 2014 Katherine rated it really liked it
This is a very good book, as I've come to expect from William Kent Krueger. It is a compelling read with lots of action, plot twists, and continuing development in characters with whom I'm already invested. As usual, the setting in northern Minnesota is a powerful presence, as is the relationship between town and reservation. I must emphasize that this is not just a good mystery, but a good book. It is very well written. Mercy Falls is the 5th book in the Corc O'Connor series, but this book can ...more
Feb 17, 2014 Peggy rated it really liked it
I listened to this book on CD's on a long car trip recently. I really enjoyed it for the most part. I have read or listened to the other books in order in this series, I like the complicated, yet easy to follow plots. I think Krueger is a clever writer ; he paints clear pictures with rich descriptions. Starting the book with a glimpse of the ending was intriguing. The reason I can't give it 5 stars is the cliffhanger end left me a little disgruntled. I will read the next installment because I am ...more
John Mosman
Sep 08, 2015 John Mosman rated it really liked it
I enjoy that Krueger adds important elements of Cork's (main character in series)personal life in his stories. Cork is again sheriff of Aurora, MN. The murder suspects abound, one of which was Cork's wife's lover while she is in college. It is rich against poor, Ojibwa against white and suspects all with different motives. The book includes the wilderness in northeast Minnesota and the rich North Shore of Chicago. The whodunit continues through the whole book because this is the first Cork O'Con ...more
Nov 06, 2015 Joan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eileen Goudge
Jan 29, 2015 Eileen Goudge rated it it was amazing
I'm hooked on the series. What can I say? After each book, I tell myself it's time for a break. I should read a book by another author. But something keeps pulling me back. The author's crisp style that evokes the wilds of Wisconsin. His beautifully drawn characters. The fact that his protagonist, Cork O'Connor, is so darn likable. I enjoyed this one, and the one after, COPPER RIVER, as much as the first book in the series. Each time, I wonder how he can pull it off again and somehow he does. Do ...more
Ginny Dodge
Apr 15, 2015 Ginny Dodge rated it it was amazing
This one was a fast paced, fun read! I was happy to get Rose's guest appearance, super pumped to read a bit into Jo's past, and as always I was rooting for Cork the whole way. Dina Willner's cameos were well placed, though they certainly made me uncomfortable in the choppy wake of the O'Connor's relationship. Chicago was a fun landscape to try out. Where will Cork go from here? He's always in danger, but I liked that this way the first of William Kent Krueger's O'Connor series that bled into the ...more
Lexie Graham
Mar 01, 2015 Lexie Graham rated it liked it
I wandered away from this award winning series a few years back but I won't again and I'm looking forward to catching up with Sheriff Cork O'Connor and his family in the small Minnesota town of Aurora. His department provides policing to the Ojibwe reservation as well as Tamarack County. The story follows several threads - a sniper attack on the reservation that hospitalizes one of his deputies, a murder and events in his family's past. Krueger neatly weaves these threads together for a satisfyi ...more
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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)
  • Copper River (Cork O'Connor, #6)
  • Thunder Bay (Cork O'Connor, #7)
  • Red Knife (Cork O'Connor, #8)
  • Heaven's Keep (Cork O'Connor, #9)
  • Vermilion Drift (Cork O'Connor, #10)
  • Northwest Angle (Cork O'Connor, #11)

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