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Mercy Falls

(Cork O'Connor #5)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  6,650 ratings  ·  548 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
Audiobook, 434 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by Pocket Books (first published August 16th 2005)
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Kim Jo may not be your favorite character but she is very much a part of this story. The book that follow, Copper River is a continuation so you might wan…moreJo may not be your favorite character but she is very much a part of this story. The book that follow, Copper River is a continuation so you might want to suffer through it.
One of the reasons I enjoy this series is because the characters have flaws and make us react to things we may not wish to think about.(less)

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  6,650 ratings  ·  548 reviews

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Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lordy, I’m feeling good!!!! I have decided to take time out from reading books for others in order to read exactly what I want. So where did I start? With my all time favorite author who writes my all time favorite series starring my all time favorite protagonist, of course. Mercy Falls is book #5 of William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor series and what a sweet (as in stellar) ride this one was!

Anyone who reads my reviews knows I have a lot of go-to authors who I always rave about. William Kent
Cork O'Connor is back in his sheriff saddle again (big surprise) and responds to a call on the rez with Deputy Marsha Dross. They immediately come under fire when Marsha exits the truck, later learning the call was a set up and the bullets were meant for Cork. That evening, they find the body of the Starlight representative who was trying to sign the Iron Lake Ojibwa to a management contract. The two don't seem connected but who knows?

This was a challenging story with a few twists and turns but
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starts with a shocker, then goes back in time to reveal how Cork and Jo got to that moment. Cork is officially working as sheriff of Aurora and someone is trying to kill him. As always, the people and land of northern Minnesota are main characters.

William Kent Krueger's writing never disappoints. I just jump on board and enjoy the ride. There are several loose ends to be resolved in the next book so I'll read it very soon.
A very mixed bag. There are some wonderful narrative passages, idyllic moments, several terrific action scenes, and loving interpersonal passages.

However, there are also many dull dialogue sections, confused sections, a silly romantic sub-plot and a final, confusing, "who did what" info-dump to set up the next book.

I was advised (very wisely) to SKIP the first chapter "How It Ends". Skipping this chapter and reading it last was far more effective for me.

Krueger could be a truly great writer, bu
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Great book just as usual, however not a 5-star book for me as the previous books have been. I found the story to be good, but it didn't captivate me in the same way as the first 5 books. But, the open ending left me eager to start reading the next book. ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was really feeling smug because I was certain I knew how events would go down and who was to blame. WRONG! The more of the series I read, the more I admire Cork. We learn a little about when Cork met Jo in this story. Yet again we see the community and family cleave together with the beautiful Minnesota backdrop. Superb reading entertainment.
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Read this with Simon. We are truly enjoying listening to this series together. We love the characters and the setting and the story was truly gripping. There were a couple of spots where we felt like we were ahead of Cork on puzzling out the mystery and that the writing was a little overworked. However, there were also some really good passages and we are looking forward to the next installment in the series.

Favorite quotes:

"Newsome was a rubbery-looking man with a willowy body, long arms, and f
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
Kris - My Novelesque Life
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it

(Review Not on Blog)


"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 contract between his management firm and the local Indian casino. Sparks fly when
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger is the 5th installment of his Cork O'Connor series. The series continues to rely on the twist and turn of a mystery with "I didn't see that coming" at the end. This novel ends with a cliff hanger -- I am thankful for having the next installment at my finger tips! ...more
Jeff Dickison
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
William Kent Krueger is one of my favorite authors and Cork O'Connor is one of my favorite characters, but I deducted a full star because a book should have an ending. Now I just feel manipulated. Krueger should sell the books together or finish one and start another. Not happy! ...more
Marty Fried
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audiobooks
4.5 stars for this. I was tempted to subtract more from the rating because it's basically a two part story, but without any warning. It's OK to read by itself if you want, as the main mystery is solved, but it starts a second second thread that's continued in "Copper River", the 6th book of the series. But fortunately, I already have that one, so there's no reason for me to subtract anything. Just be aware of this.

As usual, it was a very enjoyable read. I really like all of his books, not just t
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not sure where William Kent Krueger stole his magic from, but he certainly casts a spell over readers. Another book - another 5 stars. Cork is just such a likeable - yet believable - protagonist. Since this book does not resolve itself, I would recommend you having the next one lined up before you begin this one.
Tamarack County Sheriff Cork O'Connor and his deputy, Marsha Dross, are answering a domestic disturbance call on the Ojibwe reservation. When they arrive, they find the occupants of the house gone, their dogs dead, and then Marsha is seriously wounded by an unknown sniper. The investigation seems to indicate that the bullet was actually meant for Cork.

At the same time, Eddie Jacoby, a Chicago businessman trying to negotiate a contract with the local Indian casino, is murdered. Now Cork, already
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Another good addition to the series, though the ending seemed a bit implausible to me.
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a nail-biter at the end. I listened to it most of the day just to figure out what was happening. It ends on a cliffhanger so be prepared to start reading Copper River as soon as you finish this one.

I hope to come back and add more to this review later but ....
Anne - Books of My Heart
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Read It, Rate It and Record   
A short review to update challenges

I really am loving this   Cork O'Connor series.   It took me almost 3 months to get back to this series which is so frustrating but there are many great things to read. I'm incredibly grateful my library has these on audio.  I continue to wonder at the number of murders in a small, remote area but there are also big power and politics: the casino, the lumbe
Apr 03, 2012 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
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another great read in this series although I had a few quibbles with it! I wish I had not read the first few pages entitled How it Ends. Knowing what was going to happen just made me nervous and since it took all of the book before it happened I was nervous for a long time! I also did not like the ending. I am used to the author rounding off each book with a solution to the crimes but this one takes us off into a rather far fetched direction without resolution.
Despite all that the book was great
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: series, crime, 2019, mystery
Hmm. I can't believe I'm going to write this but Mercy Falls just didn't do it for me. (Although the line: "It didn't feel right. A man like Eli might get drunk and riled up enough to kill his wife, but he'd never shoot his dogs" made me laugh. That I understood completely.) I guess I most disliked (view spoiler) I have to admit, however, that there were twists I had guessed incorrectly. ...more
Dec 27, 2014 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!!" ...more
Lukasz Pruski
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
In 2006 William Kent Krueger won the Anthony Award for “Mercy Falls”, which I find quite surprising. I would think that a novel winning a prestigious mystery book award should have at least one of the following: believable, clever, and enthralling plot, virtuoso writing, vivid characterizations of people, astute psychological or sociological observations, uncannily accurate sense of places and times, or some other distinctive feature that sets it apart from thousands of other mystery novels. Obv ...more
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books, mystery
Okay, I confess I don’t know why I’m still listening to these. Being from Northern MN and knowing the town of Aurora, I have brain skids trying to place his fictional ‘Aurora’ to a live landscape. I had to do some mental town swapping to make the location work in my head – and on the map. That irritates me.

Jo O’Connor, for having married a Chicago cop who now lives in an isolated Northern MN town, is a worry wart and seems to have forgotten what it is like to be a cops wife and she vacillates b
Apr 02, 2012 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
Jacqueline J
May 11, 2015 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. ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Some of you are aware that I am a devoted Barbra Streisand fan. Ever since her early career, Streisand has been known for breaking those rules of convention that people view as sacred, but which, it can be argued, make very little difference. For example, when she performed at supper clubs in the early 1960's, she often began her set with a ballad, something which was viewed as a surefire recipe for failure. Did she fail? Well, you've all heard of her; so there's your answer. I was reminded of t ...more
Mark Stevens
Sep 12, 2011 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 grisl ...more
Mar 31, 2017 rated it liked it
This Anthony Award winning novel is Krueger’s 5th offering featuring Sheriff Cork O’Connor of Tamarac County. Cork’s part-Anishinaabe heritage allows him to bridge the inherent distrust that the native Ojibwe have of law enforcement. Mercy Falls opens with an assassination attempt on Sheriff O’Connor’s life while investigating a domestic disturbance on the Reservation. And before Cork can fully absorb that, the murder of a Chicago businessman also commands Cork’s attention. Add in the appearance ...more
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Krueger's writing is superb as is his character development. After reading several of his books with Cork O'Connor, I feel as though he is an old friend. I rated this book five stars because it has the mixture of high suspense along with the connection of O'Connor's Native American heritage and description of the beautiful countryside. But what a surprise--just when you think things are being wrapped up, there is a twist and the book ends. I think I'll have to get the next book soon to see how m ...more
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very glad I have the Cork O'Connor #6 on hand...

There's something very appealing about Krueger's writing and plotting and characters and dialogue. Just everything, really. When he fills you in on essential details from previous books or Things You Need to Know (something every series author must deal with), he does so quickly and in brief--but he never, ever leaves the storyline long. The story feels real, and urgent, all the time.

And the writing. Oh, the writing. Plainspoken, with a depth of fe
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Play Book Tag: (Poll Ballot) Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger - 4 stars 1 7 Jun 30, 2020 06:46PM  
2-3-4 Challenge: Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger (Cork O'Connor #5) - May 2017 11 15 Aug 08, 2017 06:03PM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question K 5 6 Jun 27, 2017 06:37PM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question D 5 4 Jun 27, 2017 06:31PM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question H 3 5 Jun 27, 2017 06:06PM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question N 3 4 Jun 27, 2017 05:50PM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question L 3 2 Jun 27, 2017 05:48PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Cork O'Connor (1 - 10 of 18 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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