Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Sunday, November 14, 2021

Lightning Strike


I've ben on a mystery/thriller kick of late and often chose between Minnesota authors  John Sanford and William Kent Krueger. Nothing like being familiar with the scene of the crime for a Minnesota reader like me to relate :) Krueger gets the the nod this time with his 2021published novel Lightning Strike . 

In “Lightning Strike,” Krueger follows the  beautifully descriptive writing of his stand-alone books in a Cork O’Connor prequel that is both a series mystery and an independent book. Krueger begin with an authors note about the Indian relocation Act of l956. This law promising training and job to reservation Indians if they moved to urban areas. It was the final straw to the historical legacy of wars , broken treaties and promises, schools separating children from parents . Relocating to alien and unfriendly urban areas while closing and defunding reservation's helped destroy Indian communities and cultures. 

 With this background Lightning Strike is a beautifully told story, of a small town in the 1960s rocked by a mysterious death and culture clashes, and a boy’s coming of age. That small town is Aurora-Hoyt Lakes close unto one of my favorite  canoeing/fishing places in the world -Minnesota's fabled BWCAW the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness. This region  includes the Iron Range and Lake Superior .

book is set in July and August 1963. Twelve-year-old Cork is in the middle summer, vacation' Howev  when, he and a buddy canoeing in the wildernew discover  the body of Big John Manydeeds, a well-known personality in the town of Aurora and the Ojibwa reservation. They find the corpse hanging at Lightning Strike, an abandoned logging camp that is considered to be cursed. The discovery deeply affects Cork.. Big John was the uncle of one of Cork’s best friends, and he admired and learned much from the man. Liam O'Conner  Corks father is the sheriff. The O'Conner's are mostly Irish but not entirely with Liam's grandmother being Ojibwa . This is a wonderful coming of age story as well father and son facing the divide  that a clash of cultures can bring to a family.... Another great story by Kent Krueger. 

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@Barrie Summy


  1. Dear Ray, Krueger is one of my favorite authors and so I read this prequel as soon as it came to our library. Your noting that the lyrical language of his stand-alone books is used here in this Cork O'Connor book made me take notice. I was aware that something was different, but you've nailed it. His stand-alone books are truly gems. Classics I believe.

    Like you I read Sandford also and enjoy reading about places I saw or lived or visited during my 38-years in Minnesota. Quite different writers but both of them know about plotting. Krueger, however, does a fine job of setting the scene and also character development. (Or so I think!) Peace and Happy thanksgiving.

  2. So nice to see you reviewing again!! And, interestingly, Margy Lutz also reviewed a book to do with the Ojibwes. Great minds think alike! :) Thank you for reviewing. And here's the link to Margy's post:

  3. It's nice to have authors who reliably put out books we can enjoy, isn't it? This sounds like a good book. Thanks for reviewing.

  4. Sounds like a great book, Ray. Glad you liked it.

    Linda McLaughlin

  5. I just love reading books set in places I know. I can picture the setting and really immerse myself in the plot. - Margy

  6. Interesting book to read! Have a great time! :)