Heaven's Keep (Cork O'Connor, #9)

Heaven's Keep (Cork O'Connor, #9) - William Kent Krueger I've been anticipating/dreading this instalment in the Cork O'Connor series ever since I read a teaser for it at the end of one of the earlier novels. It's the one where Jo, Cork's wife, goes down in a plane crash. She's presumed dead by Cork and his family, albeit with the faintest thread of hope emerging now and again, right up to the end of the novel. I won't say any more so as not to spoil.

Grief and winter go cruelly hand in hand in this one, and the title, as always, is a geographical feature that encapsulates the feel &/or theme of the novel. Heaven's Keep is a sheer, massive mountain, poking harshly and coldly up into the heavens in the midst of lonely back-country. (Much of the action takes place a distance away from Cork's usual stomping-grounds, but he still finds himself, for various plot-related reasons, involved in local aboriginal politics nonetheless).

I was deeply emotionally invested in this as I read it, so despite the heavy and wintry feelings, I have no hesitation in putting it at the top of the list as the very best of the O'Connor thrillers so far.