Red Knife: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mysteries)

Red Knife: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mysteries) - William Kent Krueger As always with Krueger, Red Knife poses a warning against taking things and people at face value. But this one left me with a slightly sour taste in my mouth about Cork O'Connor, because he takes part in the planning and carrying out of an aggressively violent attack, albeit against the Baddest of Bad Guys, out of town drug dealers, who have no humanity or hidden layers. There is a school killing at the end, which also left me feeling heartsick. So yes, the red colour of the cover of my edition of this is well deserved.

That said, Krueger as always spins a fast, readable tale and delineates his main characters memorably and credibly. He also tackles the race issue more head-on here than usual - the supposed villains in the early part of the piece are the Red Boyz, a gang of Indians who are anything but pure or virtuous. Nor are the white businessmen of the town (one of whom gets murdered) any more of a prize.

The writing gains strength with each new entry in this series - but if the violence content gets much higher, I may not be quite as enthuiastic as I once was.