Interest level: Adult
This is Kruger’s eleventh novel in the Cork O’Connor series, but the first I’ve read. From the reviews on Goodreads, I might have chosen better. It start off with a bang – a wicked storm whips up out of nowhere on Lake of the Woods, leaving a brother and sister stranded on an island, their dad and elder sister out on a small dinghy and their aunt and uncle on the rented houseboat. By the time the storm settles, a woman is dead and an abandoned baby found. Smuggling, religious fervour, faith and love mix nicely with guns and cigarette boats to make a fun read, for about two-thirds of the book. I even pulled out my atlas to get a sense of where the Angle is (northern Minnesota, just east of the Ontario-Manitoba border). But it suffers from an overt sexism (men carry guns, women need rescuing), a spiritual message that’s as subtle as as a roundhouse punch, and a pat ending that sees bad guys die and good ones make it, even the really old ones. I’m not going to give up on Krueger, though; his writing is strong. How can you not love an author who describes a November sky as “the color of an old nickel”? But his plotting needs work. At least this one does.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9998825-northwest-angle