Lightning Strike: Cork O'Connor Mysteries, Book 18 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The author of the instant New York Times best seller This Tender Land returns with a powerful prequel to his acclaimed Cork O’Connor series - a book about fathers and sons, long-simmering conflicts in a small Minnesota town, and the events that echo through youth and shape our lives forever.
Aurora is a small town nestled in the ancient forest alongside the shores of Minnesota’s Iron Lake. In the summer of 1963, it is the whole world to 12-year-old Cork O’Connor, its rhythms as familiar as his own heartbeat. But when Cork stumbles upon the body of a man he revered hanging from a tree in an abandoned logging camp, it is the first in a series of events that will cause him to question everything he took for granted about his hometown, his family, and himself.
Cork’s father, Liam O’Connor, is Aurora’s sheriff, and it is his job to confirm that the man’s death was the result of suicide, as all the evidence suggests. In the shadow of his father’s official investigation, Cork begins to look for answers on his own. Together, father and son face the ultimate test of choosing between what their heads tell them is true and what their hearts know is right.
In this masterful story of a young man and a town on the cusp of change, beloved novelist William Kent Krueger shows that some mysteries can be solved even as others surpass our understanding.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 37 minutes|
|Author||William Kent Krueger|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 24, 2021|
|Publisher||Recorded Books Inc.|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #3,385 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#80 in Police Procedural Mysteries
#122 in Crime Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#411 in Suspense (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviewed in the United States on August 25, 2021
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I’ve been wanting to read this series for a long time and this was the place to start - book 17 is a prequel and a stand alone novel. It begins in 1989 with the protagonist, Cork, starting his first day as sheriff. Only 2.5 brief pages to set the stage and he’s reminiscing about how he got where he’s at and who it was that paved the way. We’re off to 1963…
Sheriff Liam O’Connor, Cork’s father, is tasked with solving an highly charged death that he has called a suicide but the victim’s family is certain something nefarious has happened. The family is Native American and they’re issues between the tribal leaders and the town’s elite. Cork, his Mother and Grandmother are First Peoples. Oh, and guess who found the body? Oh yeah, this is Cork’s first mystery to be solved.
W. K. Krueger’s writing is atmospheric when describing the setting. I could smell, taste, feel, hear everything. On the other hand, I struggled somewhat with the investigation because the racial issues were too woke for 1963. I applaud Krueger for his dedication to Native American issues and for the prologue with historical information but 2021 BLM fodder doesn’t belong in this story.
I waffled between 3-4 stars and opted for kindness because so much of this book really is exceptional. I’m going to give book 1 a fair read and hope this political mishap was an aberration. The back stories on Cork and Liam were really woven together wonderfully as were the relationships between Cork and his buddies.
This is a mystery that’s built in layers but it’s not a hard core procedural. Cork and his friends are young teenagers who make horrifying discoveries; some by accident others purposeful. He’s got that gladiator heart that is unique to boys of that age.
3.5 stars rounded up because it will make me much more grounded when starting the series📚
Fiction, Fiction, Fiction August 2021 #26
The quick consensus is that the hanged man did not commit suicide (despite the presence of some dubious evidence supporting that notion). In effect, Cork joins forces with his father to help solve the actual crime and bring its perpetrator(s?) to justice. While the investigation occupies the core of the story, we are never far from the O’Connor family and its intersections with the larger family of Ojibwe of which it is a part. This is a solid WKK novel, with a great deal of attention paid to setting, atmospherics, and native language and culture. Here, the religious intersections are particularly interesting, since the events of the novel will both test and expand the respective faiths of the participants. Hence, we get the total novelistic package—characters, plot, setting, themes and that most prized of crime fiction elements, the acquisition of interesting, curious facts and ideas.
I cannot say that this is one of the best of the O’Connor novels (though I am glad to see WKK return to the north woods), but I cannot say that it is flawed. It is a coming-of-age novel and, in some ways a ‘young adult’ novel. Neither of these genres or subgenres are my favorites. I prefer the adult Cork to the pre-adolescent Cork, but that is just me. Many readers will find this to be one of their favorites. There are romantics and there are classicists (the 19thc vs. the 18th). The romantics look to childhood as a source of wisdom and wonder. I understand the attitude, but I remain an 18th centuryist, preferring the wisdom that comes from long experience. I do not look into a cradle to find a mighty prophet or blessed seer and I find early adulthood an awkward age. That is me; readers must find their own ways through this particular thicket. I have no trouble awarding LIGHTNING STRIKE five stars, but I hope that the next novel returns Cork to adulthood.