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Copper River

Copper River

A Cork O'Connor Mystery

  • reading group guide

The sixth novel in William Kent Krueger's award-winning suspense series finds Cork O'Connor running for his life -- straight into a murderous conspiracy involving teenage runaways.

In well-crafted settings that are beautiful and unforgiving, with unforgettable characters and jaw-dropping surprises, William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor thrillers have drawn a flood of awards and praise. The latest in the series finds the sheriff running for his life from professional hit men who have already put a bullet through his leg. Desperate, he finds sanctuary outside a small town called Bodine on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in an old resort owned by his cousin, Jewell DuBois. Though Jewell, a bitter widow whose husband may have been killed by cops, keeps Cork at arm's length, her fourteen-year-old son, Ren, is looking for a friend. But being a father figure to Ren will prove more difficult than Cork could possibly imagine.

When the body of a young girl surfaces along the banks of the Copper River and another teenager vanishes, Cork must choose between helping to solve these deadly mysteries and thwarting the hit men who draw closer to him with every hour. Recklessly, he turns from his own worries and focuses on tracking the conspiracy of killers before Ren and his best friend, Charlie, fall victim. It's an error -- one a good man might make -- but as the contract killers who are hunting him close in, Cork realizes too late that it may be the last mistake he'll ever make.

The trail left by the dead girl eventually leads to a shelter for homeless youth and into the grim reality of children lost and abandoned, who become easy prey for the perverted appetites of human predators. All small towns have buried secrets but, as Cork soon learns, this one has more than its share.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743293655 | 
  • August 2006
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Reading Group Guide

COPPER RIVER by William Kent Krueger
Book Summary: The sixth novel in William Kent Krueger's award-winning suspense series finds Cork O'Connor on the run from hitmen hired by a crooked Chicago businessman who blames Cork for the death of his son. As he attempts to flee, they manage to wound him in the leg. He's seriously injured but still manages to make it to the resort camp in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, run by his recently widowed cousin, Jewell. While seeking refuge there, Cork stumbles upon a mystery when a local man is killed and the body of a teenage girl is found on the banks of the Copper River. Can these incidents be related? Cork and his former colleague Dina try and help Jewell, her son, and his runaway friend before another body turns up dead.
Questions for Discussion:
1) Copper River, while being a suspenseful thriller, is also about various forms of relationships -- parent to child, friend to friend, colleague to colleague. What do you think of the relationship between Dina and Cork? Do you think it will ever be more than just co-workers? What about the friendship between Charlie and Ren? Ned and Jewell? Even Delmar Bell and Calvin Stokely?
2) The relationship between Dina and Charlie, though brusque at first, becomes quite motherly. In the last chapter, we learn that Dina plans to return to Bodine to see Charlie. On page 308, Cork remarks, "You've only known her a couple of days, Dina." To whi see more

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About the Author

William Kent Krueger
Photo Credit: Tony Nelson

William Kent Krueger

William Kent Krueger is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen mysteries in the Cork O’Connor series, including Trickster’s Point and Tamarack County, as well as the novel Ordinary Grace, which won the 2014 Edgar Award for Best Novel. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family. Visit his website at WilliamKentKrueger.com.

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