Red Knife

Red Knife

A Cork O'Connor Mystery

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The newest book in William Kent Krueger's award-winning Corcoran O'Connor series finds the charismatic private investigator caught in the middle of a racial gang war that's turning picturesque Tamarack County, Minnesota, into a bloody battlefield.

When the daughter of a powerful businessman dies as a result of her meth addiction, her father, strong-willed and brutal Buck Reinhardt, vows revenge. His target is the Red Boyz, a gang of Ojibwe youths accused of supplying the girl's fatal drug dose. When the head of the Red Boyz and his wife are murdered in a way that suggests execution, the Ojibwe gang mobilizes, and the citizens of Tamarack County brace themselves for war, white against red.

Both sides look to Cork O'Connor, a man of mixed heritage, to uncover the truth behind the murders. A former sheriff, Cork has lived, fought, and nearly died to keep the small-town streets and his family safe from harm. He knows that violence is never a virtue, but he believes that it's sometimes a necessary response to the evil that men do. Racing to find answers before the bloodshed spreads, Cork himself becomes involved in the darkest of deeds. As the unspeakable unfolds in the remote and beautiful place he calls home, Cork is forced to confront the horrific truth: Violence is a beast that cannot be contained.

In Red Knife, Krueger gives his readers a vivid picture of racial conflict in small-town America, as well as a sensitive look at the secrets we keep from even those closest to us and the destructive nature of all that is left unsaid between fathers and sons, husbands and wives, friends and lovers.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416556756 | 
  • May 2009
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Author Revealed

Q. how did you come to write Red Knife?

A. Red Knife is a book about violence, which is something I've been thinking a good deal about over the past several years. In March of 2005 on the Red Lake Reservation in northwestern Minnesota, the worst school shooting in this nation's history up to that point in time occurred. But it wasn't the first fatal school shooting in Minnesota. Two years before that in a small town west of the Twin Cities a high school student shot one of his classmates to death. These tragedies disturbed me greatly. And I began to reflect on violence in our culture and in other cultures and have become convinced that, despite all our lip service about being a peace-loving nation and people, we have perpetuated a belief system that encourages violence as the most legitimate response to threat. Red Knife was the result of all that rather grim rumination.

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