Blood Hollow - William Kent Krueger

William Kent Krueger
341 pages

A beautiful teen-aged girl disappears on New Year's Eve and no one is able to explain why. She seems to have everything but looks can be deceiving.

Cork O'Connor is the former sheriff of Tamarack County, Minnesota. However, he just can't help becoming involved in the tragic disappearance of Charlotte Kane or the apparent railroading of local bad boy, Solemn Winter Moon.

Cork doesn't want anything to do with God or the Church but when Solemn claims to have seen Jesus in a vision and seems changed, Cork doesn't think it's true or that it can last:

He thought about Joan of Arc. If somehow she had managed to escape the burning and live to see wrinkles and the other slow wounds of time on her skin, would she have ceased to hear God speak, laid down her sword, become some man's vessel carrying some man's child? He wondered how long it would take Solemn's certitude, his moment of grace to pass an leave him as empty and lost as everyone else. -pg 160, Blood Hollow

There are times when I could deeply empathize with Cork in his struggle of faith but I think that Father Mal Thorne, priest of the Catholic church in Cork's hometown of Aurora, Minnesota, sums it up best in a statement that he makes to Cork even before we understand the depths of his doubt:
"It would be easy if we all had visions, or if we all believed in those who did. My own feeling is that faith was never meant to be easy." -pg 130, Blood Hollow

And for all the doubt in both God and man that Cork wrestles with, he still remains a compassionate human being with a strong sense of justice:

"The dead can't speak for themselves," he said. "They've got no way to ask for justice. What's left behind in the details of their deaths is the only hope they have for pointing the way toward the truth, and someone ought to pay attention. It's called due diligence, Jo. It's what a good cop does. He considers all the possibilities, turns over all the stones, and he tries to do it without prejudice." - pg 138, Blood Hollow

I saved these two books by William Kent Krueger for last this month because I don't usually have too much trouble breezing through a good mystery. However, I didn't breeze through this one. There was a lot to mull over in the pages of this story and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.It's easy to see why it's an award winner and it will be among my best of 2007. (5/5)


    i'm adding this series to my to-read list. thanks for the review!