Lightning Strike: Book summary and reviews of Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger

Lightning Strike

Cork O'Connor Mystery Series #18

by William Kent Krueger

Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger X
Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2021
    400 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

The author of the instant New York Times bestseller 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 twelve-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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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This sensitive, moving prequel introduces and draws readers into the series. Krueger has written another perceptive coming-of-age novel, the poignant story of a father and son trying to understand each other. It provides Cork O'Connor's backstory for those who haven't read the series." - Library Journal (starred review)

"Krueger makes the youthful version of his lead plausible, as well as his detective abilities. Longtime fans will relish Cork's rich backstory." - Publishers Weekly

"William Kent Krueger is a master storyteller at the top of his game with Lightning Strike. A pitch perfect, richly imagined story that is both an edge-of-your-seat thriller and an evocative, emotionally-charged coming of age tale that explores the complex bonds between fathers and sons and the long simmering animosities of the past. This is a beautifully written novel that packs a powerful punch. I loved it." - Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Four Winds and The Nightingale

"Marvelous. I've long been a fan of William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor series, and this essential novel allows us to witness how young Cork developed and matured. Not just a story of fathers and sons, it's also a tale of Natives and settlers and how laws such as the Indian Relocation Act influenced both…A gripping, heartbreaking tale with beautiful writing, vividly drawn characters, and a story you won't be able to put down." - David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Edgar and Anthony Award-nominated author of Winter Counts

"A brilliant achievement, and one every crime reader and writer needs to celebrate." - Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All the Devils Are Here

This information about Lightning Strike shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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lani

Father and son's relationship
A gentle yet mysterious novel that will stir your heart. This sounds like an oxymoron but Krueger has pulled off a skillful coming of age story, an unsolved mystery and a deeply transporting picture of the back woods of Minnesota. The vivid descriptions of the water, inlets and sacred lands become just as vital to the story as the well drawn characters. Although I have read his previous levels, the capacity of my brain has weakened and I could not remember the plot lines. That said, this prequel easily stands on its own without the reader suffering any consequences. Cork O'Connor, a 12 year old, comes across the cruel hanging of one of his beloved native Adult friends about 4 days after the occurrence. You can only imagine the status of the corpse at that time. Was this a suicide? Or was this the work of a nefarious person/s. Cork's father Liam is sheriff and tries to elucidate the answers through logic and evidence. Although Cork is married to a Native woman, the tribal Indians have no faith that he will take the right course of action. Much of this anger has to do with the real life Indian relocation act which has colored their belief in the "white system. Clues begin to abound as Cork and his father each develop inklings of the truth, while their relationship changes and Cork begins to mature into teenager with adult sensibilities. Like peeling the layers of an onion, this unfolds beautifully.

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Author Information

William Kent Krueger Author Biography

Photo: Paul Dinndorf

William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of a dozen Cork O'Connor novels, including Northwest Angle and Trickster's Point, as well as the novel Ordinary Grace. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family.

Link to William Kent Krueger's Website

Name Pronunciation
William Kent Krueger: kru-ger

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