Heaven’s Keep by William Kent Krueger

keepReviewed by Kathlelen M. Gibbons

This is book number nine in Krueger’s Cork O’Connor series.

The Prologue sets the stage for the tragedy that befalls the O’Connor family: husband Cork and wife Jo have parted on an angry note; now the charter flight carrying Jo has gone down in a blizzard, in an all but inaccessible region of Wyoming.

Determined to find Jo and bring her home, Cork and the couple’s 13 year-old son, Stephen, travel to Wyoming to participate in the search and rescue efforts. Eventually, they must accept the fact that no one could have survived both the crash and the harsh environment. Krueger’s descriptions of Wyoming are almost as harsh as the environment. While he concedes that there is a certain wild beauty to the mountains and the area known as Heaven’s Keep, Cork O’Connor can only see desolation in the landscape, much of which he has seen from a rescue helicopter. When he and his son leave Wyoming, Cork never expects to return.

Six month later, just as he is starting to accept the loss of his wife, Cork receives startling evidence that the airplane crash may not have been the accident it first appeared to be. As a private investigator, Cork feels that he must follow this evidence, and get to the truth behind his wife’s death; he follows a convoluted path that leads back to Wyoming. Part Ojibwa Indian, Cork uses his connections among the various tribes both at home and in Wyoming to track down leads He earns some new friends and some new enemies along the way, from local law enforcement to an Indian visionary to the Mob. The story follows many twists and turns as it builds to a shocking revelation, and Cork finally finds the truth.

There are other storylines woven into the novel, including son Stephen’s coming-of-age vision quest, and a new-found billionaire friend. All in all, this is a wonderfully written novel from William Kent Krueger. His vivid descriptions of location and people add greatly to the story, which is gripping in itself. I highly recommend HEAVEN’S KEEP, and look forward to reading some of the earlier novels.

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