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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger

Book 5 in the Corcoran O’Connor series; Audio book

Premise of the book from Goodreads.comBack in the saddle as sheriff of Tamarack County, Cork O'Connor is lured to the nearby Ojibwe reservation on what appears to be a routine call -- only to become the target of sniper fire. Soon after, he's called to investigate a mutilated body found perched above the raging waters of Mercy Falls. The victim is Eddie Jacoby, a Chicago businessman negotiating an unpopular contract between his management firm and the local Indian casino. Okay, I confess I don’t know why I’m still listening to these. Being from Northern MN and knowing the town of Aurora, I have brain skids trying to place his fictional ‘Aurora’ to a live landscape. I had to do some mental town swapping to make the location work in my head – and on the map. That irritates me.

Sparks fly when the wealthy Jacoby family hires a beautiful private investigator to consult on the case. But once Cork discovers an old and passionate tie between one of the Jacoby sons and his own wife, Jo, he begins to suspect that dark, personal motives lurk behind recent events. Murder, greed, sex, and jealousy hide around every corner in this maze of danger. But somewhere beneath the turbulent Mercy Falls lies the truth -- and Cork is determined to find it.

Jo O’Connor, for having married a Chicago cop who now lives in an isolated Northern MN town, is a worry wart and seems to have forgotten what it is like to be a cops wife and she vacillates between being the poor housewife and a nosey lawyer. And for being a cops wife and a lawyer, her common sense shorts out somewhere at the beginning of the book. I called her names several times – luckily no one noticed me muttering under my breath. The downside of an audio book. a putz. For many reasons. But what I think drove it home for me is when he goes dashing off into the BWCAW on a man hunt, he doesn’t bring any K9 sniffing dogs with. No. He brings Henry Milieu, who’s age is not revealed, but must be in his 80’s. I’m seriously shaking my head on this one.  He has at his disposal air scent dogs, ground scent dogs, and he brings a nearly blind Trial Elder.  It was almost as if Milieu hadn't been part of this mystery and the author needed a way to bring in one of his favorite characters.  I would have been happier if he had left Milieu at home for another day and brought a dog.

I'm also very undecided about the Ending as Beginning literary technique.  I found it revealed more than I cared for and I basically spent the book fitting plot to the "beginning/ending" rather than just being able to enjoy the story (see comment above where I'm swearing at the book). 

And lastly, without giving anything away - in case there are still folks out there reading this series - the end annoyed the begeebus out of me.  I don't like to be annoyed when reading a book.  Entertained, amused, saddened, those are all fine emotions to elicit. But annoyed?  Don't even go there...and this book did. 

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