Book 1

Iron Lake

by William Kent Krueger

Published 1 August 1998
Part Irish, part Native American, Corcoran Cork O'Connor puts aside his grudge against the small Minnesota town that rejected him as a sheriff to investigate a sinister conspiracy responsible for the murder of the local judge.

Book 1

The 20th anniversary edition of the first novel in William Kent Krueger’s beloved and bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series—includes an exclusive bonus short story!

“A brilliant achievement, and one every crime reader and writer needs to celebrate.” —Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Glass Houses

“A master craftsman [and] a series of books written with a grace and precision so stunning that you’d swear the stories were your own.” —Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire series

“Among thoughtful readers, William Kent Krueger holds a very special place in the pantheon.” —C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Disappeared

In eighteen novels over twenty years, William Kent Krueger has enthralled readers with the adventures of P.I. Cork O’Connor, former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota—selling more than 1.5 million copies of his books and winning the Edgar Award, Minnesota Book Award, Northeastern Minnesota Book Award, Dilys Award, Lovey Award, and Anthony Award along the way. Now, in this special anniversary edition, longtime fans and new readers alike can read the novel that first introduced Corcoran “Cork” O’Connor to the world.

Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Cork is having difficulty dealing with the marital meltdown that has separated him from his children, getting by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. Once a cop on Chicago’s South Side, there’s not much that can shock him. But when the town’s judge is brutally murdered, and a young Eagle Scout is reported missing, Cork takes on this complicated and perplexing case of conspiracy, corruption, and a small-town secret that hits painfully close to home.

Book 1

Iron Lake

by William Kent Krueger

Published 26 January 2021
The first in the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series follows Corcoran “Cork” O’Connor as he delves into the dark side of small-town Minnesota while investigating a tangled web of corruption and danger. “A brilliant achievement, and one every crime reader and writer needs to celebrate” (Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author).

Cork O’Connor, the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota, is having difficulty dealing with the marital meltdown that has separated him from his children. Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, he is getting by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt.

Once a cop on Chicago’s South Side, there’s not much that can shock him. But when the town’s judge is brutally murdered, and a young Eagle Scout is reported missing, Cork takes on this complicated and perplexing case of conspiracy, corruption, and a small-town secret that hits painfully close to home.

With white-knuckled suspense and unforgettable characters, Iron Lake demonstrates why “among thoughtful readers, William Kent Krueger holds a very special place in the pantheon” (C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author).

Book 2

Boundary Waters

by William Kent Krueger

Published 1 July 2000
The Quetico-Superior Wilderness: more than two million acres of forest, white-water rapids, and uncharted islands on the Canadian/American border. Somewhere in the heart of this unforgiving territory, a young woman named Shiloh -- a country-western singer at the height of her fame -- has disappeared.

Her father arrives in Aurora, Minnesota, to hire Cork O'Connor to find his daughter, and Cork joins a search party that includes an ex-con, two FBI agents, and a ten-year-old boy. Others are on her trail as well -- men hired not just to find her, but to kill her.

As the expedition ventures deeper into the wilderness, strangers descend on Aurora, threatening to spill blood on the town's snowy streets. Meanwhile, out on the Boundary Waters, winter falls hard. Cork's team of searchers loses contact with civilization, and like the brutal winds of a Minnesota blizzard, death -- violent and sudden -- stalks them.


Book 3

Purgatory Ridge

by William Kent Krueger

Published 27 February 2001
Fresh from his escapades in the popular Boundary Waters (0671016997), Cork O'Connor finds himself mierd once again in the mysteries of small-town Minnesota in this shocking new thriller from the award-winning author of Iron Lake (0671016970); Not far from Cork O'Connor's small hometown of Aurora, Minnesota, lies an ancient 200 acre expanse of great white pines, sacred to the Anishinaabe tribe and known to them as Minishoomisag (Our Grandfathers). And just a stone's throw from these prized trees, too close for comfort for many members of the Anishinaabe, lies the lumber mill of Karl Lindstrom, a wealthy industrialist hardly known for his sensitive environmentalism. So when an explosion at Lindstrom's mill results in the death of one of his night watchmen, it's obvious that suspicion will fall upon the tribe members. When Cork is called in to help with the investigation, he has mixed feelings about the whole affair, to say the least. For one thing, he is part Anishinaabe himself. For another, his lawyer wife, Jo, represents the tribe. Now, Cork must grapple with his public duty and his private concerns as never before.

Book 4

Blood Hollow

by William Kent Krueger

Published 3 February 2004
A brilliant new installment in the prize-winning Cork O'Connor series -- from the acclaimed author of Boundary Waters and Purgatory Ridge.
When the corpse of a beautiful high school student is discovered on a hillside four months after her disappearance on New Year's Eve, all evidence points to her boyfriend, local bad boy Solemn Winter Moon. Despite Solemn's self-incriminating decision to go into hiding, Cork O'Connor, Aurora, Minnesota's former sheriff, isn't about to hang the crime on a kid he's convinced is innocent. In an uphill battle to clear Solemn's name, Cork encounters no shortage of adversity. Some -- like bigotry and bureaucracy -- he knows all too well. What Cork isn't prepared for is the emergence of a long-held resentment from his own childhood. And when Solemn reappears, claiming to have seen a vision of Jesus Christ in Blood Hollow, the mystery becomes thornier than Cork could ever have anticipated. And that's when the miracles start happening....

Book 5

Mercy Falls

by William Kent Krueger

Published 16 August 2005
A stunning new suspense novel in William Kent Krueger's prize-winning Corcoran O'Connor series finds the charismatic detective steeped in his most dangerous case to date.
Back on the beat as sheriff of Tamarack County, Cork O'Connor has already seen his beautiful Northwoods jurisdiction through an eventful summer. Now, as the chill of autumn sweeps through the countryside, he's about to face a season of murder, adultery, and deceit that will take him from seedy backwoods bars and humble reservation shanties to the highest and most corrupt echelons of Chicago society.
Lured to the nearby Ojibwe reservation on what appears to be a routine domestic disturbance call, Cork finds himself the target of a sniper's deadly fire. He has little time to worry about his own precarious situation, however. Soon after the shooting, 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 involved in negotiating an unpopular contract between his management firm and the local Indian casino.
Now Cork must deal with a high-profile murder contaminated with the blood of the rich and powerful. Sparks fly when the wealthy Jacoby family insists on hiring a beautiful private investigator named Dina Willner 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 the events in Aurora have a darker, more personal motive than he could ever have imagined.
With his life at stake and the safety of his family in question, Cork must squelch the growing suspicion that another man desperately wants his wife, and at the same time resist the passion heating up between himself and Dina.
Murder, greed, sex, and jealousy all play a part in the maze of danger and intrigue Cork is caught in. But somewhere, hidden beneath the turbulent depths of Mercy Falls, lie the answers, and Cork is determined to find them.

Book 6

Copper River

by William Kent Krueger

Published 22 August 2006

The sixth novel in William Kent Krueger's award-winning suspense series finds Cork O'Connor running for his life -- straight into a murderous conspiracy involving teenage runaways.

In well-crafted settings that are beautiful and unforgiving, with unforgettable characters and jaw-dropping surprises, William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor thrillers have drawn a flood of awards and praise. The latest in the series finds the sheriff running for his life from professional hit men who have already put a bullet through his leg. Desperate, he finds sanctuary outside a small town called Bodine on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in an old resort owned by his cousin, Jewell DuBois. Though Jewell, a bitter widow whose husband may have been killed by cops, keeps Cork at arm's length, her fourteen-year-old son, Ren, is looking for a friend. But being a father figure to Ren will prove more difficult than Cork could possibly imagine.

When the body of a young girl surfaces along the banks of the Copper River and another teenager vanishes, Cork must choose between helping to solve these deadly mysteries and thwarting the hit men who draw closer to him with every hour. Recklessly, he turns from his own worries and focuses on tracking the conspiracy of killers before Ren and his best friend, Charlie, fall victim. It's an error -- one a good man might make -- but as the contract killers who are hunting him close in, Cork realizes too late that it may be the last mistake he'll ever make.

The trail left by the dead girl eventually leads to a shelter for homeless youth and into the grim reality of children lost and abandoned, who become easy prey for the perverted appetites of human predators. All small towns have buried secrets but, as Cork soon learns, this one has more than its share.

Book 7

Thunder Bay

by William Kent Krueger

Published 24 July 2007

Book 7

Thunder Bay

by William Kent Krueger

Published 11 August 2009

Book 8

Red Knife

by William Kent Krueger

Published 2 September 2008
Private investigator Cork O'Connor finds himself caught in the middle of a racial gang war that's turning picturesque Tamarack County, Minnesota, into a 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.

Book 9

Heaven's Keep

by William Kent Krueger

Published 1 September 2009
Intrepid hero Cork O'Connor faces the most harrowing mission of his life when a charter plane carrying his wife, Jo, goes missing in a snowstorm over the Wyoming Rockies.

Months after the tragedy, two women show up on Cork's doorstep with evidence that the pilot of Jo's plane was not the man he claimed to be. It may not be definitive proof, but it's a ray of light in the darkness. Agreeing to investigate, Cork travels to Wyoming, where he battles the interference of local law enforcement who may be on the take, the open hostility of the Northern Arapaho, who have much to lose if the truth is known, and the continuing attempts on his life by assassins who shadow his every move. At the center of all the danger and deception lies the possibility that Jo's disappearance was not the end of her, that somewhere along the labyrinthine path of his search, maybe even in the broad shadow of Heaven's Keep itself, Cork will find her alive and waiting for him.


Book 10

Vermilion Drift

by William Kent Krueger

Published 7 September 2010
Some nights, Corcoran O'Connor dreams his father's death.William Kent Krueger's gripping tale of suspense begins with a recurring nightmare, a gun, and a wound in the earth so deep and horrific that it has a name: Vermilion Drift. When the Department of Energy puts an underground iron mine on its short list of potential sites for storage of nuclear waste, a barrage of protest erupts in Tamarack County, Minnesota, and Cork is hired as a security consultant. Deep in the mine during his first day on the job, Cork stumbles across a secret room that contains the remains of six murder victims. Five appear to be nearly half a century old-connected to what the media once dubbed "The Vanishings," a series of unsolved disappearances in the summer of 1964, when Cork's father was sheriff in Tamarack County. But the sixth has been dead less than a week. What's worse, two of the bodies-including the most recent victim-were killed using Cork's own gun, one handed down to him from his father. As Cork searches for answers, he must dig into his own past and that of his father, a well-respected man who harbored a ghastly truth. Time is running out, however.
New threats surface, and unless Cork can unravel the tangled thread of clues quickly, more death is sure to come. Vermilion Drift is a powerful novel, filled with all the mystery and suspense for which Krueger has won so many awards. A poignant portrayal of the complexities of family life, it's also a sobering reminder that even those closest to our hearts can house the darkest-and deadliest-of secrets.

Book 11

Northwest Angle

by William Kent Krueger

Published 30 August 2011
With his family caught in the crosshairs of a group of brutal killers, detective Cork O'Connor must solve the murder of a young girl in the latest installment of William Kent Krueger's unforgettable "New York Times "bestselling series.

During a houseboat vacation on the remote Lake of the Woods, a violent gale sweeps through unexpectedly, stranding Cork and his daughter, Jenny, on a devastated island where the wind has ushered in a force far darker and more deadly than any storm.

Amid the wreckage, Cork and Jenny discover an old trapper's cabin where they find the body of a teenage girl. She wasn't killed by the storm, however; she'd been bound and tortured before she died. Whimpering sounds coming from outside the cabin lead them to a tangle of branches toppled by the vicious winds. Underneath the debris, they find a baby boy, hungry and dehydrated, but still very much alive. Powerful forces intent on securing the child pursue them to the isolated Northwest Angle, where it's impossible to tell who among the residents is in league with the devil. Cork understands that to save his family he must solve the puzzle of this mysterious child whom death follows like a shadow.

"Part adventure, part mystery, and all knockout thriller" ("Booklist "), "Northwest Angle "is a dynamic addition to William Kent Krueger's critically acclaimed, award-winning series.


Book 12

Trickster's Point

by William Kent Krueger

Published 21 August 2012
The action never stops in the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series—and this time O’Connor is targeted by a political assassin.

The dying don’t easily become the dead.

Cork O’Connor is sitting in the shadow of a towering monolith known as Trickster’s Point, deep in the Minnesota wilderness. With him is Jubal Little, who is favored to become the first Native American elected governor of Minnesota and who is slowly dying with an arrow through his heart. Although the men have been bow-hunting, a long-standing tradition among these two friends, this is no hunting accident. The arrow turns out to be one of Cork’s, and he becomes the primary suspect in the murder. He understands full well that he’s been set up. As he works to clear his name and track the real killer, he remembers his long, complex relationship with the tough kid who would grow up to become a professional football player, a populist politician, and the lover of the first woman to whom Cork ever gave his heart. Jubal was known by many for his passion, his loyalty, and his ambition. Only Cork knows that he was capable of murder.

Full of nail-biting suspense, plus a fascinating look into Cork’s teenage years in Aurora—a town blessed with natural beauty, yet plagued by small-town feuds and heated racial tension—Trickster’s Point is a thrilling exploration of the motives, both good and ill, that lead men and women into the difficult, sometimes deadly, political arena.

Book 13

Tamarack County

by William Kent Krueger

Published 20 August 2013
As a blizzard swells just days before Christmas, the car belonging to the wife of a retired local judge is discovered abandoned on a rural road in Tamarack County. After days of fruitless effort, the search-and-rescue team has little hope that she'll be found alive, if at all. Cork O'Connor, former sheriff and now private investigator, is part of that team. Early on, Cork notices small things about the woman's disappearance that disturb him. But when the beloved pet dog of a friend is brutally killed and beheaded, he begins to see a startling pattern in these and other recent dark occurrences in the area. After his own son comes close to peril, Cork understands that someone is spinning a deadly web in Tamarack County. At the center is a murder more than twenty years old, for which an innocent man may have been convicted. Cork remembers the case only too well. He was the deputy in charge of the investigation that sent the man to prison. With the darkest days of the year at hand, the storms of winter continue to isolate Tamarack County. Somewhere behind the blind of all that darkness and drifting snow, a vengeful force is at work. And Cork has only hours to stop it before his family and his friends pay the ultimate price for the sins of others.

Book 14

Windigo Island

by William Kent Krueger

Published 19 August 2014
Cork O'Connor battles vicious villains, both mythical and modern, to rescue a young girl in the latest nail-biting mystery from New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger.

When the body of a teenage Ojibwe girl washes up on the shore of an island in Lake Superior, the residents of the nearby Bad Bluff reservation whisper that it was the work of a deadly mythical beast, the Windigo, or a vengeful spirit called Michi Peshu. Such stories have been told by the Ojibwe people for generations, but they don't explain how the girl and her friend, Mariah Arceneaux, disappeared a year ago. At the request of the Arceneaux family, Cork O'Connor, former sheriff turned private investigator, takes on the case.

But on the Bad Bluff reservation, nobody's talking. Still, Cork puts enough information together to find a possible trail. He learns that the old port city of Duluth is a modern-day center for sex trafficking of vulnerable women, many of whom are young Native Americans. As the investigation deepens, so does the danger.

Yet Cork holds tight to his higher purpose-his vow to find Mariah, an innocent fifteen-year-old girl whose family is desperate to get her back. With only the barest hope of saving her from men whose darkness rivals that of the legendary Windigo, Cork prepares for an epic battle that will determine whether it will be fear, or love, that truly conquers all.

Book 15

Manitou Canyon

by William Kent Krueger

Published 6 September 2016
""One of today's automatic buy-today-read-tonight series ... thoughtful but suspenseful, fast but lasting, contemporary but strangely timeless." (Lee Child) In the extraordinary new Cork O'Connor thriller from New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author William Kent Krueger, the lives of hundreds of innocent people are at stake when Cork vanishes just days before his daughter's wedding. Since the violent deaths of his wife, father, and best friend all occurred in previous Novembers, Cork O'Connor has always considered it to be the cruelest of months. Yet, his daughter has chosen this dismal time of year in which to marry, and Cork is understandably uneasy. His concern comes to a head when a man camping in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness goes missing. As the official search ends with no recovery in sight, Cork is asked by the man's family to stay on the case. Although the wedding is fast approaching and the weather looks threatening, he accepts and returns to that vast wilderness on his own. As the sky darkens and the days pass, Cork's family anxiously awaits his return. Finally certain that something has gone terribly wrong, they fly by floatplane to the lake where the missing man was last seen. Locating Cork's campsite, they find no sign of their father. They do find blood, however. A lot of it. With an early winter storm on the horizon, it's a race against time as Cork's family struggles to uncover the mystery behind these disappearances. Little do they know, not only is Cork's life on the line, but so are the lives of hundreds of others. A taut, suspenseful thriller, Manitou Canyon features everything readers love in a Cork O'Connor novel: a dramatic Northwoods setting, an intriguing view of the Objibwe culture, an enigmatic crime, masterful storytelling, and more than a few surprises"--

Book 15

Manitou Canyon

by William Kent Krueger

Published 6 September 2016
In the extraordinary new Cork O'Connor thriller from New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author William Kent Krueger, the lives of hundreds of innocent people are at stake when Cork vanishes just days before his daughter's wedding.

Since the violent deaths of his wife, father, and best friend all occurred in previous Novembers, Cork O'Connor has always considered it to be the cruelest of months. Yet, his daughter has chosen this dismal time of year in which to marry, and Cork is understandably uneasy.

His concern comes to a head when a man camping in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness goes missing. As the official search ends with no recovery in sight, Cork is asked by the man's family to stay on the case. Although the wedding is fast approaching and the weather looks threatening, he accepts and returns to that vast wilderness.

As the sky darkens and the days pass, Cork's family anxiously awaits his return. Finally certain that something has gone terribly wrong, they fly by floatplane to the lake where the missing man was last seen. Locating Cork's campsite, they find no sign of him. They do find blood, however. A lot of it.

With an early winter storm on the horizon, it's a race against time as Cork's family struggles to uncover the mystery behind these disappearances. Little do they know, not only is Cork's life on the line, but so are the lives of hundreds of others.

Book 16

Sulfur Springs

by William Kent Krueger

Published 22 August 2017
New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger showcases his talent "creating strong characters, building drama and conflict, braiding in Indian legend and spirituality, and spinning a good yarn" (Minneapolis Star Tribune) in this a vivid and pulse-pounding thriller that follows Cork O'Connor's search for a missing man amid the fraught tensions at the border between Arizona and Mexico.

On the Fourth of July, just as fireworks are about to go off in Aurora, Minnesota, Cork O'Connor and his new bride Rainy Bisonette receive a desperate phone call from Rainy's son, Peter. The connection is terrible but before the line goes dead, they hear Peter confess to the murder of someone named Rodriquez.

The following morning, Cork and Rainy fly to southern Arizona, where Peter has been working as a counselor in a well-known drug rehab center. When they arrive, they learn that Peter was fired six months earlier and hasn't been heard from since. So they head to the little desert town of Sulfur Springs where Peter has been receiving his mail. But no one in Sulfur Springs seems to know him. They do, however, seem to recognize the name Rodriguez. Apparently, the Rodriguez family is one of the cartels controlling everything illegal that crosses the border from Mexico.

As they gather scraps of information about Peter, Cork and Rainy are warned time and again that there is a war going on along the border. "Trust no one in Coronado County," is the most common piece of advice they receive, and Cork doesn't have to be told twice. To him, Arizona is alien country. The relentless heat, the absence of water and big trees and shade all feel nightmarish to him, as does his growing sense that Rainy might know more about what's going on than she's willing to admit in this fresh, exhilarating, and white-knuckle mystery starring one of the greatest heroes of fiction.