Friday, August 8, 2014

Windigo Island by William Kent Krueger

Cork O'Connor is searching for a missing Indian girl for a friend.  She's been gone for a year and he doesn't think he'll find her alive.  After all, her girlfriend showed up dead on an island in Lake Superior .  But he'll look.

Atria Books and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will publish August 19th.

This is a mix of Native American culture, myths, prostitution, death, and despair.  The road to the answers is long and narrow and full of road blocks.  The girl's own mother won't tell all she knows.  Every clue he gets seem to turn into a dead end.  The Indians don't want to talk.  They hide their shame and even think they deserve it in some cases.

While Cork works on this case, he has his own problems to work out.  He wasn't able to save his wife from death that followed his work.  He wasn't there to stop the bullets that hit his son.  He's afraid he won't be able to find or help this girl.  And, if he does find the perpetrator, he's not sure he can control his desire to kill him.

There an Indian legend that says we all have two wolves:  One is fear and hate and the other is love.  The one that is prominent in you is the one you feed the most.  Cork is almost eaten up by the bad wolf before this story is over.

This is an intricate interesting case.  There's an old shaman that calms the women down and get answers no one else can.  There's Indian rituals for cleansing and healing.  There's prostitution at a young age and women who's lives have been destroyed by the experience.  It's a disease that's hard to purge, but you can cut off the branch you find and stop it for a while.  That also allows you to help the ones that want to be saved and helped.

Cork and his family are strong.  They do what they have to do and then have to live with the consequences.  So goes life.

I'm waiting to see what Cork's next case will be like.  I like hanging out with with him and his family.

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