Saturday, November 3, 2012

Friday's Forgotten Book (a day late): HEAVEN'S KEEP by William Kent Krueger

I started to read Heaven's Keep a couple of years ago, or so it seems.  Somehow the timing was not right, and I placed it back on the shelf.  This week, the timing is right.  The timing for a good November read superseded the timing for the posting of Friday's Forgotten Book.  I'm not a bit sorry.

Heaven's Keep begins with a prologue showing how a plane went down, with the protagonist's wife aboard, in a snowstorm.  So we know what's coming.  Then Chapter One starts off on a calm November day:
"She looked away out her window at the gorgeous November sky and the liquid sun that made everything drop yellow..."

"In Aurora, Minnesota, things got quiet in November.  The fall color disappeared.  The stands of maple and oak and birch and poplar became bone bare.  The tourists lost interest in the North Country.  Deer hunting season was nearly finished, and the orange vests, like the colorful foliage, were all but gone."

"There were still fishermen on Iron Lake, but they were the hardy and the few and came only on weekends.  In town, the sidewalks became again the province of the locals, and Cork recognized most of the faces he saw there.  November was usually a bleak month, days capped with an overcoat and brooding sky, but the last week had been different, with the sun spreading a cheerful warmth over Tamarack County.  Cork wished some of that cheer would lighten his own spirits."

Cork O'Conner is Krueger's Irish/Ojibwe series protagonist in his tenth book.  O'Conner is trying to do right by the land, fighting a mega-corporation which wants to develop the lakefront.  The corporation offers small businessman O'Conner 1 1/4 million dollars for his lakefront grill, and when he refuses, their lawyers use the law to put him out of business, to get him to sell.

O'Conner is trying to get back on with the sheriff's department in order to be able to afford lawyers who might be able to fight the corporation in court.  He does this in a short-sightedly obsessive, compulsive manner, neglecting his wife and his marriage--as if forgetting the MOST important things in life.

Some reviewers consider this Krueger's worst book.  Of those that I've read, I consider it his best, a deserving entry in the Forgotten Book Friday field, no matter what day you happen to read it.  It might be interesting to compare the issues in this book with those of the George Clooney movie, The Descendants, which I reviewed a while back at this link, continued from here..

Hey, you can still see the list and links to this week's Friday's Forgotten Books, selected by a number of authors and bloggers, at this link.


  1. I've read Krueger since day one and he rates right with my favourite crime novelists. However, I do agree with some other people that this is his worst book. It pleased me that his next ones got him back on track.

  2. Well, without revealing too much, can you say what it was you didn't like about HEAVEN'S KEEP? Using generalities rather than specifics?