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Publisher's Summary

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.

Solve another case with Cork O'Connor.
©2011 William Kent Krueger (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“A complex crime novel that contains meditations on the difficulties of loving and the paths we take to reach God, Northwest Angle has everything you want in a great read.” (Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Dead Reckoning)

What listeners say about Northwest Angle

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Profile Image for Jacqueline Stratton
  • Jacqueline Stratton
  • 28-09-2011

Story compromised by reader

A good story is compromised by the clumsy narration by Buck Schimer. He does not do the Minnesota accent with accuracy or authority. Try Minnesota denizen Dale Connelly to narrate this author

7 people found this helpful

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  • karen
  • 22-11-2011

Not quite as riviting as others, but...

I love the William Kent Kreuger books, if for no other reason that the setting is nearly home territory for me. As a kid, I spent summers in this area, so I can picture most of the places he mentions. One thing surprised me -- at a couple of points, Kreuger has his characters swimming for hour after hour in Lake of the Woods. Seems to me that even in summer, that water was pretty darn cold. I cede to his greater knowledge, I guess, over my memory. But really? Could all these people, non-professional swimmers -- not trained, not the kind of people who regularly challenge the English Channel or San Francisco Bay -- really be able to spend hours in that water without ill effects? I wonder about that.

Then too, usually these books are totally engrossing, I'm always completely unable to find a place to stop. This one wasn't that, so much. A different kind of book. It had its moments, certainly, but there was more emphasis here on the nature of love and belonging than there was on creating a thriller. Or so I thought. Still, a good book -- Christians and lovers of Indian lore will love it, certainly.

Others have criticized the narrator -- and I have to say I sympathize a bit. Certainly the attempt at a Minnesota accent went flat, and I cringed all the way through at his odd pronounciation of the word "baby", a word that seemed to appear in darn near every sentence. (Who can possibly manage to mispronounce that word?) By the end, though, I'd come to terms with it.

All in all, I'd buy it again. Not quite a standard Kreuger, but plenty fine, anyway.

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  • DragonflyArts
  • 13-12-2014

Best one yet!

What did you love best about Northwest Angle?

Wonderful story. Kept me on the edge. Had to marathon it, I was so eager to find out what happened next! Captivating as always!

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

However...Bucks voice is great for Cork. I imagine Cork sounding like that, but not so much for the other characters. I don't think Buck has enough variation capability to pull off the other characters, especially women. His voice is a great one if you're looking for gruff, but he doesn't seem to be able to take the gruff out when necessary.

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  • J. C. Oregon
  • 21-10-2011

Listened to Cork series while painting house....

I had lots of listening opportunities this summer while painting our house (exterior). While it was a bit of a shift to get used to Buck Shirner at the point in the series where the narrator changed - not sure what book that was now. I think this was only because I was used to David Chandler. I didn't find Buck's voice to be grating, rushed or irritating in any way. Northwest Angle was well done and I am looking forward to the next in the series.

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  • Amazon Customer Susan Bentley
  • 27-10-2020

Worst reading!

Schirmer's voice ruined this book. Scratchy, raspy, with almost no inflection. Forced myself to listen to the end but actually hated the book. Mr. Krueger should have stayed with David Chandler.

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  • Satisfied Customer.
  • 29-08-2019

Northwest Angle by William Kent Kruger

I was so disappointed in the narrator. His different voices for men, women and children was very distracting. I would have preferred just a reading of the book in one voice. It was most excruciating to listen to and I could not wait for it to end. Will not buy another audio book from this narrator.

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  • K. Chapel
  • 12-03-2019

Too much PC bullcrap

The author is a good story teller who can spin a good mystery and adventure yarn, but his tendency to spew liberal elitist political correctness almost ruins everyone of his novels, especially this one!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Elin
  • 28-12-2016

Spell binding

I read it twice, so impressed with plot! Held my attention both times.I never heard of a"3 card monte" before this book. I had to look it up..... This makes one think!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Carole T.
  • 20-06-2012

Satisfying Thriller with Heart

This is one of my favorite series ever! Krueger simply cannot be beat for instant suspense and gripping stories with settings that are vividly described and intertwined with the plots. Cork O'Connor is our hero, a part-Ojibwe ex-lawman with great dedication to his heritage, his family, and to justice. He sometimes gets a bit preachy, but this is so far forgivable because of his basic decentness and the appeal of the many other characters in the tales.

These are definitely story-driven books. If you want complicated, deep, psychologically complex characters and plots, look elsewhere. But, among thriller series, the Krueger books stand out for their well-crafted suspense and action, their excellent sense of place, and a respectful representation of the Ojibwe culture.

"Northwest Angle" is a worthy addition. It hooks you fast with a sudden storm and a crackerjack story. The mystery is intriguing and sustained throughout. I have grown really fond of the narration by Buck Schimer, whose gravelly voice seems perfect for the genre.
Overall, a really engaging listen!

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  • Sandie Herron
  • 02-05-2021

Deeply satisfying, superb mystery

Ex-lawman Cork O’Connor has been struggling with his grief over the death of his wife Jo, so he decides that it’s time for his family to spend some time together. Daughters Jenny and Anne, son Stephen, sister-in-law Rose and her husband Mal all join Cork on a houseboat they sail on the Lake of the Woods near the border of Canada and the United States. Jenny’s boyfriend is joining the gang, so Cork and Jenny take a small boat and head out to pick him up.

Before they arrive, a huge derecho hits with its horizontal hurricane-force winds, knocking Cork and Jenny into the water. Jenny is thrown near an island where she finds a trapper’s hut well stocked with everything a survivalist would need. Checking outside the hut, she hears whimpering and finds a well-concealed Indian baby. Inside Jenny finds his dead mother, shot in the head. Caring for the baby and fearing the shooter’s return, she gathers supplies and flees to the other side of the island where Cork finds her. Someone arrives in a cigarette boat and fires shots into the air and searches the island. Are they friend or foe? Assuming the worst, the trio slinks to another island.

Meanwhile, the others manage to find each other and save the houseboat and steer their way toward the Northwest Angle where locals help them to safe harbor. There isn’t much of a presence of the law other than a part-time deputy. He and several others along with Stephen go looking for Jenny and Cork who hear the boat’s engines. With the O’Connor family reunited, there is now the issue of this motherless baby to whom Jenny has become attached. The locals know that a man named Smalldog is suspected of smuggling through the hard-to-navigate waters in a cigarette boat. He is also suspected of abusing his sister Lily Smalldog who was living on an island with some extremely religious folks. Cork and the others visit that island and learn that Lily was missing. Perhaps she was the young mother. But why is everybody looking for the baby? Who is he and why is his life in danger, and hence the entire O’Connor clan who has closed ranks around him?

A tense chase follows that ends at home in Tamarack County. Not everyone survives the journey to freedom. Important decisions need to be made that will change lives forever. Author Kent Krueger knows just how to tweak this chase to grab the reader by the britches and not let go. Even when the shooting stops, a new journey is just beginning.

Northwest Angle is the eleventh in this excellent series featuring Cork O’Connor and his family. Krueger again treats us to his lyrical descriptions of the land and the lakes and wilderness of northeastern Minnesota. Ojibwe lore is woven into the story with ease and purpose. Family history plays a part, too, as the O’Connor clan has gathered. On one hand we look back, yet on the other we look forward to new destinies. Buck Schirner again narrates with his down-to-earth timber that fits in seamlessly. I felt a deep satisfaction upon finishing this superb mystery.

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Profile Image for Pamela Meggitt
  • Pamela Meggitt
  • 04-10-2016

Gripping Adventure

William Kent Krueger shows sensitive insight into the many qualities we could learn from the "first" Americans. The lessons surround and are surrounded by a first rate story which combines excitement fierce love of many kinds and a thriller that engages right to the end.
highly recommended, excellent narration.

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