Thursday, April 9, 2015

In Big Trouble by Laura Lippman and Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger

I do not understand why my photos don't look as sharp on this blog as they do on iPhoto.  If I weren't so lazy, maybe I'd take the time to figure it out.  But I'd rather be reading.

Last week I made the mistake of taking a walk on a very nice day.  I need destinations for my walks, so I chose The Book Trader.  I hadn't been there in a while.  In fact, I'd been purposely avoiding it.  Lately, I've been very bad about reading my own books.  I've been using the library and that keeps books out of the house, but it doesn't decrease the stacks of books already here.

I used my store credit for several books, one of them being In Big Trouble, a Tess Monaghan book by Laura Lippman.  I like Tess.  Usually, she's in Baltimore, where she lives.  In In Big Trouble, she goes to Texas to look for her ex-boyfriend, Crow, who has disappeared.  She gets a newspaper clipping with a photo of him and In Big Trouble as part of a headline.  That turns out to be the name of a band he's in with a very messed up but charismatic young woman.

There have been a lot of murders in the young woman's past.  Her mother was murdered, her mother's best friend's husband was murdered, the family's cook was murdered.  When Tess arrives, she follows a lead to a house where she thinks Crow might be staying and she finds a body.  Then she finds another body.  The local police are suspicious of her but can't tie her to any of the murders.  They want her gone.  She finally finds Crow, but someone is trying to frame him.  Tess almost figures it all out, but even she's surprised when all is finally clear.  It's an exciting book, but I prefer Tess back in Baltimore.

My friend Jenny stopped overnight last week on her way back to Massachusetts.  She left me a book she'd read on vacation.  It's an author I don't think I've ever heard of.  Or my memory is just getting that much worse.  I know I haven't read anything by him, of that, I'm sure.  William Kent Krueger is the author and the book is Mercy Falls.  I turned Jenny on to Nevada Barr and she's done me a favor by introducing this author.  I think.

This is one of a series of mysteries about Cork O'Connor, a sheriff in Aurora, Minnesota, who is part Ojibwe.  Sometimes his work takes him onto the reservation near the town, in the Great Northern woods area of the state, near Canada.  The book starts with a bang, literally, when Cork and his deputy are ambushed and the deputy is shot.  After thinking about it, it's decided that Cork was the target, not the deputy.

There are a couple of investigations going on at once.  Right after the shooting, a man who's been trying to get the Indian gaming commission to sign a contract to allow his company to manage their casino is found dead and sexually mutilated at Mercy Falls.  Was his murder connected to the casino deal or was there a more personal aspect to it?  Shortly after that, a young woman from the reservation disappears and Cork has to try to find her.  Maybe they're all connected.

I have to say that I was angry at the ending, which isn't really an ending at all.  I will have to eventually read the next book in the series to find out what happens after the last page of Mercy Falls.  I like my books self-contained, thank you.

This isn't the first book in the series.  I liked Mercy Falls well enough that I've just put the first one, Iron Lake, on hold at the library.  Maybe The Book Trader has some of his books.  Excuse me while I take a walk!


  1. I suppose that having a non-ending in a book is a marketing trick to make you buy the next one, very annoying though.
    I've also been borrowing too many books out of libraries, some of them are in danger of being closed down so I feel I have to keep their statistics up, but it's doing nothing for my book piles!

    1. I went on line after I finished Mercy Falls to see what others thought about it. Most felt dissatisfied with the ending and one person saw it as a marketing ploy. Having read this one, you have to read the next in the series. Which I will.