Krueger takes us into the north country of Minnesota in the 1960s. I can feel, see, hear, and smell Iron Lake and the woods around it. Twelve-year-old Cork O’Connor lives in a small town next to an Indian reservation.
Cork and his closest friends, Billy and Jorge, find Big John hanging from a tree. To Cork’s father, County Sheriff Liam O’Connor, it appears to be a suicide. But people’s opinions keep him looking more closely and he makes another assumption about who murdered Big John. Due to politics and the fact that his suspect was the most powerful and wealthy “white man” in town, Liam is unable to arrest him. There are more twists (and deaths) before we find out who really killed Big John.
Woven into the plot is the relationship between the Ojibwe and the whites who have invaded their territory plus the intermixed families. There are friendships and hatreds between the two groups. The story is also about the connection between father and son as they work together and separately to solve the crime.
A good story with and interesting underlying theme, good plot, likeable characters, and captivating setting that kept my interest from beginning to end.