Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Free Krueger! Free Krueger!

No, we’re not trying to round up an angry mob to break novelist William Kent Krueger out of some pinched jail cell in his home state of Minnesota. Instead, we are inviting readers of The Rap Sheet to take advantage of our latest book giveaway contest. This time, the prize is particularly generous: a complete set of Krueger’s nine Corcoran “Cork” O’Connor novels, the first eight in paperback plus the brand-new series installment, Heaven’s Keep. And these are signed copies, to boot!

Most followers of this blog probably already know about Krueger’s literary output. After laboring at various jobs--ditch digging, logging, construction work, and freelance writing--he finally got around to finishing his first novel, Iron Lake (1998), at age 40. The enthusiastic reception for that debut (Iron Lake won not only the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, but also a Barry Award and Minnesota Book Award), prompted him to develop more wilderness-backdropped mysteries around Cork O’Connor, the part-Irish, part-Ojibwe ex-Chicago cop and onetime sheriff of tiny Aurora, Minnesota. Over the last decade, O’Connor--a man who, as my colleague Ali Karim once put it, “gets by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt”--has had to deal with backcountry bigots, embittered widows, the brutal slaying of a Windy City businessman, a rogue environmentalist, professional hit men, and the ongoing tensions between northern Minnesota’s Caucasian and Native American populations. Critics have applauded Krueger’s efforts, especially his “dead-on depiction of a rural American town” (Booklist), his “sympathetic characters” (Minneapolis Star Tribune), and the way his novels “capture a sense of place while they deliver a powerful emotional punch” (Tess Gerritsen).

In a note posted at his Web site, the author admits, “I still don’t know exactly what to think” about Heaven’s Keep, his just-released ninth O’Connor adventure. “Often at the heart of my books is an issue. With Copper River, for example, it was a question of what happens to the children in our society that we turn out backs on them. Thunder Bay considered the sacrifices we’re willing to make in the name of love. Red Knife was about our culture of violence. But I’ve [got] to tell you honestly there’s no issue involved in Heaven’s Keep. I just tried to write a damn good story.”

According to his publisher’s description, the plot of Heaven’s Keep puts private detective Cork O’Connor “through the most harrowing mission of his life.”
When a charter plane carrying Cork O’Connor’s wife, Jo, goes missing in a snowstorm over the Wyoming Rockies, Cork must accept the terrible truth that his wife is gone forever. But is she? ...

Months after the tragedy, two women show up on Cork’s doorstep with evidence that the pilot of Jo’s plane was not the man he claimed to be. It may not be definitive proof, but it’s a ray of light in the darkness surrounding Cork’s loss. Agreeing to investigate, he travels to Wyoming, where he battles the interference of local law enforcement who may be on the take, the open hostility of the Northern Arapaho, who have much to lose if the truth is known, and the continuing attempts on his life by assassins who shadow his every move.

At the center of all the danger and deception lies the possibility that Jo’s disappearance was not the end of her, that somewhere along the labyrinthine path of his search, maybe even in the broad shadow of Heaven’s Keep itself, Cork will find her alive and waiting for him.
Whether you’re already a fan of Krueger’s O’Connor novels, or have yet to explore his work, here’s your chance to delve fully into the life and emotional saga of Cork O’Connor. With the sanction of his publisher, Atria, and cooperation from The Book Report Network, which is promoting the trade-paperback release of Krueger’s backlist of titles, The Rap Sheet has been given one set of the nine Cork O’Connor novels to send free of charge to a lucky reader. All you need do to enter this contest is answer one simple question:
What famously underwear-averse author did Krueger want to be when he was 19 years old?
If you need a clue, click here.

Send your response to this question, along with your mailing address, to: And write “Krueger Contest” in the subject line. Submissions will be accepted between now and midnight on Friday, September 11. One winner will be chosen at random from among those who submit correct entries, and his or her name will be announced on this page the following day.

At the publisher’s request, this competition is open only to readers living in the United States and Canada.

Good luck!


MurderMysteryMayhem said...

I really enjoyed Red Knife and I have Heaven's Keep on my TBR pile.

What a great giveaway!

ccqdesigns said...

I would really like to subscribe to your blog via reader rather than having to add more stuff to my email. Is it possible for you to add that to your blog?

rebecca dot cox at charter dot net

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Rebecca: I've tried to add the necessary "Subscribe in a Reader" technology to The Rap Sheet. Please let me know if this still doesn't work.