Book Review: Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger

Book Review Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger

Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger – is the prequel to William Kent Krueger’s successful, long-running mystery series based on a Minnesota sheriff, Cork O’Connor. It explores the tender relationship between father and son. this novel is written with grace and understanding. It is a stunning novel that will captivate readers.

This novel was one of the best books in the series, and I’ve read them all. The information on Cork’s upbringing and upbringing, in general, was fascinating. Once more, the specifics drew me in and gave me a sense of being there. I am disappointed that I have to wait for the release of a new book because I couldn’t wait to finish.

Alaina Costanza, a romance author, is propelled back in time and into the Western setting of her most recent book during a supernatural storm. There, she is taken hostage by her persona, a vicious outlaw named Killian. Alaina and Killian, brought together by fate, will find a love that is too wonderful to last just one lifetime.

I’m sure this isn’t enough, and you want more. Don’t worry. I don’t plan on leaving you hanging with just this. Keep reading further to know more about this book!

Lightning Strike By William Kent Krueger | Book Review

Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger with quotes

As this is a prequel, you don’t need to read the rest of the books beforehand. This one book can help you decide whether or not you want to continue with the series!

The Author

William Kent Krueger

American author and mystery writer William Kent Krueger is best known for his Cork O’Connor series of books, primarily set in Minnesota. He received back-to-back Anthony Awards for best novel in 2005 and 2006. His standalone work Ordinary Grace took up the 2013 Best Novel Edgar Award 2014. This Tender Land spent nearly six months on the New York Times bestseller list in 2019.

William joined Stanford University, but his academic career was cut short when he clashed with the university’s leadership during the spring 1970 student demonstrations. He worked in construction, logged wood, dug ditches, and was established as a freelance journalist throughout his early years. He never stopped writing.

Book Overview | Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger

Full Title: Lightning Strike

Author: William Kent Krueger

Genre: Mystery

Publishing Date: 24 August 2021

Page Count: 385

Series: Cork O’Connor

Preceded by: Iron Lake (1998), Boundary Waters (1999), Purgatory Ridge (2001), Blood Hallow (2004), Mercy Falls (2005), Cooper River (2006), Thunder Bay (2007), Red Knife (2008), Heaven’s Keep (2009), Vermillion Drift (2010), Northwest Angle (2011), Trickster’s Point (2012), Tamarack Country (2013), Windigo Island (2014), Manitou Canyon (2016), Sulfur Springs (2017), Desolation Mountain (2018).

Followed by: Fox Creek (expected on 23 August 2022)

Characters: Aurora, Cork O’Connor, Liam O’Connor

Setting: The story is set in the north woods of Minnesota.

Themes: Suspense, Thrill


Aurora is a small community on the shores of Iron Lake in Minnesota, tucked away in an old-growth forest. For 12-year-old Cork O’Connor, it is the entire universe in the summer of 1963. Its beats are as known to him as his own. Liam O’Connor, Cork’s father, is Aurora’s sheriff, and it is his responsibility to certify that the man’s death was a suicide, as all the available evidence points.

Cork starts his independent search for information in the background of his father’s formal probe. Together, father and son must decide between what their hearts believe to be correct and what their minds tell them is true.

Book Summary | Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger

Twelve-year-old Cork is experiencing a semi-idyllic summer, just somewhat spoiled by his duties delivering the morning and afternoon newspapers. When he discovers the body of Big John Manydeeds, a well-known figure in the town of Aurora and the Ojibwe tribe, while out with a friend, he is, nevertheless, irrevocably transformed.

At Lightning Strike, a deserted logging camp locals believe to be cursed. They discover the body. Cork is significantly impacted by the finding, and not just because of the gory scene. One of Cork’s closest friends was Big John’s nephew, and Cork looked up to and learned a lot from the man.

Liam O’Connor, Cork’s father, launches a probe into Big John’s passing as Tamarack County’s sheriff. There is pressure on him to declare the matter closed because it is inevitable that it was a suicide. However, two factors drive Liam to investigate the situation more thoroughly. One of them is a mysterious note Cork finds at Big John’s grave. With unofficial and sometimes unwanted aid from his kid, Liam pursues a thin line of evidence into a well-kept secret area of Big John’s life.

The Native community’s pressure is the other. When upholding the law in the tribal community, Liam, a Caucasian guy married to a Native lady, must tread carefully. This is particularly true in this situation because there is a substantial risk that rushing to judgment could prevent the deceased’s family from receiving justice.

In the meantime, Cork and his pals continue their line of research, which eventually crosses paths with Liam’s but puts them in grave danger when the dramatic reality of Big John’s death is exposed.

What Do I Think of the Book?

After reading the previous Cork O’Connor books, I was interested to see how this prequel would turn out. It did not let me down. I found it to be both a coming-of-age story and a mystery that kept me interested. I was transported back to Iron Lake.

Cork’s relationship with his father, who served as Aurora’s sheriff during Cork’s formative adolescent years, is beautifully portrayed in this book. Additionally, it shows how the white residents and the native community interact, giving the reader a sense of the prejudice between the two cultures.

As this book is a prequel to the other books, it mainly contains their background history, so I wouldn’t say there was anything in particular that I disliked about it.

My Takeaway from the Book | Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger

Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger Cover image

As this book is a background setup of the other books in the series, it did not separately appeal to me in a way to ‘learn’ something specific from it, but I enjoyed reading it.

But if we want to discuss the impact, it made on my mind, even if it’s minor, it would be about the native community’s pressure. I’m talking about the case with Liam. Liam, a Caucasian man, married to a Native American woman, frequently has to exercise caution when maintaining the law in the tribal society. This is especially true in the case in the book because there is a significant chance that hasty judgment would impede the family of the dead from achieving justice.

Ratings of the Book | Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger

I feel that this book is 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Conclusion| Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger

There is a hint of mystique, but it isn’t overpowering. This is an excellent account of Cork, then 12 years old, coping with the loss of an Indian who may not have committed suicide but seemed to have done so. He and his father, the sheriff, are in charge of the investigation.

Definitely recommended.

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