When the body of a teenage Ojibwe girl washes up on the shore of an island in Lake Superior, the residents of the nearby Bad Bluff reservation whisper that it was the work of a mythical beast, the Windigo, or a vengeful spirit called Michi Peshu. Read more...
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When the body of a teenage Ojibwe girl washes up on the shore of an island in Lake Superior, the residents of the nearby Bad Bluff reservation whisper that it was the work of a mythical beast, the Windigo, or a vengeful spirit called Michi Peshu. Such stories have been told by the Ojibwe people for generations, but they don't solve the mystery of how the girl and her friend, Mariah Arceneaux, disappeared a year ago. At the request of the Arceneaux family, Cork O'Connor, former sheriff turned private investigator, is soon on the case.
But on the Bad Bluff reservation, nobody's talking. Still, Cork puts enough information together to find a possible trail. In Duluth, Minnesota, he learns from an Ojibwe social worker that both Duluth and the Twin Cities are among the most active areas in the US for sex trafficking of vulnerable women, many of whom are young Native Americans. As the investigation deepens, so does the danger. Cork realizes he's not only up against those who control the lucrative sex enterprise--he must also battle government agencies more than willing to look the other way.
Yet Cork holds tight to his purpose--Mariah, an innocent fifteen-year-old girl at the heart of this grotesque web, who is still missing and whose family is desperate to get her back. With only the barest hope of saving her, Cork prepares to battle men whose evil rivals that of the bloodthirsty Windigo and who are as powerful, elusive, and vengeful as the dark spirit Michi Peshu.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-06-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Edgar-winner Krueger highlights the vulnerability of Native American youth in his excellent 14th Cork O’Connor novel (after 2013’s Tamarack County). PI Cork, a former Minnesota sheriff, reluctantly investigates the disappearance of 14-year-old Mariah Arceneaux, who left her home near Bad Bluff, Wis., a year earlier. The battered body of the friend who accompanied her, Carrie Verga, recently washed ashore on Windigo Island in Lake Superior. A plea for help from Mariah’s diabetic mother, Louise, to the sage Henry Meloux ends with Cork’s older daughter, Jenny, rashly vowing to help save Mariah. This move forces Cork’s hand, putting him on the trail of a ruthless man called Windigo. Jenny, Louise, and centenarian Henry play key roles as the mission tests both spiritual and physical powers. Krueger paints a vivid picture of the sordid cycle of poverty, abuse, alcoholism, and runaway (or throwaway) children on the reservation, and reminds us of the evil of men all too willing to exploit the innocent. Agent: Danielle Egan-Miller, Browne & Miller Literary Associates. (Aug.)