Book Reviews: Desolation Mountain, Fox Creek, and Deadly Keepsakes

Hey, Readers. With my ongoing book tour for Menagerie, I haven’t posted any book reviews lately. Since I don’t have a Tuesday guest spot this week, I thought it would be a good time to catch up with my reviews. Today, I’m featuring three books, two of which are part of the Cork O’Connor series. (I’m now caught up on that one.) So, here we go.

Desolation Mountain

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Reading a book in the Cork O’Connor series is like putting on a comfortable pair of shoes. While I like some of the books better than others, this seventeenth novel in the series is one of my favorites.

Stephen O’Connor is now twenty years old. He desires to be a Mide, a member of the Grand Medicine Society, but he’s also spiritually and physically wounded. He has had visions in the past, namely his mother’s death and of the men who shot him. Desolation Mountain opens with Steven having another vision. This time it involves an eagle, a small boy shooting an arrow at it, and the bird falling from the sky.

Stephen, desperate to know the meaning of the vision seeks advice from his mentor, the ancient Mide, Henry Meloux.

Soon after, Cork, as a member of Tamarack County Search and Rescue, receives a call that a plane carrying a United States senator has gone down on Desolation Mountain located on the Iron Lake Reservation.

What follows is a tangled mix of people ascending on Aurora—FBI, NTSB, and other government agencies. Something is amiss and it’s hard to determine if the agencies are working together or against one another. Add to that a group of military-looking personnel with an unscrupulous leader and it’s hard to know who to trust.

Cork, along with Stephen, begins his own investigation of the crash. While on the mountain, he meets Bo Thorson, a character from a Krueger stand-alone novel, and one whom Cork has worked with in the past. Even though Cork trusted the man, I wasn’t completely sure of his motives.

The plot had a lot of twists and turns but wraps up with a satisfying conclusion. As usual, Henry plays a key role as does Cork’s wife Raney, and his son-in-law Daniel. You’ll find familiar characters from past novels, such as Tom Blessing, Isaiah Broome, and Sara LeDuc. The introduction of new characters keeps this series fresh.

While Stephen finds the answer to his vision, at least in part, the book leaves with an open-ended message regarding Henry. Having already read book eighteen, which is in essence a prequel to the series, I’m both eager and feel I will be a little sad to read the next volume, Fox Creek.

There is one quote from Henry that stood out in my mind. Wise words from a wise man. “Who among us knows how many of these moments we have left? I try to gather them, like a squirrel preparing for a long winter.”

Fox Creek

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I both looked forward to and dreaded this nineteenth installment of the Cork O’Connor series. I dreaded it for fear of the death of a favorite character.

Kruger’s style of writing was a bit different in this one as it’s written in present tense. The novel is in parts and comes from four characters’ points of view—Cork’s, Rainy’s, Stephens, and The Wolf’s. As a reader who once disliked present tense, I thought it added to the suspense in this case.

A businessman from the Twin Cities area who is looking for his wife, Delores Morriseau, seeks Cork’s assistance. Delores is a stranger who comes to Henry Meloux seeking shelter and Henry’s wisdom. When it becomes clear, Delores is in danger, and the man seeking her is an imposter, Henry takes both Delores and his niece Rainy (Cork’s wife) into the Boundary Waters.

There, they are sought by four men, including one known as The Wolf, who has experience in tracking. It soon becomes apparent that the century-old Henry is much wiser. It then becomes a game for The Wolf to track him down.

In the meantime, Cork and Delores’s brother-in-law, go into the Boundary Waters in search of their family members. Delores’s real husband, Lou, is missing, and his brother fears the men are tracking her hoping she’ll lead them to him. The stakes are high as the men will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Stephen also plays an important role, traveling to the town where Delores’s in-laws live. Together with their daughter, Belle, Stephen goes to Lou’s home in search of clues.

The action starts on page one and doesn’t let up until the end. I won’t give away endings, but I will say I was prepared to shed a few tears. The ending does leave open the possibility of an impending romance for Stephen. I will eagerly await book twenty.

Deadly Keepsakes

Rating: 4 out of 5.

After reading a friend’s review and recommendation, I had this book on my TBR list for a while. From the start, the setting intrigued me—the town of Granbury, Texas.

When Tori Winters, a hospice nurse, testifies in a murder trial, she faces threats from the killer’s family. Around the same time, she receives a call from a lawyer in Texas saying that she has inherited her grandmother’s estate. Tori never knew this woman as her own parents are both deceased. When she fears for her life, she decides to leave Missouri for Texas.

When she meets with the lawyer, she learns she’s not only inherited a 1930s mansion, but also millions of dollars. She decides to stay in Granbury and move into the old house. She also discovers her great-grandfather, who built the house, was a notorious gangster.

She soon makes new friends, but as the new person in town, Tori is the subject of much talk and gossip. Several people, including the lawyer and her grandmother’s CPA, advise her to sell the home.

It’s not long before Tori is in danger. Who and why? There are several suspects, and the author did a good job of throwing in red herrings. The plot was well-placed. The lead character, Tori, is a strong and determined woman, a characteristic I like. Deadly Keepsakes wraps up in a satisfying conclusion.

This was my first time reading Anita Dickason’s works, but it won’t be the last.

As mentioned in the reviews, the Cork O’Connor books are the seventeenth and nineteenth in the series. I read book eighteen. Lightning Strike, a year ago. It’s a prequel to the series and doesn’t in any way, deter from the timeline of the stories. In fact, I would recommend anyone just starting this series read it first.

So far, I’ve been busy with reading and am well on my way to achieving my goal for the year. Once the tour is over, I’ll likely go back to weekly reviews.

25 thoughts on “Book Reviews: Desolation Mountain, Fox Creek, and Deadly Keepsakes

  1. Good for you one being ahead on your reading, Joan. I think I’m actually a book or two behind right now.
    I can really feel your enthusiasm for the Krueger series, and Deadly Keepsakes sounds interesting. Looks like you had a trio of great reads with these three!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I did have some good reads last month and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Krueger series. I don’t often reread books, but I may go back and read the entire series again, now that I’m familiar with the characters.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Granbury is southwest of Fort Worth, almost due south of Weatherford. I don’t recall if I’ve ever been there. However, I do have some future Mystery Mondays that involve Granbury.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I hated to reach the end of the O’Connor series, but I’m hopeful for future books. I may go back and reread them all now that I’m familiar with the characters. (Like I don’t have anything else to read!) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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