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Monday, August 4, 2014

Windigo Island

"In every human being, there are two wolves constantly fighting. One is fear, and the other is love. The one that wins the battle? The one you feed. Always the one you feed."

"The Ojibwe legend tells of the cursed place called Windigo Island. On Windigo Island, death came in the dark. It came in the form of an awful spirit, a cannibal beast with an insatiable craving for human flesh. Sometimes the beast swept in with the foul odor of carnage pouring off its huge body and a bone-chilling scream leaping from ts maw. Sometimes it approached with stealth and wile, and in the moment before it ripped your heart from your chest, it cried your name in a high, keening voice. It could be unpredictable, but one thing was certain: to set foot on Windigo Island in the dead of night was to call forth the worst of what the darkness there held." (pg 4).

When three young boys decide to feed the wolf of fear, they head out late one night to visit island. There was no wind that night with nothing more to light their way than a gibbous moon. The water was like black satin and the only thing they paddled for in the silence was the outline of a small island that was only found on a detailed map. A rough circle a couple of dozen yards in diameter, all of it broken rock. From its center rose a tall, ragged pine, a tree that had somehow managed to put down roots in that humping of stone and had held to it tenaciously through season after season of November gales. The Ojibwe believed the pine was a lightning rod of sorts, a beacon attracting the evil sprits of Kitchigami to that cursed island. Not just the windigo but Michi Peshu, too, a monster that lived in the depths, a creature with horns and the face of a panther and razor-sharp spikes down its back and, some said, the body of the serpent. One thing for sure, they were about to get just what they intended to feed. (excerpt).

Corcoran O'Connor, or Cork as he is known by family and close friends finds himself in the center of coming to terms with a legend from his Native American people and dealing with the murder of a young runaway girl Carrie Verga. When her family hires him to investigate the reports that Carrie and Mariah Arceneaux, both young Indian girls who had decided to runaway from home, might have been lured away instead. In fact Cork thinks there may be more to this case than simply a murdered young girl and involve a well known but secret group of men looking for willing girls for their sex trafficking ring in Minnesota. The clues keep building as Cork and his daughter Jenny work with other family members of Mariah in hopes of finding her before she winds up dead.

I received Windigo Island by William Kent Krueger compliments of Atria Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions are mine except where otherwise notated. This is the second novel I've reviewed from William Krueger and love the Native American flair he adds to your standard murder mystery. It lends a suspenseful feel that there is something lurking in the novel besides your standard criminal and the back story of the O'Connors maintains their belief as part of their Native American culture; that stereotypes exist and discrimination still permeates among the Native American tribes. I was completely captivated by this novel since it opens with the legend of Windigo Island and that keeps you glued to the novel to see how it all plays out. Once again, I believe that William Krueger delivered what his readers have come to accept and that is a well-written, captivating and suspenseful novel and thus I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Windigo Island, William Kent Krueger, or where I can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find William Kent Krueger on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on Windigo Island, please visit Simon and Schuster's website. 

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