Cork O’Connor has faced many perplexing situations in this
long-running series set in Upper Minnesota. None, however, is as
stunning as takes place in this latest chapter, perhaps because it
begins at Trickster’s Point, where, according to Native American
legend nothing is what it seems as the spirits play games. At the
foot of the monolith sit Cork and Jubal Little, the presumptive future
Governor of Minnesota. An arrow protrudes from Jubal’s chest, right
through his heart. He asks Cork to remain with him rather than go get
help, and it takes three hours for him to die, during which he rambles
on, sort of confessing many past transgressions, but really leaving
more questions than answers.
The arrow is an exact replica of those Cork makes for himself, leading
to the suspicion that Cork may have killed his boyhood best friend.
And Cork has to solve this mystery to exonerate himself. Another body
is found nearby, that of a white man with a rifle. Who is he, and why
is he there? Was he to have been backup in case the killer missed his
While the murder mystery is an essential element of the novel, more
important is the look at the relationships of the various characters,
to each other and to the locale. The author’s appreciation of Native
American culture and the environment in which the story takes place
is, as usual, sensitive and insightful. Jubal is an enigmatic
character, almost too large to be believed. Cork, however, continues
to grow with each new entry in the series.