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Nothing happens as expected in 'Northwest'

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You never really intended to get involved.

You know how it goes, though. Whatever it was, you were just going to mind your business. You were staying out of the whole thing. You had other, better missions you wanted to accomplish, and you were going to do that -- just that -- but one thing led to another to another, and pretty soon, you were up to your hairline in something you never asked for.

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Corcoran "Cork" O'Connor only wanted to spend some meaningful time with his family, but nothing ever happened the way he thought it might. And in the new book, "Northwest Angle" by William Kent Krueger, they turned out even worse.

A little family time is all Cork O'Connor wanted. He'd rented a houseboat and had gathered his in-laws and his children on a trip to Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area near Canada. It was supposed to be a relaxing vacation, though Cork knew his daughter Jenny was struggling with a problem. He wanted to give her some fatherly advice and the best way to do it, he figured, was to take her to one of the BWCA islands, where they could talk.

And then the storm hit.

Without warning, the sky turned black as straight-line winds sheared off limbs and separated Jenny and her father. Dazed, Jenny went looking for Cork and stumbled upon a cabin. Inside it was the body of a woman who had obviously been tortured, and a hidden baby.

Clutching the child, Jenny found shelter before Cork found Jenny. Stayng where they were -- even temporarily -- wasn't an option, though, a notion underscored by the sudden, unwelcome presence of a man with a high-powered rifle who seemed to want nothing but the baby.

But Jenny wasn't going to let anything happen to the little guy, and by the time she and Cork were rescued, she was already smitten. So whose child was he? Local officials surmised that the baby was the son of Noah Smalldog, a Ojibwe native with a fast boat and a willingness to break the law. Others say the child belonged to Sonny Chickaway, Smalldog's friend.

There was no time to wait and find out. Somebody wanted that baby, and he was going to kill everybody in his path to get it.

Do you like to read before you go to sleep? Do not -- take it from me -- do not drag "Northwest Angle" to bed with you. You won't get one Z if you do.

Author William Kent Kruger explores the fictional lives of some of his lesser characters in this book; namely, Cork O'Connor's eldest daughter, Jenny. Readers have known Jenny from past novels, but this book delves more into her life. If you're a fan, you'll be happy to know that other beloved characters are present, too. If you're not a fan -- well, what are you waiting for?

If you're up for a book that will keep you up all night, "Northwest Angle" is it. For you, this is an easy book to get involved in.

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