Vermilion Drift by William Kent Krueger
A Novel

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Some nights, Corcoran O’Connor dreams his father’s death.

William Kent Krueger’s gripping tale of suspense begins with a recurring nightmare, a gun, and a wound in the earth so deep and horrific that it has a name: Vermilion Drift.

When the Department of Energy puts an underground iron mine on its short list of potential sites for storage of nuclear waste, a barrage of protest erupts in Tamarack County, Minnesota, and Cork is hired as a security consultant.

Deep in the mine during his first day on the job, Cork stumbles across a secret room that contains the remains of six murder victims. Five appear to be nearly half a century old—connected to what the media once dubbed "The Vanishings," a series of unsolved disappearances in the summer of 1964, when Cork’s father was sheriff in Tamarack County. But the sixth has been dead less than a week. What’s worse, two of the bodies—including the most recent victim—were killed using Cork’s own gun, one handed down to him from his father.

As Cork searches for answers, he must dig into his own past and that of his father, a well-respected man who harbored a ghastly truth. Time is running out, however. New threats surface, and unless Cork can unravel the tangled thread of clues quickly, more death is sure to come.

Vermilion Drift
is a powerful novel, filled with all the mystery and suspense for which Krueger has won so many awards. A poignant portrayal of the complexities of family life, it’s also a sobering reminder that even those closest to our hearts can house the darkest—and deadliest—of secrets.

About William Kent Krueger

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William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of twelve previous Cork O’Connor novels, including Northwest Angle and Trickster’s Point, as well as the novel Ordinary Grace. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family. Visit his website at
Published September 7, 2010 by Atria Books. 320 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Vermilion Drift

Kirkus Reviews

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Conflicted protagonist Cork O’Connor works a case that has disturbing connections to his own family, as well as his past, in Krueger’s latest (Heaven’s Keep, 2009, etc.).

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Book Reporter

A resident of Tamarack County, Minnesota, for most of his life, Cork was at one point the county sheriff, a position that his late father, killed in the line of duty, held before him.

Jun 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Vermilion Drift: A Novel

Reviewing the Evidence

Cork O'Connor is alone this summer.

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Gather Books

In this book, Cork O’Connor is a private investigator hired to find the person leaving threatening messages for various people involved in the use of a former mine for the storage of nuclear waste.

Sep 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Vermilion Drift: A Novel

Mysterious Reviews

Review: PI Cork O'Connor is hired by a local mine operation to look into threats the company has received — and hired separately by the mine's owner to look for his missing sister — in Vermilion Drift, the tenth mystery in this series by William Kent Krueger.

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Spinetingler Magazine

Cork wondered what that was for him now.” By the end of the novel, Cork and the reader find an answer to that enigma.

Nov 30 2010 | Read Full Review of Vermilion Drift: A Novel

Mystery Tribune

Vermilion Drift is the 10th book in the Cork O'Connor series.

Jan 29 2012 | Read Full Review of Vermilion Drift: A Novel

Buried Under Books

Authors of crime fiction, like authors working in any other genre, often use their talents to work through personal issues, sometimes intensely private issues.

Oct 03 2010 | Read Full Review of Vermilion Drift: A Novel

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