20 April 2009

Human story

David and I had some spare time because Little Tel Aviv was closed on Wednesday for Passover prepartion. Instead of lunching there, we ate at Subway.

Where do we often end up in our spare time? A bookstore. I really wasn't going to buy anything because I had three books on the pile at home -- one of them a library book.

But, the title, artwork, adn the plot teaser tempted me and I gave in.

It turns out that William Kent Krueger lives in Minnesota, and the story in Thunder Bay takes place in northern Minnesota and Ontario.

It's a story that spans more than 70 years and involves a lot of secrets that people believe they are keeping from one another. You know, like those secrets within families that really aren't secrets. In this story, as in so many of those family "secrets," many people know part of the secret, but no one knows all of the secret.

One bit of the story involves a 90-year-old Ojibwe shaman. Another bit centers on an eccentric and very successful mining company executive. Other bits involve domestic life of an all-America murder mystery/adventure feature family and the mourning of a retired and recently-widowed cop. There are Hallmark moments involving a young boy and dogs. There are frightening moments involving people killing each other. There are a couple of sad love stories. There is intrigue and mystery.

And Krueger is a good story teller. Characters are well-drawn. He doesn't venture too far into the implausible. I never lost interest or felt rushed by the story-telling. He's written seven other books like this one (according to his publisher), and he's won 8 minor-league prizes for them. I may go looking for another someday, but since I bought this one, I've read 3 books and there are still 3 more on the bedside table.

If you've read Thunder Bay or another of Krueger's books, let us know what you think.

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