Sulfur Springs
William Kent Krueger

Atria Books

A scratchy voice mail shatters the Fourth of July holiday atmosphere in Cork O’Connor’s house. His stepson Peter Bisonette says he’s in serious trouble down in Arizona and asks for his mother Rainy’s help.

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“. . .a taut thriller with plenty of twists and surprises.”

From what they can make out, Peter may have killed a man in a place called Sulfur Springs. Attempts to contact Peter fail. Cork and Rainy have little choice but to head for Arizona to discover exactly what kind of trouble Peter is in. 

Cork knows Peter was once addicted to painkillers, following combat injuries sustained in Afghanistan. He’s supposedly clean, but could Peter be dealing or smuggling drugs? Coronado County, Arizona is a hotbed of smuggling, with both drugs and people illicitly crossing the Mexican border. The law comes from the barrel of a gun, and it seems Peter got mixed up in a firefight out in the desert. Rainy herself is hiding something, but Cork trusts her – even if he can’t trust anyone else he comes into contact with during their inquiries. He has trouble grasping the nature of the land, so different to the lush forests of his native Minnesota. Corruption and graft are everywhere, and with a virtual state of war in progress between the law and criminals over control of the border, Cork must tread carefully if he’s to find Peter and learn exactly what happened that July 4th night. 

Sulfur Springs is a taut thriller with plenty of twists and surprises. The whole landscape and the people of that difficult country are brought to life by Krueger with a deft and poetic touch. 

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Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews