This book is a mystery and coming-of-age story wrapped into one. One of Krueger's most beloved characters, Cork O'Connor, remembers back to a summer when he was a 12-year-old boy and his father was sheriff of Tamarack County. The book grabbed my attention by the end of Chapter One. Suicide or not suicide? Evidence but things don't quite add up.

There are many layers to this story: forbidden love, racism, bi-racial marriages and children, and a small peek at what it's like to be a law enforcement officer who has the tough job of not telling people what they want to hear and/or being able to tell them everything their investigation is pointing them toward. It's a story set in 1963, but the issues the characters have to deal with are just as timely today.

I admit I was concerned at first since the main character of this series was going to be a boy and not the grown Cork O'Connor I know and love. But the book was a page-turner, and Cork plays a huge part in this story. It's easy to see how and why Cork becomes sheriff himself one day, even if he doesn't think that's the path he wants to follow at age 12.

Title: "Lightning Strike"

Author: William Kent Krueger

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Synopsis: 12-year-old Cork O'Connor stumbles across the body of a man he revered hanging from a tree in an abandoned logging camp. It's the first in a series of events that will cause him to question everything he took for granted about his hometown, his family and himself. Cork's father, Liam O'Connor, is the sheriff, and it's his job to confirm that the man's death was the result of a suicide, as all the evidence suggests. In the shadow of his father's official investigation, Cork begins to look for answers on his own. Together, father and son face the ultimate test of choosing between what their heads tell them is true and what their hearts know is right.

Publisher: Atria Books,

Pages: 385