Reviews of Boundary Waters (1999)
Review by michael a draper (2010-11-30)
Boundary Waters is a canoe area on the Canadian/American border.
Cork O'Connor, the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota, is asked to find a young country and western singer who is missing. He's reluctant to help but when he thinks of his own children, he feels compassionate and agrees.
Sholoh is the daughter of William, "Arkansas Willie," Raye, a gay country and western singer who now manages Shiloh's record company. Shiloh has been sending weekly letters to Willie but they've suddenly stopped. He states that his daughter just needed time to be alone, but she was also depressed and now a winter storm was coming and he's worried.
Others are also looking for Shiloh. Federal police believe that she may be a witness to her mother's murder by an Italian gangster, Vincent Benedetti, a casino owner in Las Vegas. Apparently, Shiloh had amnesia and blocked the memory of her mother's murder, but now, her memory is returning.
A studio musician, Elizabeth Dobson, claimed that she had letters from Shiloh with important information on them. Dobson called a reporter about this but then, Dobson was murdered. Police think it's because of the letters.
Agents from the FBI become involved and force their way into the hunt for Shiloh. In this, we see one of the author's themes, with members of the federal government taking advantage of Native Americans by threats and intimidation.
The plot driven novel gives the reader the chance to see the resourcefullness of Cork O'Connor as he leads the search.
Other members of the group are: the Federal Agents, Arkansas Willie, an American Indian, who is a former convice and the man's ten-year-old son, Louis Two Knives. Louis is a well mannered boy who learned about the wilderness from his grandfather. Louis is actually the trail leader and relates stories about the Indian history and traditions to pass the time as the group searches for Shiloh.
There is a complication. Another person is searching for Shiloh and his person's goal is to make sure that Shiloh returns.
The author has presented a compelling novel, rich with the Indian history. He has added a number of plot twists and in this, he is like a bullfighter waving a cape before the bull. Just when the animal thinks it knows where the matador is, the cape moves and the bull is fooled. So is this story. We follow the action until something new is introduced which takes us in a different direction.
The author seems to be telling the readers about the purity of nature and the destructiveness of man. In nature, the American Indian attempts to live with their surroundings while others attempt to change it for their own purposes.
(This review refers to the 1999 version titled “Boundary Waters”)