Reviews of Vermilion Drift (2010)
Review by michael a draper (2011-01-14)
Former sheriff Cork O'Connor is hired to look for Lauren Cavanaugh, by her brother, Max.
Max is the owner of Great North Mining Company and Vermilion One is one of the deepest mines. It is being considered as a dumping site for nuclear waste. This is causing heated protests among the locals.
After meeting with other mine official, Max asks Cork to look at something in the mine. They enter and find a note spray-painted on the wall, "We die, You die."
Since no one saw the person who did the spray-painting enter the mine, Cork thinks that there must be another enterance. While he is looking for it, he comes across a secret room with six bodies. Five of the bodies have been there for many years but one has recently been placed there. This reminds Cork of The Vanishings.
In 1964, two young Native American women disappeared, then there was a rich white woman who also vanished, Monique Cavanaugh, Laurnen's mother.
In a story deep with Indian folk lore, Cork speaks to his ancient friend, Henry Meloux. Henry can sense things and tells Cork who to speak to to find the identity of the other two bodies. He also tells Cork that things are stirred up at the reservation.
It is interesting that Cork's father was the sheriff when The Vanishings were happening. It creates a moral delemma for Cork to consider if his father could have been involved.
As always, with William Kent Krueger, there is details about the Ojibwe culture and beliefs. He is a well described and sympathetic character. The story is told as if the pieces were put together like parts of a menu that is laid out for the reader to learn and be entertained by its realistic detail.
(This review refers to the 2010 version titled “Vermilion Drift”)