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Krueger's "The Devil's Bed"

December 26, 2013 - Jodelle Greiner
William Kent Krueger took a different direction with “The Devil’s Bed.”

Krueger made his name with the Cork O’Connor series about life in Aurora, Minnesota, in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. For his fourth book, he’s still in Minnesota, but this time he headed south to the Twin Cities with side trips to Blue Earth and Washington, D.C.

Like Cork, Bo Thorsen is in law enforcement, but instead of being a small town officer, Bo is Secret Service, assigned to protect the First Lady, Kathleen Jorgenson Dixon. While the O’Connor series is driven by the people in small towns, “The Devil’s Bed” is more of a political conspiracy story. Bo uncovers a plot to assassinate the First Lady by David Moses, a man who had a truly horrendous childhood. But Bo doesn’t realize how deep the plot’s roots go or what price he will pay before the end.

Bo is not as grounded by a location, although he does boomerang to Blue Earth, where he came of age as a foster child living with salt-of-the-earth farmers Harold and Nell Thorsen, learning the value of hard work and a simpler way of life. He eventually took their name, but reverts to his birth name when it suits his purposes.

Krueger may have taken a break from Cork to write this stand-alone novel, but he still tells a detailed story that keeps the reader guessing to the end. Like Krueger’s earlier adult books, “The Devil’s Bed” is populated with characters that don’t fit the mold, like Bo’s friend, Otter. There’s early hints at why the book is called “The Devil’s Bed,” but it’s only later on that the reader gets a clue the true meaning is much more sinister.

If you haven’t tried Krueger yet and don’t want to commit to a long series, pick up “The Devil’s Bed.”


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