Authors: William Kent Krueger
The Devil’s Bed
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2011 by William Kent Krueger
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First Atria Books hardcover edition August 2011
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Krueger, William Kent.
Northwest angle / William Kent Krueger. — 1st Atria Books hardcover ed.
1. O’Connor, Cork (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Private investigators—
Fiction. 3. Mystery fiction. gsafd 4. Suspense fiction. gsafd I. Title.
ISBN 978-1-4391-7216-2 (ebook)
For Morgan and Riley Buchholz,
two blessings who dropped from heaven into my heart.
he Northwest Angle of Minnesota is an area remarkable in its geography, its beauty, and its people. I am indebted to those who live on the Angle, folks generous with their time, knowledge, and resources. I’m especially grateful to Debra Kellerman and Tony Wandersee, who own the Angle Inn Lodge on Oak Island. Better hosts or nicer people would be hard to find anywhere. I also extend a huge thanks to Tony Ebnet for an extraordinary day on Lake of the Woods that neither my wife nor I will ever forget. To those who live on the Northwest Angle or the Angle Islands, and to those who know the area well, I offer a caution when reading this novel, and a small apology. I have, of necessity, taken a few liberties with geography. Stump Island, for example, doesn’t exist, but islands very like it do. I’ve tried to create the landscape necessary for the story without compromising the essential and marvelous reality of the Angle. I hope you understand.
A huge thanks to Erin Sullivan-Sutton of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, who gave me fine advice about adoption in Minnesota, and the ways in which a child’s welfare, common sense, and bureaucratic requirements might work in harmony to achieve great good.
To the Powassin family of Windigo Island: Thank you for
inspiring Amos Powassin, a character who became very dear to my heart while I wrote this story.
To my agent, Danielle Egan-Miller, and her associates, Joanna MacKenzie, Lauren Olson, Shelbey Campbell, and Alec McDonald, my deepest thanks for helping to keep my worst tendencies as a storyteller in firm check, and for providing such sound direction in the revisions of this novel.
To the team at Atria—my editor, Sarah Branham, my publicist, David Brown, and the marvelous folks in the art department who create the stunning design of my books: I can never thank you enough for all that you do.
Finally, a tip of my hat to the Java Train, a lovely island of community, creativity, and occasional chaos, where I always find a warm welcome and a clean table for my work.
n July 3, 1999, a cluster of thunderstorms developed in the Black Hills area of South Dakota and began to track to the northeast. On the morning of July 4, something phenomenal occurred with this storm system, something monstrous. At the edge of western Minnesota, the storm clouds gathered and exploded, creating what would become one of the most destructive derechos ever to sweep across this continent.