Simon Likes

With summer just around the corner, there’s no better time to reread some of your favourite books. We asked our charming staff at Simon & Schuster Canada to share some of their top picks with you. Next up, Marketing Assistant Loretta suggests Lawless (previously titled The Wettest County in the World) by Matt Bondurant.

The first paragraph in this book brings us to the trigger end of a .22 rifle, peering straight down the barrel and into the eye of a sow. Jack Bondurant shoots, splashing a bullet into the animal and sending his rifle into the mud. Jack’s struggle to kill the beast is ended by his older brother’s knife, dragged in one clean cut across the sow’s neck. “Hot blood smoked in the calcified winter air. Jack crouched on the ground like a muddy toad, cradling the rifle and watching the stream of crimson like liquid fire. He was eight years old,” writes Bondurant.

This book is based on the true story of three brothers who make their living bootlegging during prohibition. We follow them into the hills and down the dark county roads as they stand against law and man. The author, Matt Bondurant based the story on the experience of his grandfather and granduncles. It’s strong and it’s dark and it’s going to be released as a movie by John Hillcoat, with a screenplay by Nick Cave, the same pair from The Proposition. Our movie tie-in edition releases this July.

Cottage reading at its best

Everyone knows the type of book I’m about to describe. The kind that propels you forward, the kind that you skip lunch to continue reading, the kind that once you’ve finished it in the wee hours of the morning you’re a little wary to turn out all the lights.

If you haven’t already heard of award-winning author William Kent Krueger and his Cork O’Connor novels then read on. 

William Kent Krueger

Krueger’s critically acclaimed mystery series featuring private detective Cork O’Connor is nail-biting suspense at its best. Set in the a natural landscape, Krueger has a gift for transporting the reader directly into the wilderness he describes. The suspense he creates builds slowly and propels you forward, while the emotional qualities of the characters lend credibility to the story. In fact many of the locations he describes sound so much like cottage country you’d think he was talking about Muskoka!

I just finished reading an advance copy of Krueger’s upcoming novel  Northwest Angle. The Northwest Angle is a geographic anomaly. A small triangle of American territory completely isolated from the rest of Minnesota, cut off from the United States by sixty miles of Canadian wilderness and the vast, mysterious waters of Lake of the Woods. This remote area is the location Cork O’Connor has chosen for a houseboat vacation with his family. When a violent gale sweeps unexpectedly across the lake, stranding him and his daughter Jenny on a devastated island, Cork discovers that the wind has ushered in a force far darker and more deadly than any storm.


We gave some of our loyal readers the chance to review Northwest Angle and here’s what they had to say:

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading Northwest Angle by William Kent Krueger.  I found the book to be easy to read and hard to put down.  Each time I picked up the book I didn’t want to put it down because I wanted to see what would happen next.” –Paula, Winnipeg, MB

“I had not read any of this author’s works before and I must say that I am very happy to have been introduced to his work.  Not only did I thoroughly enjoy this novel, I was impressed with his inclusion of language and Native American culture.  Being Native American myself, I felt that I learned a lot from Mr. Krueger. I have read novels in the past of Native American fiction, but as a reader, I was able to insert myself into the feeling of the storyline and looked forward each evening to relaxing with Northwest Angle.  Mr. Krueger is excellent at keeping the reader’s full attention!”
–Sandra, Beaconsfield, QC

“I just finished reading the advance reader’s copy of Northwest Angle by William Kent Krueger. It is the first of his novels that I have read and it definitely will not be the last. This book was filled with suspense from the beginning and did not let up until the end. It had everything that I like in a book – suspense, drama, mystery, love. It was a great read and hard for me to put it down.” –Audrey, Halifax, N.S.

So pick up a copy, stretch out on a dock chair and dive in….just don’t forget to lock the cottage door at night!

William Kent Krueger discusses the inspiration behind Northwest Angle

Check out Krueger’s website for more info about his other novels

Northwest Angle is available in stores August 30th.

More titles available in the Cork O’Connor series, click for info