The River We Remember: A Novel

The River We Remember: A Novel

by William Kent Krueger
The River We Remember: A Novel

The River We Remember: A Novel

by William Kent Krueger


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Notes From Your Bookseller

If you're a fan of novels by Lisa Wingate or Martha Hall Kelly, C.J. Box or Craig Johnson, let us introduce you to prize-winning novelist and crime writer William Kent Krueger, and his new stand-alone historical mystery set in Minnesota.

In 1958, a small Minnesota town is rocked by a shocking murder, pouring fresh fuel on old grievances in this dazzling novel, an instant New York Times bestseller and “a work of art” (The Denver Post).

On Memorial Day in Jewel, Minnesota, the body of wealthy landowner Jimmy Quinn is found floating in the Alabaster River, dead from a shotgun blast. The investigation falls to Sheriff Brody Dern, a highly decorated war hero who still carries the physical and emotional scars from his military service. Even before Dern has the results of the autopsy, vicious rumors begin to circulate that the killer must be Noah Bluestone, a Native American WWII veteran who has recently returned to Jewel with a Japanese wife. As suspicions and accusations mount and the town teeters on the edge of more violence, Dern struggles not only to find the truth of Quinn’s murder but also put to rest the demons from his own past.

Caught up in the torrent of anger that sweeps through Jewel are a war widow and her adolescent son, the intrepid publisher of the local newspaper, an aging deputy, and a crusading female lawyer, all of whom struggle with their own tragic histories and harbor secrets that Quinn’s death threatens to expose.

Both a complex, spellbinding mystery and a masterful portrait of mid-century American life that is “a novel to cherish” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis), The River We Remember offers an unflinching look at the wounds left by the wars we fight abroad and at home, a moving exploration of the ways in which we seek to heal, and a testament to the enduring power of the stories we tell about the places we call home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982179229
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 05/21/2024
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 2,606
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

About The Author
William Kent Krueger is the New York Times bestselling author of The River We Remember, This Tender Land, Ordinary Grace (winner of the Edgar Award for best novel), and the original audio novella The Levee, as well as nineteen acclaimed books in the Cork O’Connor mystery series, including Lightning Strike and Fox Creek. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family. Learn more at

Read an Excerpt

Prologue THE ALABASTER RIVER cuts diagonally across Black Earth County, Minnesota, a crooked course like a long crack in a china plate. Flowing out of Sioux Lake, it runs seventy miles before crossing the border into Iowa south of Jewel, the county seat. It’s a lovely river filled with water that’s only slightly silted, making it the color of weak tea. Most folks who’ve grown up in Black Earth County have swum in the river, fished its pools, picnicked on its banks. Except in spring, when it’s prone to flooding, they think of it as an old friend. On quiet nights when the moon is full or nearly so and the surface of the Alabaster is mirror-still and glows pure white in the dark bottomland, to stand on a hillside and look down at this river is to fall in love.

With people, we fall in love too easily, it seems, and too easily fall out of love. But with the land it’s different. We abide much. We can pour our sweat and blood, our very hearts into a piece of earth and get nothing in return but fields of hail-crushed soybean plants or drought-withered cornstalks or fodder for a plague of locusts, and still we love this place enough to die for it. Or kill. In Black Earth County, people understand these things.

If you visit the Alabaster at sunrise or sunset, you’re likely to see the sudden small explosions of water where fish are feeding. Although there are many kinds of fish who make the Alabaster their home, the most aggressive are channel catfish. They’re mudsuckers, bottom feeders, river vultures, the worst kind of scavengers. Channel cats will eat anything.

This is the story of how they came to eat Jimmy Quinn.

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