Cork O’Connor is a fictional character created by American author William Kent Krueger who is featured in a series of mystery novels. Despite the very Irish name, Cork is only part-Irish; the other part being Ojibwe. The series is set in Northern Minnesota, which is an area of largely mixed heritage.

The first Cork O’Connor book, Iron Lake, was published in 1998. Since then, Krueger has come out with approximately one new book in the series every year. Below is the recommended reading order of William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor series:

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Publication Order of Cork O'Connor Books

Iron Lake(1998)Description / Buy at
Boundary Waters(1999)Description / Buy at
Purgatory Ridge(2001)Description / Buy at
Blood Hollow(2004)Description / Buy at
Mercy Falls(2005)Description / Buy at
Copper River(2006)Description / Buy at
Thunder Bay(2007)Description / Buy at
Red Knife(2008)Description / Buy at
Heaven's Keep(2009)Description / Buy at
Vermilion Drift(2010)Description / Buy at
Northwest Angle(2011)Description / Buy at
Trickster's Point(2012)Description / Buy at
Tamarack County(2013)Description / Buy at
Windigo Island(2014)Description / Buy at
Manitou Canyon(2016)Description / Buy at
Sulfur Springs(2017)Description / Buy at
Desolation Mountain(2018)Description / Buy at
Lightning Strike(2021)Description / Buy at
Fox Creek(2022)Description / Buy at
Spirit Crossing(2024)Description / Buy at
Lightning Strike is a prequel to the series.
Order of Books » Characters » Order of Cork O’Connor Books

6 Responses to “Order of Cork O’Connor Books”

  1. Kathy: 8 months ago

    I have read the first four Cork O’Connor books. Should I read the prequel before continuing the order and reading Mercy Falls? Thank you for a reply.


    • Graeme: 8 months ago

      Personally I’d read in publication order. I find when you read the prequel at the time it was released, it has more of an impact as that’s the way the author intended it.


    • Allen McKinley: 7 months ago

      I have read them all. I recommend reading them in publication order. If I had read the prequel first there would be less mystery reading the more current books.


      • Deb F: 4 months ago

        I read the prequel before I started the series. I have only read #1 Iron Lake but I’m glad I read Lightening Strike 1st. It gives one so much background on Cork when he was young that explains actions, thoughts and behaviors as a man. I’m ready to continue the series!

        Good we all have choices on how we like to read! Enjoy!


  2. Harriett Marsh: 3 years ago

    Where is Devil’s Bed? According to another list I saw, it should be no. 4.


    • Graeme: 3 years ago

      That one is a standalone and not part of the Cork O’Connor series.


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