Quotes from Iron Lake

William Kent Krueger ·  464 pages

Rating: (12.2K votes)


“I used to ask for an easy life, now I ask to be strong.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“What life gives us, good or bad, we seldom deserve.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“The things that ask the most of us are the things most worth having.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“Word is you heard the Windigo too."
I did. The difference is I'm ready for the son of a bitch."
--Cork O'Connor”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“Haven't you seen that part of me as well? A man's many things. To isolate one part of him and judge him on that alone is to do him an injustice, don't you think?”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake



“Do you believe in God?"
St. Kawasaki looked amused. "Hell of a question to ask a priest."
[...] "I'm asking because I've been a cop most of my life, but I don't believe in justice anymore. I just wondered if the same was true in your work."
"Why wouldn't it be? Priests are only human. We wuestion, doubt, even grow a little despondent at times because what the world shoves at us doesn't seem to bear much mark of the divine." [...] "But in the end I always come back to believing."
"Why? Why believe in something that continues to let you down?"
"Like justice, eh?" The priest drank and made a satified sound. "Sure hits the spot, Cork." He looked down where Cork sat on the folding canvas chair. "Everything disappoints us sometimes. Everybody disappoints us. Men let women down, women let men down, ideals don't hold water. And God doesn't seem to give a damn. I can't speak for God, Cork, but I'll tell you what I think. I think we expect too much. Simple as that. And the only thing that lets us down is our own expectaton. I used to pray God for an easy life. Now I pray to be a strong person.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“Sam's Place had never felt so empty. He suspected the emptiness was not in the old Quonset hut; it was in him. There was nothing in him now, nothing but the great emptiness of death, which he seemed to carry with him like a virus.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“Cork wished there were a forecast for his spirit. He felt the dark and the cold penetrating deep in him. He wondered when there would be warmth again, when there would be light.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“Closing her eyes, she began to let herself dream. Not sleep dreaming, but dreaming of how her life might be. It was a thing she didn't often do. In her experience, good things came with great difficulty and were too easily snatched away. She'd longo ago learned to accept what she had at any given moment and try to be happy with only that. She could think about the furniture, plan even, but not expect. It was the expectation that was the trap.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“That night, as Cork lay in his bedroll, he thought about the bear they were after. He was glad Sam had changed his mind about killing the great animal, but he hoped they would at least see it. He thought about the Windigo, which was something he hoped he would not see. And he thought about his father, whom he would never see again. These were all elements of his life, and although they were separate things, they were now intertwined somehow like the roots of a tree. All his life he would remember the bear hunt with Sam Winter Moon. In some manner he didn't quite understand, the hunt had opened a way in him for the grief to begin passing through. All his life he would be grateful to his father's friend.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake



“These days things had a way of happening around him. Although events seemed chaotic, Cork was beginning to suspect they weren't at all. Sam Winter Moon used to say that sometimes the only way a man learns the true spirit of a rock is to stub his toe on it.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“It was time for Cork to return to the bed in the guest room. But he lingered beside this son who trusted him lay awake knowing there were monsters in the wind outside, that his son's fear was not unjustified, and that Stevie would have to face them alone someday. There were people out there so cruel they would wound him for the pleasure of it, dreadful circumstances no man in his worst imaginings could conjure, disappointments so overwhelming they could crush his dreams like eggshells. For a child like Stevie, a child of special graces, there would be such pain that Cork nearly wept in anticipation of it. Against those monsters, a father was powerless. But again the simple terrors of the night, he would do his best.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“She [Jo] recalled them holding one another and feeling a terrible numbness where caring should have been. She'd blamed it on the circumstances, the weight of what each of them carried that night, the responsibilities. But it wasn't that. They were holding something dying, maybe already dead, but they were too scared to admit it.
She wondered why the tragedy at Burke's Landing hadn't brought them together. Adversity was supposed to do that, wasn't it? Instead, everything got worse. Cork wasn't just distant. Something in him seemed to have died along with the other deaths that drizzly morning. Nothing mattered.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“This anger in your eyes, is it because you are hunting the Windigo?".
"I don't know what it is I'm hunting, Henry."
Meloux nodded thoughtfully, still looking keenly at Cork. "The Windigo was a man once. His heart was not always ice. What makes a man's heart turn to ice? I would think bout that, and I would think about how to fight the Windigo.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“They fell quiet. Cork wanted to say he loved her. He wanted to ask her to forgive him. He wanted to lay his head against her breast and weep into her warm flesh and feel as connected to someone as he'd felt the night the grief passed through him when he unted the big bear with Sam Winter Moon.
[.............]
"You've always made me laugh, Cork. That's not what I want now."
"What do you want?"
"To feel needed. To feel that you need me as much as you need air to breathe. I'm worth that.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake



“But in these woods it's best to believe in all possibilities. There's more in these woods than a man can ever hope to understand.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“He'd [Cork] learned early not to invest a lot of emotion in thinking about the truth in a crime. As a cop, he'd gathered evidfence that had been used to guess at the truth, but in the end responsibility for assembling the pieces and nailing truth to the wall was in the hands of others - lawyers, judges, and juries. Truth became a democratic process, the will of twelve. He'd been burned when he cared too deeply. As a result, he'd trained himself to remain a little distant in his emotional involvement on a case. In the end, the outcome was out of his hands, and to allow himself to believe too strongly in the absoluteness of a thing he couldn't control was useless. He felt different now. Desperate in a way. This time he had to hold the truth in his own hands like a beating heart.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“The bottom line was that people who leaned too heavily on someone else were setting themselves up for a terrible fall, and they had no one to blame in the end but themselves for the hurt they suffered.
Cork had learned the hard way.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“He'd never slept with Molly before. Before, the bed had been a place of brief coming together and of leaving. It felt god to lie beside her with the early sun beyond the window and the cabin full of qiet. It was peaceful and healing to be with her and not be cut apart by guilt.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“Most animals can be tamed, I suppose," Cork replied. "The question is, do you really want to? Make them tame and they become easy prey for people not as kindly disposed toward them as you are.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake



“He'd [Cork] delivered tragic news before. It had been part of the job, but he'd never become immune to he effect tragedy had on those who had to hear of it, and he'd never become used to his own feeling of helplessness in those situations.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“Once someone's dead, being sorry doesn't cut it. If you hit a man, you can apologize. If you destroy his property, you can pay him back. But if you take his life, there's nothing you can ever do to make that right. Do you understand?”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“To kill the Windigo, Meloux had said, you must become a Windigo, too.
A man was never just a man. A man was endless possibility waiting to become.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“It's not a question anymore of fishing," Sam spoke up. "It's a question of what's right, Cork. We've bent like reeds in a river for generations, bent so far over we've just about forgot how to stand up straight. Look at us now. None of us has ever been so proud of being a Shinnob.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“If he expected an answer - and he wasn't certain that he didn't - he was disappointed. He told himself he had imagined the voice in the wind. The Windigo was a myth.
But there was a part of him that knew different. Sam Winter Moon has cautioned him long ago that it was best to believe in all possibilities, that there were more mysteries in the world than a man could ever hope to understand.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake



“I have a good feeling about this. Somehow, it's all going to turn out for the best."
"I wish I did," Cork said.
"Maybe that's the difference between the law and religion. I hope for the best, you're prepared for the worst.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“He was no stranger to brutal death. Both as sheriff and as a cop on Chicago's south side, he'd seen his share of dying. Murder, accident, overdose - it happened in many ways, but the end was the same. Something sad and confusing left behind. Only the shape of life, only the empty outline.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“There was no point in looking again. He [Cork] knew that. No point except to feed the coldness inside him. In a strange way, that was exactly what he wanted now. He wanted to feed himself to the cold until the cold had consumed him and he didn't care anymore.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“I won't try to argue you out of this pit you've climbed into, Cork.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake


“I'll tell you what I think defines greatness. The ability and willingness to perform in extraordinary ways.”
― William Kent Krueger, quote from Iron Lake



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About the author

William Kent Krueger
Born place: in Torrington, Wyoming, The United States
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