Holy Ghost (A Virgil Flowers Novel) by John Sandford


Reviewed by Allen Hott

Holy GhostWheatfield, Minnesota is hardly the place that you would expect a very interesting murder mystery to be written about. But that is exactly where John Sandford put Virgil Flowers to solve his next case. Seems as though someone has decided to shoot a long range rife at folks and in so doing several people have been wounded as they stood around the town center watching an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Some folks are not happy with the arrival of the apparition but others believe not only is it a good sign for their religion but it also is giving the town a boost as far as tourism, etc.

Once Virgil gets to town he gets pretty well introduced to all the main players in the town. Seems as though two guys, Skinner and Holland, own the most important place called Skinner & Holland, Eats & Souvenirs. Holland is also the mayor and though Skinner is just seventeen it appears he is an important person in the town (and with the ladies) mainly because of his intelligence which is extremely high.

They point Virgil out to the main places and he finds a place to stay and begins settling in. He walks all over the little town and even checks out several high buildings that could possibly have been about the height the shooter would have needed to pull off his shots down at the town center.

Virgil then decides to go to the gun range that everyone talks about because it is a big part of the community. Most of the folks living there hunt and shoot for fun so the range is kind of the hub of Wheatfield humanity. Strangely enough when Virgil goes in and looks around he decides to visit the owner. This man, Glen Andorra, appears to be one of the wealthiest and also very well-liked in the town.

As Virgil gets to Andorra’s office he finds him dead at his desk! A quick examination shows that he has been shot in the side of the head!

Now Sandford really builds a typical Virgil Flowers’ story. He begins bringing in many new characters, new reasons for the various shootings, and even a couple more shootings.

It seems that one of the main hobbies in town other than shooting rifles and bows and arrows is casual sex. It appears that it is very well known that there are things going on between various people whether married or not. It doesn’t seem to be a reason for the shootings but as it turns out it is definitely a reason for the killings that begin to occur.

A very good, interesting read as Virgil works his way around trying to tie together the shooting and murders. There appear to be various suspects at first but not only does he narrow them down but he solves the entire situation. But it does take some doing by Virgil with his state troopers’ help and reading by the reader! But it is well worth the time especially for the reader.