Tag Archives: john sandford

Shock Wave (A Virgil Flowers Novel) by John Sandford

Shock WaveReviewed by Allen Hott

Virgil Flowers, one of Sandford’s oft used characters, is an agent for the Minnesota Bureau of Apprehension which works with the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Department out of Washington D.C. Flowers is somewhat of a floater but mainly covers southern Minnesota and is based in Mankato. As is not too unusual he gets a call on his day off and is told to head up to Butternut Falls where a bomb has gone off on the site of a new megastore.

Part of the reason for the calling out of Flowers so quickly is that just a week or so before a bomb had been set off in the Pye Pinnacle in Michigan. The megastore in Butternut Falls was to be a Pye Megastore!

Shortly after his arrival at the bomb scene Pye meets up with some of the local sheriff’s crew who are not overly happy to have the outside intrusion. And to make matters even worse about the same time Willard T. Pye, the owner of the megastores all over the country makes his appearance via private jet. This causes even more consternation among the local officers because they are sure that Pye will now be bringing in even more “help” to solve the crime.

Silken Prey by John Sandford

Silken Prey Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Porter Smalls seemed to be cruising to a new term as Senator from Minnesota. Although his opponent, Taryn Grant was better funded and had made the election tighter than he’d like by attacking him on his right winged stands, the election looked like it was his. Until the morning the campaign worker set the file down on his computer and kiddy porn popped up on the screen. Now, not only was he likely to lose the election, he might well spend considerable time in prison. Smalls claims the porn was a plant, a political dirty trick and while most scuffed at the idea, the Democratic Governor actually did believe Smalls. Although not particularly friendly with the Senator, the Governor had known Smalls since childhood and just didn’t think it was possible that the man he knew was in to kiddy porn. The Governor calls Davenport and asks him to investigate and to do it quickly since Election Day rapidly approaching.

There are twenty-three books in the Prey series, and in my opinion, Silken Prey is one of the best. While there are some in the series that have more action and have a grittier feel to them, the plotting in Silken Prey glides along as smooth as the silk in the title. Sandford does an excellent job of setting the stage for the reader by letting us inside the campaigns of both candidates and then pulling us along with Davenport as he unravels the case. There are plenty of characters with shady pasts and dead bodies for Davenport to uncover to keep things interesting.

Bad Blood by John Sandford

Bad Blood Reviewed by Allen Hott

Great start to a murder mystery! Farmer pulls up to grain elevator to unload his grain and the young man running the elevator kills him by hitting him in the head with a T-ball bat! He does his best to cover up the killing and phones in a “death” to the police.

Lee Coakley, the county sheriff, upon investigating finds the idea that the farmer accidentally met his death very hard to believe based on the evidence. She brings in Virgil Flowers, a criminal investigator for the state of Minnesota. And then she explains that after the boy was arrested and put in jail the on duty deputy found him hung in his cell. However because of the way the body was hung she has a hard time believing that he hung himself.

Since her suspicions point to one of her deputies she believed that she needed outside help to not only find out what was going on but to have the appropriate state law enforcement agency take over the situation from the locals if necessary.

Coakley and Flowers decide that he and two of her other deputies will question the on duty deputy. However when they arrive at his home they find him lying dead on his couch. It appears that he either committed suicide or was killed after some sort of sexual action had taken place as his fly was unzipped and his penis was out of his pants. The deputies immediately remember that the boy who was hanged also had his fly open when he was found.

Heat Lightning by John Sandford

Heat LightningReviewed by Allen Hott

An interesting cop novel again starring Virgil Flowers, one of John Sandford’s favorite characters. With these stories by Sandford there is not a lot of mystery as normally the killer is known fairly early on but Virgil’s job is to not only catch him but to catch him before being killed by him. If and when he finds him, that is!

Virgil normally works in the northern Midwest as a freelance operator for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Heat Lightning is set in Minnesota and in the midst of a hot, humid summer with plenty of heat lightning. Virgil is called into a case where victims are turning up shot to death and placed at various Veterans’ Memorial sites. Also they all have had a piece of lemon stuck in their mouths.

Shortly into the investigation Virgil finds a tie-in with veterans’ organizations and the fact that several of the victims attended these together on various occasions. There appears to have been an incident in Viet Nam many years ago when a group of American mercenary type soldiers were involved in a terrible killing and rape.

The first two victims that were killed in the attacks that Virgil is investigating were part of that crew of soldiers. He has to find who and where are the rest of the gang and who is responsible for chasing them down in the states. Before he can get too far along however several others are killed and all links again appear to point back to Viet Nam.

Dark of the Moon by John Sandford

Dark of the Moon by John SandfordReviewe by Allen Hott

Virgil Flowers, hero of several Sandford books, appears this time as sort of a freelancing agent for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Basically all his new boss told him when he joined was “We’ll only give you the hard stuff.” And that truly pleased Virgil.

His first major assignment was to help the local police solve some murders in the small town of Bluestem. A doctor and his wife were found shot to death with the doctor’s eyes shot out as a warning. The local sheriff was Jimmy Stryker whom Virgil had known in high school.

As Vigil was driving into Bluestem to begin his assignment he spotted a major fire burning just outside of town and in what he knew to be the Judd estate.

Arriving at the fire Virgil talked with Stryker and found that there didn’t appear to be any sign of Judd. However later forensic work proved that he had in fact burned to death in the fire and was basically cremated. Another death for Virgil and Stryker to investigate.

William Judd Sr. had started as a lawyer and then through investing and a few shady deals had become the top dog in Bluestem. However though he had all the riches he had few friends.

He had in his day back in the 60s hosted some very raunchy parties with many different local women and even a few local men at times. Most of the older townsfolk had been to one or two of the parties. Judd’s lifestyle became even more unliked when he convinced some of the locals to invest in one of his schemes. The scheme cost many of them nearly all of their life savings.

Dead Watch by John Sandford

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Dead Watch by John SandfordA well-written political thriller that brings forth many of the corrupt happenings that occur in the political arena. Hopefully the killings and beatings that happen in this telling do not actually occur on a daily basis. But the other shady dealings do without question and none of us are sure about the more gruesome aspects. Who knows?

Lincoln Bowe is an ex-U.S. senator who is now missing and strangely enough few people seem to be concerned. He is estranged from his wife, Madison, and though she still feels for him she is more concerned about Arlo Goodman and his Watchmen. Arlo is the governor of Virginia and wants to be at least the Vice President of the United States and Madison Bowe believes he will do anything to get that position.

Jake Winter is a published writer of political happenings. Also he is a veteran who was wounded in Afghanistan and now along with his writing he works for Bill Danzig, the President’s Chief of Staff. Jake has a great reputation for knowing his way around Washington. His military background has kept him sharp mentally and physically, despite a limp from shrapnel that ended his military career.