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Posts Tagged ‘john sandford’

Holy Ghost (A Virgil Flowers Novel) by John Sandford

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Deep Freeze (A Virgil Flowers Novel) by John Sandford

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Deep FreezeJohn Sandford takes one of his favorite characters, Virgil Flowers, back to Trippton, Minnesota where Flowers has worked in his capacity as an agent for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Investigation in previous books. His last visit was when Virgil busted up a crime ring that somehow was created and run by a crooked school board. Virgil hadn’t made a lot of friends at that time but he did have a few who believed he did the right thing.

This time however it involves a female president of the local bank who was found floating in the Mississippi which was actually pretty much frozen over. The woman was pretty much clothed except for having on only one shoe and it was actually twisted on the wrong foot! Read the rest of this entry »

Golden Prey (Lucas Davenport Mysteries) by John Sandford

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Golden PreyLucas Davenport, the former officer of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, is now a U.S. Marshal. This all came about because of his great work helping the former governor of Minnesota who is now a presidential candidate. For Lucas it is a great career move because he is not only a loner but thanks to a few breaks early on he is also quite wealthy and really doesn’t need to work. But he loves law enforcement and lives for catching the really bad guys. Read the rest of this entry »

Storm Front (A Virgil Flowers Novel) by John Sandford

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Storm FrontVirgil Flowers, the Minnesota state special agent, is really wrapped up in this one. It starts with an archeologist from the U.S. who is working on a special dig in the Mediterranean coastal region. The region is famous as being a historic religious are that was frequented by Hebrews, Muslims, and many other groups around the time of Moses and other famous people of that time and era.

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The American guy (not from birth as his ancestry is deeply entwined in this area) decides when the group of archeologists discover a supposedly very famous stele or rock that perhaps he should take it back to the states for its monetary value. No the others don’t know his plans but find out about the adventure once he has fled the country with the rock. His plan is to auction it to the highest bidder and use the monies for providing for his wife who is institutionalized for dementia or Alzheimer’s. He knows that he is dying of cancer and is worried about how she can survive without him. Read the rest of this entry »

Escape Clause (A Virgil Flowers Novel) by John Sandford

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Escape ClauseQuite a story again. This time Virgil Flowers gets involved with not only some dudes who steal tigers from a Minnesota zoo but he is also trying to find out who beat up Frankie, his current girlfriend.

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It all starts when Virgil and Frankie are swimming in the lake on Frankie’s place when Sparkle and her new boyfriend, Rev. Bill come along and pile into the pool with them. (As a side note Rev. Bill works 9 months as a priest and then 3 months as a bartender. Sandford is good at rigging up stuff like that). Turns out that Sparkel is in the area to do some digging into a local manufacturing plant that is hiring Mexicans in an uncanny and illegal way. She is going to do the investigating for her dissertation that is required for her degree. Read the rest of this entry »

Extreme Prey by John Sandford

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Extreme PreyNot exactly sure how the title fits but regardless this is one truly great read. Not a mystery or thriller but a great cop novel showing how a good cop works. Lucas Davenport (a favorite of Sandford and mine) is a former cop for the Minnesota Board of Criminal Apprehension. He is always somewhat of a renegade cop but truly appreciated by the governor of Minnesota. This time the governor calls Lucas for help as he is concerned about an upcoming event.

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The governor is working to get on a presidential ticket as a vice president candidate. The potential president would be the current lady governor of Iowa. But as their travel to the hoped for nomination election is moving along Lucas’s governor feels that there is a plot to do harm to his running mate. He asks Lucas to go into Iowa and begin investigating this potential.
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Gathering Prey by John Sandford (Review #2)

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Gathering PreyI have a bit of a problem with the title but I have NO problem with the book. This is another typical John Sandford story. A lot of action, a lot of description, and a lot of profanity carry the reader to a truly great ending.

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Lucas Davenport, who has been in quite a few of Sandford’s stories, is again the main character in Gathering Prey. Davenport is a somewhat maverick private investigator with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He does a heckuva job catching or killing bad guys but some of his methods don’t always fit in with the way those at the top of the Bureau think it should be done.

However he has full support of the governor so most of his trips against the wishes of the upper echelon get overlooked.

In this story Letty, Lucas’s adopted daughter, now a college student, meets up with a couple that she recognizes to be Travelers. Although she doesn’t necessarily condone that way of life she does offer to buy them lunch at McDonald’s. Travelers are basically wanderers who travel in somewhat organized groups and they move around from music festival to music festival. While pretty much traveling the western United States they have been known to do various unlawful acts far worse than just buying, selling, and distributing drugs.

Letty becomes friendly with Skye, the girl, and they trade phone numbers while vowing to stay in touch. Letty tells Lucas about the meeting and he warns her to not get involved with Skye. As expected however she does and that is the catalyst for the story.

Skye and her boyfriend meet up with a very large group of Travelers headed by a guy named Pilate who calls the members his disciples and they prove early on to be very dangerous.. Pilate’s group is basically from California and is heading eventually to the Upper Michigan Peninsula. And all the way they appear to be planning many adventures which are far from peaceful.

Letty gets a call and decides to head to Skye’s aid as problems have arisen for her boyfriend and her. It turns out the two of them have become captives. When Letty gets there she finds it is a bit late and when she does try to intervene she gets pretty well beaten up. She had called Lucas, however, and he manages to get there in time to save her with help from others. The group hurriedly left.

But from here on in the story mayhem prevails as Lucas tries to stay close to the group but has many problems in doing so. All along the way the group especially Pilate and his girl do some vicious things to people they meet and their own disciples.

Lucas by now is traveling in other states and enlists help from various law-enforcement agencies. But the problems seem to be non-ending until finally some things begin to go Lucas’s way.

The ending that Sandford puts to this great work is fantastic. Any reader of crime stories will appreciate this entire book but the ending makes it really a great story for filmmakers!

Gathering Prey by John Sandford (Audiobook)

Gathering PreyReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

With a long running series, it is sometimes difficult for an author to keep coming up with new scenarios for a plot. In Gathering Prey, the twenty-fifth book in Sandford’s “Prey” series, the author chooses to have the protagonist’s adopted daughter step into the lime light. While Letty is often mentioned in the series, she really hasn’t been featured until now. The result is one of the most captivating books of the series.

Davenport’s daughter Letty, a student at Stanford, befriends a couple of “travelers” in San Francisco. She buys them a meal and gives them her phone number to call if they are ever in Minneapolis. She leaves the Bay area to return home to Minneapolis for the summer and really doesn’t give the two drifters another thought until the woman calls her to ask for help. Stranded in North Dakota and her boyfriend missing the young woman is afraid he’s been murdered and that she is next. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »