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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.

Flowers, as usual, does a lot of his investigating work by “talking up” the locals. During some conversation at the local diner he discovers there was a young girl killed several months ago and she also showed some signs of possible sexual activity at the time of her death and before.

As Flowers and Coakley begin doing more and more investigating two things happen. First off they hear a lot of talk about a local church made up primarily of German immigrants’ offspring over the years. These church members tend to stay pretty much to themselves however it also seems as though marriages which are always among members only quite often have very young females involved. As the two law officers begin digging deeper they find that they are very compatible with each other!

Sandford has done a very good job of making all parts of this mystery come together. Most of the sex is done tastefully and held to a minimum even though the possibilities for more description were there.

If this review hasn’t convinced you to read Bad Blood please take my word for it and read it for the ending. Biggest and wildest ending of any book that I can remember! It is a HUMDINGER! Good read with a fantastic ending!

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