Hot Best Seller

Dark of the Moon [UNABRIDGED CD]

Availability: Ready to download

Pulitzer Prize winner and perennial best-selling author John Sandford's novels are among the most riveting crime stories being written today. The Orlando Sentinel says Sandford "is in a class of his own." In the thrilling Dark of the Moon, Minnesota BCA's Lucas Davenport hires on Virgil Flowers, a hard-as-nails ex-soldier and former cop to handle his most difficult crimina Pulitzer Prize winner and perennial best-selling author John Sandford's novels are among the most riveting crime stories being written today. The Orlando Sentinel says Sandford "is in a class of his own." In the thrilling Dark of the Moon, Minnesota BCA's Lucas Davenport hires on Virgil Flowers, a hard-as-nails ex-soldier and former cop to handle his most difficult criminal apprehension yet.


Compare

Pulitzer Prize winner and perennial best-selling author John Sandford's novels are among the most riveting crime stories being written today. The Orlando Sentinel says Sandford "is in a class of his own." In the thrilling Dark of the Moon, Minnesota BCA's Lucas Davenport hires on Virgil Flowers, a hard-as-nails ex-soldier and former cop to handle his most difficult crimina Pulitzer Prize winner and perennial best-selling author John Sandford's novels are among the most riveting crime stories being written today. The Orlando Sentinel says Sandford "is in a class of his own." In the thrilling Dark of the Moon, Minnesota BCA's Lucas Davenport hires on Virgil Flowers, a hard-as-nails ex-soldier and former cop to handle his most difficult criminal apprehension yet.

30 review for Dark of the Moon [UNABRIDGED CD]

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fritzler

    A fast paced thriller that gets your attention from the start. I struggled to put it down. Enjoyed every minute. Believable from beginning to end. Normally I am not the fastest reader around, but this one I read fast. Felt like the tech in this book was reaching for Brett Arquette's technothrillers. A fast paced thriller that gets your attention from the start. I struggled to put it down. Enjoyed every minute. Believable from beginning to end. Normally I am not the fastest reader around, but this one I read fast. Felt like the tech in this book was reaching for Brett Arquette's technothrillers.

  2. 5 out of 5

    James Thane

    Dark of the Moon is the book that introduces Virgil Flowers, the second major series character to be created by John Sandford. Virgil is an investigator for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is run by Lucas Davenport, Sandford's better-known protagonist. Virgil is pretty laid-back for a cop. His wears his hair long and his standard uniform is a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt sporting the name of some (often) obscure rock band. When he needs to dress it up for a special occasion, Dark of the Moon is the book that introduces Virgil Flowers, the second major series character to be created by John Sandford. Virgil is an investigator for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is run by Lucas Davenport, Sandford's better-known protagonist. Virgil is pretty laid-back for a cop. His wears his hair long and his standard uniform is a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt sporting the name of some (often) obscure rock band. When he needs to dress it up for a special occasion, he throws a sport coat on over the tee-shirt. Married and divorced three times before we even meet him, Virgil is attractive to the ladies and is more than a little attracted to them. Virgil leaves the CSI aspects of an investigation to others; his technique is to drift into town, chat up the locals, and stir the pot a bit. Once he sets things into motion, he watches the pieces fall into place and eventually grasps a solution to the problem. Most of Virgil's cases take place in the state's smaller towns and Virgil is assigned to assist the local sheriff's office which is often overwhelmed by a criminal problem more serious than the locals usually see. In this case, a particularly brutal murder occurs in Bluestem, a small rural community. Virgil is driving in to assist when he comes across a roaring house fire. Bill Judd, the richest, and perhaps most hated man in town, has apparently died in the fire, and it's clear that the fire did not occur accidentally. Virgil realizes that the two crimes must be connected and begins probing into the history of the town and of the victims, looking for a connection that might point in the direction of the killer. Virgil finds any number of such connections in a tiny town that appears to have a surprisingly robust sexual and economic history. And almost immediately, he finds himself in a relationship with a very attractive woman who has a number of tangled ties to the victims herself. Before Virgil can deduce a solution, other Bluestem residents will fall victim to an especially clever killer and it will take all of Virgil's physical and mental agility if he's going to save the day. This is a fun read and an excellent beginning to what has turned out to be a very entertaining series. There's lots of action and a very clever, convoluted plot. As in the case of Sandford's Prey novels, featuring Lucas Davenport, there's also a fair amount of wry humor that does not seem at all inappropriate, despite the serious nature of the crimes that Virgil is investigating. Sandford's legions of fans will certainly not be disappointed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kemper

    Even a super cop like Lucas Davenport can’t solve every murder in Minnesota so John Sandford helped him out by doing this spin-off to the Prey series. Virgil Flowers is not your typical law enforcement officer. He has a thriving side career as an outdoor writer for hunting and fishing magazines, he frequently tows his boat around the state as he works his cases, and he usually forgets his gun under the seat of his truck. He also has a taste for rock band t-shirts and enough charm with the ladies Even a super cop like Lucas Davenport can’t solve every murder in Minnesota so John Sandford helped him out by doing this spin-off to the Prey series. Virgil Flowers is not your typical law enforcement officer. He has a thriving side career as an outdoor writer for hunting and fishing magazines, he frequently tows his boat around the state as he works his cases, and he usually forgets his gun under the seat of his truck. He also has a taste for rock band t-shirts and enough charm with the ladies to leave him with a string of ex-wives. Brought into the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension by Davenport with the promise that he’d only be given the most challenging cases, Virgil’s laid back manner masks a shrewdly perceptive detective. Dispatched to the small town of Bluestem to investigate the murder of one elderly couple, Virgil arrives in time to witness a raging house fire that has claimed the life of the richest and most hated man in the area. Virgil suspects that someone with a very old grudge is settling up as he works through a maze of gossip and secrets. He’s also got to keep an eye on the sheriff who had enough reason to kill the rich guy to make him a valid suspect, but that doesn’t stop Virgil from romancing the guy’s sister. Hey, there’s a reason most everyone refers to him as ‘that fucking Flowers’… If a writer with a successful series is going to spin it off then they have to hit the tricky balance of being similar enough to have the elements readers liked in the first place but also with something slightly different to offer. Here at the beginning of the Virgil Flowers books, Sandford mostly pulls this off with the kind of story that should appeal to most Prey fans, but making Virgil different enough from Davenport not to just feel like a clone. Both characters are deft manipulators of people, but Virgil’s form is slyer than the Davenport’s. Flowers also tends to be more reflective about the whole good and evil thing than Lucas ever has been. While Virgil can be tough and cool under pressure he isn’t as comfortable with violence as Davenport is, and he doesn’t shake it off as easily. Davenport even tells Virgil at one point that he worries about him because he’s too sensitive at times. Even though Sandford mainly succeeded at launching this new series, the first three Virgil books seemed a little lacking to me. There’s nothing I can put my finger on other than maybe that Sandford used various co-writers to help plot these books, and maybe that subtly threw him out of sync. And while I liked Virgil as a character immediately, there was a feeling that some of his character traits were bits tossed in just to differentiate him from Davenport. However, by the time he did Bad Blood, Sandford seemed to have worked out whatever kinks there were, and I’ve found the books after that the equal of most of the Prey series. Overall this is an enjoyable crime thriller with an interesting lead character and some good action scenes, and eventually the series clicked up to the level I’ve come to expect from Sandford.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    And so I discover another great series. I am already progressing through Sandford's other long Lucas Davenport series which I really enjoy too. I am never going to be short of a good book am I? Virgil Flowers is a character and a half! He reminds me a bit of Sean Duffy and Logan McRae - tee shirts, music and attitude. However, so far at least, he does not rely on drugs or alcohol. That is refreshing. I hope it lasts. There are all sorts of things in the book which people might object to - bad lang And so I discover another great series. I am already progressing through Sandford's other long Lucas Davenport series which I really enjoy too. I am never going to be short of a good book am I? Virgil Flowers is a character and a half! He reminds me a bit of Sean Duffy and Logan McRae - tee shirts, music and attitude. However, so far at least, he does not rely on drugs or alcohol. That is refreshing. I hope it lasts. There are all sorts of things in the book which people might object to - bad language, attitude to women, violence. Some of these are indicators that the book was written in 2007 and we have moved on from there. I let these go and just enjoyed the exciting story and the convoluted mystery. Virgil also introduced humour which was good. I will be back for more of this series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    Typically, John Sanford is one of my favorite authors. With this story, it helps to be familiar with Virgil Flowers as I found more palatable after getting to know the character. Fortunately, there are better Flowers stories ahead. 4 of 10 stars This re-read from 10 years ago of the Virgil Flowers character. 1st read was 2-stars, the re-read, 3-stars and as previously stated, "there are better Flowers stories ahead." 6 of 10 stars Typically, John Sanford is one of my favorite authors. With this story, it helps to be familiar with Virgil Flowers as I found more palatable after getting to know the character. Fortunately, there are better Flowers stories ahead. 4 of 10 stars This re-read from 10 years ago of the Virgil Flowers character. 1st read was 2-stars, the re-read, 3-stars and as previously stated, "there are better Flowers stories ahead." 6 of 10 stars

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Janz

    Incredible. Virgil Flowers is so real I feel like I know him. Sandford is truly a craftsman from whom all writers can learn. Loved the book. Love Sandford. Love Virgil. Back to writing...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I liked this serial killer thriller because of its rural Minnesota setting and for its introduction of likeable detective Virgil Flowers. Refreshingly, he has no demons in his past, no addictions, no backstabbing boss, no cynical outlook. He’s just a good hearted guy from a small town who is so talented at problem solving and drawing people out that he was tapped by Lucas Davenport to handle tough cases by the statewide Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. His father was a minister, so he has a fair I liked this serial killer thriller because of its rural Minnesota setting and for its introduction of likeable detective Virgil Flowers. Refreshingly, he has no demons in his past, no addictions, no backstabbing boss, no cynical outlook. He’s just a good hearted guy from a small town who is so talented at problem solving and drawing people out that he was tapped by Lucas Davenport to handle tough cases by the statewide Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. His father was a minister, so he has a fair foundation for pondering the origins of good and evil, and his one weakness is falling for lively young women, leaving a trail of ex-wives. The kickoff murder is an elderly rich man burned up in his mansion. He has a lot of candidate enemies due to his role in decades past with an agricultural fuel alcohol scam, his predatory real estate activities, and his swinging lifestyle. The murders of a retired doctor and retired sheriff has Virgil looking for either some transgression in the distant past that links the victims or for the threat of exposure of a current criminal conspiracy, such a meth production scheme. Long periods of wheel spinning and red herrings are intermixed with harrowing violent interludes. Satisfying escapist fare with a wholesome hero you can root for and nice mix of colorful characters.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Obsidian

    I still say that John Sandford was trolling his readers with the first book in his series. He took all of the complaints of the Lucas Davenport series and just went to level 10 with everything. Lucas was a man that no man can say no to, Virgil rolls into town and gets a woman interested in him in like 5 minutes. Lucas does things out of bounds, well Virgil just goes and works around local law enforcement until he needs them as well and oh in one case several people get shot up and I don't even k I still say that John Sandford was trolling his readers with the first book in his series. He took all of the complaints of the Lucas Davenport series and just went to level 10 with everything. Lucas was a man that no man can say no to, Virgil rolls into town and gets a woman interested in him in like 5 minutes. Lucas does things out of bounds, well Virgil just goes and works around local law enforcement until he needs them as well and oh in one case several people get shot up and I don't even know what was happening at this point. This first book was a waste of time. "Dark of the Moon" follows Virgil Flowers who was introduced in the Lucas Davenport series. We know that Virgil has been married three times and this book pretty much delves into how stupid Virgil is when it comes to women. Poor guy, he's unable to just be a professional without noting how hot or not hot some woman is. Blech. Anyway, "Dark of the Moon" has Virgil called in on a case involving a man and woman who were murdered in the home in the town of Bluestem. Virgil is called in due to the way that the dead man was posed. On his way to the town, he stops when he sees a local rich man's house on fire. Virgil is quickly involved in both cases and wonders if something ties them together. This being a Sandford book of course something ties them together. Something stupid, but something does. We also have Virgil get involved with someone and lord that whole thing just made me tired. I already updated you all on how they watched her brother (the local sheriff) have sex and I just want to put that mess out of my mind. This book almost broke me. Almost. Virgil is not worth me talking about besides his whole thing when he's trying to write the case as a mystery novelist made me laugh and laugh. He's a terrible writer. His reasoning skills are up there with Lucas. They just seem to come to conclusions about things and they are always right. The other characters were barely developed. It was hard to keep everyone straight because the two cases tie back to something else and to the rich guy who was also a secret sex addict. Let's just say something happened way back when tied back to something and somehow the word moon got thrown in. The writing was early Sandford and the flow was awful. The book felt endless after a while. The ending made me sigh because per early Sandford, we find out about a character (something unsavory) but Sandford via his character just let's it go. I was bored and annoyed the entire time while reading this.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Quenya

    I admit I was worried that no man could compete with Lucas Davenport and I was right but Virgil is close and also different enough that I didn’t have any issues with confusing the characters. I love the “Prey” series and was looking for another dark mystery to start. Dark of the Moon didn’t disappoint and I adore Virgil. Maybe I just have a thing for Minnesota detectives. I was very happy at how fast the mystery took off in this book and also how there was very little down time from Virgil inves I admit I was worried that no man could compete with Lucas Davenport and I was right but Virgil is close and also different enough that I didn’t have any issues with confusing the characters. I love the “Prey” series and was looking for another dark mystery to start. Dark of the Moon didn’t disappoint and I adore Virgil. Maybe I just have a thing for Minnesota detectives. I was very happy at how fast the mystery took off in this book and also how there was very little down time from Virgil investigating the case. You don’t really get a lot of insight into how Virgil’s brain works but you still see movement with the case as he works through the townspeople. Virgil is very social and as he communicates with the characters the author does a great job of using this to help the readers get to know each of the characters and suspects. There are a lot of them and for an audiobook this was sometimes confusing if you didn’t catch all the names. The story lost a star with the side subplot. Virgil had figured the case out and even we readers knew who it was but the author took us on a side trip for no reason that just dragged the story out way beyond where it needed to be. Plus the only issue I really had with Virgil is that he really is a manipulative ass and seems to enjoy it. Granted it helps him with the case but still even with those he seems semi-close to he is manipulative. He is very much the case comes first kind of guy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rex Fuller

    Finding myself in need of a lazy pleasure read, I remembered the couple of Virgil Flowers books by John Sandford that I had read before. I much prefer Virgil to Lucas Davenport, the protagonist of Sandford's "Prey" series. Virg is humbler, much more of an ourtdoorsman, likely to be a couple of jumps ahead of you without you knowing, and just plain easier to get along with. So, I decided to give this one, the first of the Flowers books, a try. Maybe read the lot of them in order. After finishing Finding myself in need of a lazy pleasure read, I remembered the couple of Virgil Flowers books by John Sandford that I had read before. I much prefer Virgil to Lucas Davenport, the protagonist of Sandford's "Prey" series. Virg is humbler, much more of an ourtdoorsman, likely to be a couple of jumps ahead of you without you knowing, and just plain easier to get along with. So, I decided to give this one, the first of the Flowers books, a try. Maybe read the lot of them in order. After finishing this, I'm closer to reading through the whole list. Virgil, an investigator with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension -- a real life agency -- is sent to fictional, small-town-in-every-sense Bluestem, Minnesota, where murders of prominent citizens are way more frequent than they ought to be. He very quickly gets involved with a woman who, it develops, may be a suspect. More murders. More involvement. More suspects. When you think he's got far too many suspects, what does he do? Why, he enlists them all in the hunt, of course. Very satisfying.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    I will be re-reading at some time.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    To begin with, I think it is only appropriate that I admit to being a fairly avid reader of John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport “Prey” series. A pretty big fan to be honest (even with the recent less than stellar outings). However, I have not had the pleasure of reading his second series focusing on the ever-popular, Virgil Flowers. Now, after finishing a read of all of Michael Connelly’s books, I am turning my attention to reading his series. “Dark of the Moon” introduces our rebel hero Flowers in To begin with, I think it is only appropriate that I admit to being a fairly avid reader of John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport “Prey” series. A pretty big fan to be honest (even with the recent less than stellar outings). However, I have not had the pleasure of reading his second series focusing on the ever-popular, Virgil Flowers. Now, after finishing a read of all of Michael Connelly’s books, I am turning my attention to reading his series. “Dark of the Moon” introduces our rebel hero Flowers in a pretty goof way. How do I describe Virgil? First of all, he is pretty much the antithesis of Lucas Davenport in most ways. Virgil in his late thirties, tall, lean, and long haired for law enforcement. He’s been married and divorced three times, but still loves and adores the ladies. He’s an outdoorsman, photographer, and writer in his spare time. Most importantly, his preferred dress style is jeans and rock-and-roll band -shirts. Virgil also works as an investigator for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, being recruited by Lucas Davenport and reporting directly to him. The book begins with Virgil driving in to the small Minnesota town of Bluestem to investigate the first murder there in years. A longtime town doctor and his wife are found dead, with the both of the doctor’s eyes shot out. Before Flowers can even arrive in town a house up on a ridge overlooking town explodes into flames with its owner, a man named Judd, trapped inside. Is this a third murder? Flowers doesn’t believe in coincidences and gets the feeling something personal is going on. As Virgil helps the local Police Chief, and his old high school friend, discovers that there are many reasons that the town’s citizens would want Judd dead. He was a hated man, primarily for perpetrating a scam many years ago involving an ethanoyl fuel that ended up driving a lot of local farmers out of business, and at least one to suicide. In addition, there are numerous stories of Judd’s extracurricular activities with the town’s women, including the married ones, as well as potential connections with a nutcase religious leader that may be involved with guns and illegal drugs. As Virgil immerses searches for a killer who seems to be driven by personal anger, he finds himself knee-deep in small-town politics and gossip, where everybody knows everybody and their business too. And just when Flowers figures out how to use that his advantage, he finds himself racing to not only protect whoever the next victim may be… He finds himself at the top of the killer’s list… My first thought after finishing this book was simple. After struggling with most of Sandford’s Lucas Davenport’s books over the last five years or so, I found Virgil Flowers to be a big breath of fresh air. I realize that there are 12 Flowers novels in the series, so this book was published about 12 years ago when Sandford was still in his prime. I can’t speak to the recent Flowers books, but that’s okay. This one was a good start with lots of promise. Virgil is a great balance to Lucas and their characters work well together in an effective, contrasting style that brings out the best in both of them. Although both are passionate about their investigations and hunting down criminals, Flowers has a more easy-going demeanor, a laid-back style and approach to working with others, and can’t keep his eyes off of the ladies. There are a lot of things to like about him and his potential at this point, and he is a great counter-balance to Lucas’s high-strung personality. As for the plot and mystery itself, there is also more good news than bad. The mystery takes a while to develop because there are a lot of characters involved and history to unfold, but the story moves along at a brisk pace, leaving no time for boring or slow moments. Sandford successfully uses what I call the “James Patterson hybrid” movie script style of writing to keep moving things forward in a staccato and suspenseful delivery. There was a lot of layering involved, but for the most part it worked well. I especially enjoyed the additional twist that popped in the last four pages. It was a nice clever, touch. Overall, this was a very enjoyable, fun and suspenseful read. Five-stars for the strong introduction and presence of Virgil Flowers plus three-stars for the plotting and story = a four-star beginning to what I hope will be an awesome and enjoyable series reading experience.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jack Heath

    4 Stars. He has made a few appearances in the Lucas Davenport "Prey" novels; wasn't it time for Virgil Flowers to have his own lead? He doesn't disappoint. Flowers pulls me in - he's more complex than Davenport, and other officers can't easily get past his style of dress and methods. Davenport is independent, Flowers more so. Yet he is an extremely good detective, smart and dogged. Then there are his women, three times married! And still not gun-shy! Davenport, his BCA boss, gives him one of the 4 Stars. He has made a few appearances in the Lucas Davenport "Prey" novels; wasn't it time for Virgil Flowers to have his own lead? He doesn't disappoint. Flowers pulls me in - he's more complex than Davenport, and other officers can't easily get past his style of dress and methods. Davenport is independent, Flowers more so. Yet he is an extremely good detective, smart and dogged. Then there are his women, three times married! And still not gun-shy! Davenport, his BCA boss, gives him one of the hard ones - "Dark of the Moon" more than qualifies! In western Minnesota, just outside Bluestem, a house explodes in a fireball with one of the most hated men in the county, William Judd Sr., inside. Deliberately set. A rich businessman who had scammed many of his neighbours out of their life savings and farms, old man Judd had been into many questionable things. Yet Flowers can't pin down the perpetrator of the string of murders - so many past incidents to investigate. Even a July 20, 1969 moon landing party! Was Virgil's high school friend Jim Stryker, now the local Police Chief, involved? What of his lovely sister Joan? It's a page turner. (July 2020)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    i am not a sandford fan but read a good review of this title introducing a new series based on detective Virgil Flowers..couldn't get into it...when Virgil sees a pretty woman and comments to someone about her ass and "cupcakes" I had to quit. I mean really ...'cupcakes'? What kind of grown up talks like that? I am not interested in a character that hasn't grown up past the age of 13.... But then, maybe that's how the author talks about women as well - so who knows. There are lots of good myster i am not a sandford fan but read a good review of this title introducing a new series based on detective Virgil Flowers..couldn't get into it...when Virgil sees a pretty woman and comments to someone about her ass and "cupcakes" I had to quit. I mean really ...'cupcakes'? What kind of grown up talks like that? I am not interested in a character that hasn't grown up past the age of 13.... But then, maybe that's how the author talks about women as well - so who knows. There are lots of good mysteries with adult characters ..I don't need to waste my time on this one.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    Old man author alert! This was published in 2007 but Virgil Flowers, the cop protagonist, seems to have time traveled from 1974, or maybe he's really a 13-year-old. "Look at the ass on that woman," he exclaims to someone he's just met, then refers to her breasts as "not a bad set of cupcakes." She has the "fourth-best ass in the state of Minnesota." But later when he sees her nude in the shower, she now has the "third-greatest ass in Minnesota." Even once he's dating this well-assed woman, his a Old man author alert! This was published in 2007 but Virgil Flowers, the cop protagonist, seems to have time traveled from 1974, or maybe he's really a 13-year-old. "Look at the ass on that woman," he exclaims to someone he's just met, then refers to her breasts as "not a bad set of cupcakes." She has the "fourth-best ass in the state of Minnesota." But later when he sees her nude in the shower, she now has the "third-greatest ass in Minnesota." Even once he's dating this well-assed woman, his ass observance of other women doesn't stop. "Her ass looked terrific on a bar stool," he muses of a good friend's new girlfriend. Someone has "tits out to here." As a college student he thought about taking an art class so he could see naked female models twice a week. And his new lover is just as body-parts as obsessed as he. Immediately after they've come within inches of being gunned down by a sniper while skinny dipping, she remarks how small his penis is. Later, lying on their backs deciphering the clouds, they pick out a semierect and uncircumcised penis, and "a fat man's ass, complete with a tiny blue anus with a streak of sunshine showing through it." A skillfully-paced book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    William

    Short reviews of wonderful Virgil, sorry. (Notes added 2020-02-18) This was excellent, complex, interesting characters. Great action. As usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher’s blurb/summary of the book. Thank you. Some small patches of solid humour throughout. Nice. The house was suburban-comfortable; its distinguishing characteristic was that the lawn was essentially a field of hosta plants. Thousands of them, like a midget army from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Notes and q Short reviews of wonderful Virgil, sorry. (Notes added 2020-02-18) This was excellent, complex, interesting characters. Great action. As usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher’s blurb/summary of the book. Thank you. Some small patches of solid humour throughout. Nice. The house was suburban-comfortable; its distinguishing characteristic was that the lawn was essentially a field of hosta plants. Thousands of them, like a midget army from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Notes and quotes: They did that, and some cops showed up and that all turned into an enjoyable nachos, cheeseburger, and beer snack. One of the cops was very good-looking, and at one juncture, had rested her hand on Virgil’s thigh; perfect, if her wedding ring hadn’t shown up so well in the bar light. A sad country song. - a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol - “When I get this cocksucker, I’m gonna kill him,” Stryker said. “Atta boy,” Virgil said. “Feel the burn.” - She shook her head and Virgil could feel her drifting again: “Doesn’t have a name. Not that I knew, anyway. They took him away, but he came back. I saw him.” - “If you go out and say the hounds of hell are on the killer’s heels, maybe he’ll make a move that we can see.” “Mother of God.” “She ain’t here, Jim. It’s just you and me.” - “Did you see me at the press conference?” “No . . .” “I got crushed,” Joan said. “I was in the back and this fat guy from the Firestone store, I got welded to his butt. Here we go . . .” - ... found that he could look at all current corporate records, online, including the confidential files, if he had a password. “I’ll set you up with a temporary password: chuzzlewit,” said the guy, whose name was Martin. - “Well, suppose somebody’s daddy or brother or husband got a picture of some guys getting his little girl airtight. That could set something off,” she said. Airtight. He’d Google it later. - FBI agents, Virgil thought, usually looked sleek. DEA guys usually looked like they’d just driven a Jeep back from Nogales, with the windows down. - Pirelli was affable, the other agents skeptical, watching Stryker carefully, and Virgil even more carefully: One of them said, “You’ve got kind of a weird reputation, dude. Everybody in Minneapolis calls you ‘that fuckin’ Flowers.’ ” Stryker laughed and said, “You wanna know something? He’s been seeing my sister, and just the other night, honest to God—she’s a farmer; she’s got no contact with Minneapolis—I asked her what she was doing, and she said, ‘Goin’ out with that fuckin’ Flowers.’ ” The agents all laughed, and the skepticism receded a little, - The house was suburban-comfortable; its distinguishing characteristic was that the lawn was essentially a field of hosta plants. Thousands of them, like a midget army from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. - Pirelli was standing next to a pull-down projection screen, and the agents were on folding chairs, facing it, like a kindergarten class with guns.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Flowers is an excellent character. I really appreciated the hard-nosed realism that he displays in a tough situation. It's a small town & pretty obvious early on that everyone knows everyone else & their business. That includes the killer(s). There's a lot of dirty laundry & hard feelings. Some of it is old & some may be new. The list of suspects is long & hits close to home. A very tough job & he handled it admirably. No superman, just a canny one. Guns were very well done, too. None of the supe Flowers is an excellent character. I really appreciated the hard-nosed realism that he displays in a tough situation. It's a small town & pretty obvious early on that everyone knows everyone else & their business. That includes the killer(s). There's a lot of dirty laundry & hard feelings. Some of it is old & some may be new. The list of suspects is long & hits close to home. A very tough job & he handled it admirably. No superman, just a canny one. Guns were very well done, too. None of the super long range shooting done with a gun that's been battered about. The characters knew their weapons & treated them properly. They knew hunting too which gave them some of the clues. Those were often subtle. Wonderful! I've really got to read the Prey series now. Flowers works for Davenport, the MC of the Prey series, who makes a few cameo appearances. This is the second book in a row for Sandford & I'm impressed. I was also impressed by his SF novel. Good writer & the book was very well narrated. Highly recommended.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    There was an old joke about a small town: a real small town meant you didn't have to use the turn signals on your car, because anybody behind you already knew where you were going... Everyone Virgil Flowers meets wants to ask him about the time he shot at a guy fourteen times and missed. Virgil's gotten sick of trying to convince them that he didn't really want to hit the man, who was only shooting at him because he was desperate and who didn't really want to hit him either. Considering the g There was an old joke about a small town: a real small town meant you didn't have to use the turn signals on your car, because anybody behind you already knew where you were going... Everyone Virgil Flowers meets wants to ask him about the time he shot at a guy fourteen times and missed. Virgil's gotten sick of trying to convince them that he didn't really want to hit the man, who was only shooting at him because he was desperate and who didn't really want to hit him either. Considering the gunman reputation that Lucas Davenport began his series with, this is as neat a way as any to illustrate that we're taking a different approach in this spinoff series. While Lucas is--at least superficially--hard and polished, independently wealthy and well-dressed, Virgil is a guy whose wardrobe is composed mostly of rock band T-shirts and whose interests outside the Minnesota BCA (nature-writing) only tend to net him a pittance. He fishes, and his investigation suits that style: laid-back but productive, seemingly casual but always focused on getting his catch. Here, Virgil winds up in an (extremely) small town. He comes for one case--a husband and wife brutally murdered inside their home--and gets another one for free, as his arrival is greeted by an inferno. Someone has killed the wealthy, unscrupulous Bill Judd, an old man who once played a significant role in a scam that bankrupted local farmers. Judd got rich (supposedly), and the ruined people around him killed themselves or went into debt that forced their kids to make do on lunches of lard sandwiches. Now Judd is dead, and his house has been burned to the ground. Is it connected to the murders Virgil's there to investigate? And what about the sudden tussle for the Judd money? Judd supposedly only had the one son, but an illegitimate daughter has just sprung out of the woodwork, and Judd's history of sex parties makes it entirely possible that more could be out there. But this doesn't strike Virgil as being about money, especially once the bodies mount up in gory poses. This is personal. It's a grudge, and it's being enacted on a group of mostly elderly victims. If this is revenge, was the original offense somewhere deep in the past? With the scam? With the sex parties? Virgil digs into the past and the tangled network of this small town. It's a network he's essentially a part of, too, for all he's a nominal outsider--he has a casual but genuine friendship with the sheriff and, suddenly, a fling with the sheriff's sister. But this doesn't stop him from suspecting one or both of them of being involved in murder, and suspecting them of murder doesn't stop him from staying involved. It is, after all, a good way to subtly pump them for information. I like Virgil, and he does well as the hero of his own book. (For that matter, Davenport does well as a supporting character: he plays a somewhat endearing role here.) The cast of small town characters is well-developed, and Sandford does a great job putting the reader in Virgil's shoes with regard to the people around him: they're easy to like but hard to trust, and there are enough unsettling details strewn throughout that the "everyone's a suspect" premise feels natural. Less natural is Virgil's habit here of writing up lightly fictionalized versions of his investigation as a way to work through various leaps of logic and suspicion. It feels too self-consciously part of a novel and less of a piece with Virgil's overall characterization. That sort of lumpy eighty percent great/twenty percent uneven feeling carries over through the mystery, too, and I felt my interest slackening a little as the book went on. This didn't feel as well-paced as I've come to expect for Sandford, and the balance of the typical over-the-top thriller villain and thriller-style murders and action scenes sometimes didn't mesh as well with the quieter atmosphere. Right now, this feels like neither fish nor fowl--not a Davenport book, but maybe not quite what the Virgil books need to be in order to be their own thing. Still quite enjoyable, but not as gripping or as memorable as Sandford's best.

  19. 5 out of 5

    William

    Audio narrated by Eric Conger Conger speaks with the clarity that I know of that region. Although previously introduced in the 'Prey' series, we get the first solo Virgil Flowers. I like him and so do most people he comes in contact with. He is similar to Davenport in that he is a "hound dog" and analytically smart. But he just isn't as macho and violent as his boss. While Davenport avoided marriage until his late thirties, it was said about Flowers "that boy was hitched so often that his face got Audio narrated by Eric Conger Conger speaks with the clarity that I know of that region. Although previously introduced in the 'Prey' series, we get the first solo Virgil Flowers. I like him and so do most people he comes in contact with. He is similar to Davenport in that he is a "hound dog" and analytically smart. But he just isn't as macho and violent as his boss. While Davenport avoided marriage until his late thirties, it was said about Flowers "that boy was hitched so often that his face got rice burns". ***I hadn't heard that one before. Sandford's writing entertains me and I am glad to have another series to intersperse the reading. I ripped this story years ago, but waited for the proper order. I'm glad that I did to experience the proper evolution of Sandford's characters.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    John Sandford is one of my father-in-law’s favorite authors, so we bought tickets to the Iowa Author Awards Dinner where he was the featured guest. I read this beforehand so I’d at least have one of his books/characters for reference. This formulaic thriller wasn’t my favorite, and neither was the dinner TBH. Dark of the Moon made me question if I could really dislike a character without disliking the author. I don’t see myself reading any more Sandford books in the future.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    There is a new cop in town Virgil Flowers. This is a spin off from the Lucas Davenport novels. Virgil is like no other police man that I have ever read. He is a unique character and I love him. The mystery was decent with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. I'll be reading the rest of these for sure. There is a new cop in town Virgil Flowers. This is a spin off from the Lucas Davenport novels. Virgil is like no other police man that I have ever read. He is a unique character and I love him. The mystery was decent with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. I'll be reading the rest of these for sure.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    The first Virgil Flowers book - great introduction to Virgil, also known as "that f___ing flowers". In this story, Flowers heads for the high prairie near the North Dakota border to investigate a murder that turns into a series of murders and some complicated family issues. Good read. The first Virgil Flowers book - great introduction to Virgil, also known as "that f___ing flowers". In this story, Flowers heads for the high prairie near the North Dakota border to investigate a murder that turns into a series of murders and some complicated family issues. Good read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    Nice revisit to the beginning of the Virgil Flowers series. I enjoy his series as much as Lucas Davenport's (and from where Virgil's was spun off). Virgil is very different in personality from Lucas and (IMO) just as cool, smart, and suave. Nice revisit to the beginning of the Virgil Flowers series. I enjoy his series as much as Lucas Davenport's (and from where Virgil's was spun off). Virgil is very different in personality from Lucas and (IMO) just as cool, smart, and suave.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Toria

    A pretty decent first book in a crime series with an kind of interesting main character. Wasn't in loved with the book but think I will continue, at least give one more book a go A pretty decent first book in a crime series with an kind of interesting main character. Wasn't in loved with the book but think I will continue, at least give one more book a go

  25. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I didn't like this one. So much of it bothered me. It was cheesy and dated and not in a good way. It might be awhile before I can pick up another Sanford novel if I can even recover enough to do that. So many of the things I detest in books, he included here. I can usually take any of my dislikes in moderation, but this seemed never ending. I don't think this stood a snowballs chance of getting a favorable review. Problem #1: EVERY woman, and I mean every single one of them, in this book was desc I didn't like this one. So much of it bothered me. It was cheesy and dated and not in a good way. It might be awhile before I can pick up another Sanford novel if I can even recover enough to do that. So many of the things I detest in books, he included here. I can usually take any of my dislikes in moderation, but this seemed never ending. I don't think this stood a snowballs chance of getting a favorable review. Problem #1: EVERY woman, and I mean every single one of them, in this book was described by body parts (some a little more obvious than others). They were also described by them thar' prospects of catchin' them a man. Aside from their generous body parts, we have no other clues as to what they looked like. So now, lets move on to the descriptions of the males in this book. Oh we can't because there were none. Okay, there was one. Just once, it was mentioned that someone was "well hung." Seriously? I mean really. Problem #2: The way women were portrayed was laden with 'wishful thinking'. It felt a little juvenile and should have been outgrown before he even graduated high school. Problem #3: There wasn't much action, well I guess there was if you count all the time in the car driving from interview to interview. Problem #4: All other characters were used as a sounding board to the Main Character. Virgil, would talk for several long sentences, and the other person would say something like, "Wow." Then he would talk for several more long sentences, where then the other person would say, "Really?" Then we would add a few more long sentences and the 2nd party, who now strayed a tiny bit from their one word line, graduated to saying, "Oh my gosh." Problem #5: There was so much discussion about the facts; all tell and no show. There was hardly any unveiling or discovery or natural evolution of the facts. I have a few more, but I think I made my point. Why beat a dead horse! So 2 stars, only because the story had potential, but was muddied up.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Freda Malone

    Virgil Flowers, BCA and an over-all laid back kind of guy who wears quirky musical T-shirts as his uniform. Set in the back woods of small town Bluestem in the Minnesota hills, Flowers meets with the Sheriff to solve a string of murders so complex that even he himself has a hard time connecting the dots. In any small town, everyone knows everyone else's business, almost and Flowers sticks his nose deep in it. Judd Sr. has died horribly in a house fire and his estate is up for grabs as we find ou Virgil Flowers, BCA and an over-all laid back kind of guy who wears quirky musical T-shirts as his uniform. Set in the back woods of small town Bluestem in the Minnesota hills, Flowers meets with the Sheriff to solve a string of murders so complex that even he himself has a hard time connecting the dots. In any small town, everyone knows everyone else's business, almost and Flowers sticks his nose deep in it. Judd Sr. has died horribly in a house fire and his estate is up for grabs as we find out that there is more than one child who stands to inherit the millions of dollars he scammed from the locals. All is not what it seems when the 'man in moon' becomes a key player in the crimes. Could drugs be involved too? Well, Flowers has his work cut out for him when he roams around town asking for the latest gossip, past and present. I really had a terrible time getting into the characters involved. So many townies and locals were mentioned that I often felt disoriented and couldn't remember who was who and where they worked and who they were related to. Nothing stood out about any of them, almost like they didn't have any personalities to remember them by. The writing style seemed so stilted, wooden somehow and it muddled my thinking enough to make me put it down after just a few pages at a time. But....I liked the crime story itself. It was complex and intriguing enough to keep me interested, so I plowed through the characters who didn't seem to mean much. Even skipped a couple of pages here and there. I'm not sure what to make of Virgil Flowers, the ending was dynamic but with one extra twist that will either leave you loving Flowers or hating him. It's a moral thing. I really didn't like him very much in the beginning and now I like him less. He seems to think with his dick. I've heard that after the first 2-3 books the Virgil Flowers series gets better but I'm not sure how soon I'll pick up the next, if at all.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    Can somebody tell me definitely when this fuckin’ Flowers came into the picture? I’m not mad, because this guy is both effective and has none other than Lucas fucking Davenport. Plus he’s a card-carrying cool cat in a Molly Hatchett shirt. But I digress... All that aside, the novel is about Flowers investigating people in the suburbs getting murdered. Predictably, all of these people have problems sub rosa and there’s high readings on the Deliverance scope. Further harping on plot or whether or no Can somebody tell me definitely when this fuckin’ Flowers came into the picture? I’m not mad, because this guy is both effective and has none other than Lucas fucking Davenport. Plus he’s a card-carrying cool cat in a Molly Hatchett shirt. But I digress... All that aside, the novel is about Flowers investigating people in the suburbs getting murdered. Predictably, all of these people have problems sub rosa and there’s high readings on the Deliverance scope. Further harping on plot or whether or not Sandford is still amazing is moot at this point, and I really am creeped out at how he continues to make up these vicious weirdos.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    Haven't read a John Sandford book in a while, mainly because all the Lucas Davenport books were starting to run together for me. But this book, with Virgil Flowers as the main character, was great! Total page turner, great action, vivid characters and some cool twists. I'll definitely be waiting for the next one of these. Haven't read a John Sandford book in a while, mainly because all the Lucas Davenport books were starting to run together for me. But this book, with Virgil Flowers as the main character, was great! Total page turner, great action, vivid characters and some cool twists. I'll definitely be waiting for the next one of these.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    I have been reading John Sandford novels for years now. Especially the Prey series. As one of Lucas Davenport's men Virgil Flowers is no stranger but now he is the central character and I was looking forward to a new Sandford series. This novel was okay. Not great. I plan to read other books in the series but this novel was a little disappointing compared to other Sandford novels. I have been reading John Sandford novels for years now. Especially the Prey series. As one of Lucas Davenport's men Virgil Flowers is no stranger but now he is the central character and I was looking forward to a new Sandford series. This novel was okay. Not great. I plan to read other books in the series but this novel was a little disappointing compared to other Sandford novels.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Linda Doidge

    I simply didn’t like Virgil Flowers. He’s a sexist smart ass. The story was ok, but Virgil’s arrogance was off putting.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.