Read Bad Blood by John Sandford Online


The brilliant new Virgil Flowers thriller from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author. One late fall Sunday in southern Minnesota, a farmer brings a load of soybeans to a local grain elevator- and a young man hits him on the head with a steel bar, drops him into the grain bin, waits until he's sure he's dead, and then calls the sheriff to report the "accident." SuspiciThe brilliant new Virgil Flowers thriller from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author. One late fall Sunday in southern Minnesota, a farmer brings a load of soybeans to a local grain elevator- and a young man hits him on the head with a steel bar, drops him into the grain bin, waits until he's sure he's dead, and then calls the sheriff to report the "accident." Suspicious, the sheriff calls in Virgil Flowers, who quickly breaks the kid down...and the next day the boy's found hanging in his cell. Remorse? Virgil isn't so sure, and as he investigates he begins to uncover a multigeneration, multifamily conspiracy-a series of crimes of such monstrosity that, though he's seen an awful lot in his life, even he has difficulty in comprehending it...and in figuring out what to do next....

Title : Bad Blood
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780399156908
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 388 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Bad Blood Reviews

  • Kemper
    2018-11-16 12:33

    There’s not enough ‘W’s in the world to convey the ‘EWWWWWWWWWW!!’ factor of this book. In Homestead, Minnesota, a young man just out of high school with a bright future brutally murders a farmer and tries to make it look like an accident. However, his crime is discovered, and he’s found dead in his cell before he can explain why he did it. The boy's death looks fishy, and the chief suspect is a deputy that the new female sheriff just defeated in an election for the job so that’s a political shitstorm just waiting to happen. The sheriff comes to Virgil Flowers (a/k/a ‘that fucking Flowers'), agent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, for assistance. When Virgil starts digging into the case he finds some very shocking secrets and more than one person willing to kill to keep them.John Sandford delivers once again. Virgil is a spin-off character from Sandford’s Prey-series featuring Lucas Davenport, and while I’ve always liked this character, I hadn’t found any of the Virgil-based books quite as entertaining as the Davenport ones until now. There’s an intriguing mystery followed by some twisted revelations and then a series of intense and exciting action scenes. This was one bad-ass crime thriller.Virgil has always been fun reading as the outdoorsy ladies man who favors vintage rock band t-shirts and sometimes forgets his gun in his truck, but he's turning into a more fully formed character instead of just a collection of traits. Now I can’t wait until we see Virgil again instead of just thinking of him as an entertaining placeholder between Davenport novels. Random Thoughts* Davenport is starting to be a bad influence on Virgil because he does some highly illegal breaking-and-entering in this one, and he comes up with an elaborate scheme that puts a civilian in danger to flush out some of the bad guys. Those are some classic Davenport moves.* I continue to love the interactions between Davenport and Virgil, especially the way that Davenport’s more ruthless political side comes out when he’s giving Virgil his marching orders. * Virgil’s background as a minister’s son comes in handy when he gets to drop some serious Bible-knowledge on folks.* After 30 books, you’d think that Sandford would start to seem repetitive when it comes to describing brutal Minnesota winters, but he can still make me feel the wind chill.* Sneaky Virgil pulls a nice small-town trick by talking about the investigation openly in a diner. Before long, he’s drawing crowds who are anxious to hear the gossip, but he gets a lot of information and goodwill in return. Plus, he gets to stir up public opinion in a way that is beneficial to his investigation.* Again, just let me say, “EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!”

  • Jean
    2018-11-22 07:32

    Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: Is it possible to review a John Sandford book featuring Virgil Flowers without referring to his Marshall, Minnesota-based investigator as “that f***ing Flowers”? No, it’s not.Moving right along, then, Bad Blood is the fourth installment in the series that features the blond, truck-driving, boat-hauling, son of a Lutheran minister who works for the Minnesota BCA. When Virgil shows up in the town of Homestead to handle the case of a suspicious death, his reputation precedes him. Then the suspect is found dead in his cell of an apparent suicide, and from there, the plot thickens, as they say. The subject matter is disturbing. Not only are there multiple murders, but also sexual abuse of both adults and minors. There’s no great mystery here; it is obvious quite early on that there is something very wrong going on in the World of Spirit Church. Rather, the task facing Virgil and Sheriff Lee Coakley is how deep does the abuse go, and how do they prove it? Despite the very serious subject matter, this book is highly entertaining. Sandford is an excellent storyteller, and Virgil Flowers is not your everyday lawman. He’s a casual, down-home kind of guy who likes to schmooze with the locals and keep them up-to-snuff with what’s happening (sort of) in the investigation – because you just never know what information you might pick up in the Yellow Dog Café. He also doesn’t have great boundaries when it comes to women, so it’s no huge surprise when he and the lady sheriff, both divorced, do their own “under covers” work.There are lots and lots of names to keep track of in this one, both good guys and bad guys, and that got confusing, especially when the s**t hit the fan. There is a good deal of chaos and violence toward the end, so if sexual abuse and violence bother you, this might be one to skip. The church seemed too exaggerated to me, and I felt that it actually could have been a better story if the abuse had been toned down somewhat. I did like the sections where Virgil quoted Scriptures to church members in his attempts to get them to talk to him. I found myself smiling more than once at his many tactics during the course of this investigation. I sailed through this novel in a day, and I liked it. I liked the local flavor of the book. While Homestead is a fictional town, a town that is briefly mentioned, Sleepy Eye, is not. It happens to be my mom’s hometown, and that was a neat connection for me. I am conflicted about how to rate Bad Blood, since the subject matter was so intense, downright nasty, actually, yet there is humor and comic relief too. All in all, Sandford did a good job of telling the story and keeping me interested.3.5 stars

  • James Thane
    2018-11-16 07:34

    When Bobby Tripp, a popular high school athlete, brutally kills a farmer late one night at a grain mill in rural Minnesota, there seems to be no logical explanation for the crime. Bobby fails in his attempt to disguise the murder as an accident and is arrested. Shortly thereafter, he is found hanging in his cell, an apparent suicide.Lee Coakley, an attractive divorcee who is also the local sheriff, appeals for help from Virgil Flowers of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Coakley wants Virgil to investigate what role, if any, Jim Crocker, the deputy on duty, might have played in Bobby's suicide. Virgil agrees to help out and is immediately immersed in a complex situation involving a number of related crimes, many of which seem to center on the members of a secretive religious group in the small rural community.With that, the book is off and running, and the reader is hopelessly trapped in a story that he or she will have great difficulty putting down before the conclusion. Flowers, who has often been described as a younger, single version of Sandford's long-time protagonist, Lucas Davenport, is a great lead character and this is another very entertaining read. Very few writers are capable of successfuly combining humor with a series of grizzly, unspeakable crimes, but Sandford is one of the few who pulls it off without seeming to trivialize the brutal crimes that are at the center of the story. This is a book that will certainly be devoured by Sandford's legion of fans and one that should appeal to anyone who enjoys crime fiction.

  • Karen Hall
    2018-11-22 11:24

    Somebody recently asked, “If you could have dinner with any character from fiction, who would it be?” My immediate answer: Virgil Flowers. John Sandford has written a lot of books, and I’ve read most of them. I followed Lucas Davenport religiously through the Prey books, read the standalone novels, and didn’t much care for the Kidd novels. But Virgil Flowers is my guy.Virgil knows how to get to the bottom of things, and in Bad Blood, the bottom is not only complicated, it’s a long way down. A southwest Minnesota farmer is brutally murdered at the elevator as he delivers his soybeans. The murderer, a decent young man from a good local family, confesses to the sheriff, and the next day is found hanging in his cell. When the deputy on duty during the apparent suicide is also found dead, the sheriff realizes she needs help. Though both deaths appear to be suicides, the forensic evidence suggests otherwise. Enter Virgil Flowers.Flowers loves women. Married and divorced three times, Virgil has realized he falls in love too easily and has sworn off the taking of vows. That doesn’t mean he’s given up the fairer sex, though. In this book, he finds the sheriff herself, recently abandoned by her husband for another woman, to be not only an excellent investigator, but excellent in other ways as well. Virgil’s investigative technique is as unusual as he is. Raised nearby, the son of a Lutheran minister, Virgil knows how things go in small towns. He takes the sheriff to the local café, speaks clearly enough that the locals can overhear, and garners several important leads through the resulting firestorm of rumor and innuendo. He sets traps, calls in favors, interviews locals, and uncovers a crime so old and so massive that even he has trouble believing its scope. While I’ve always enjoyed Mr. Sandford’s Lucas Davenport novels, I can understand why he’s working on this series as well. Virgil Flowers is very different from Davenport, and must be tremendously fun to write. He’s both a cerebral and a spiritual guy, a BCA agent who wears his hair long and his cowboy boots scuffed. If you haven’t tried these books, please do. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Judith
    2018-12-08 07:26

    This book makes me wish for a no stars option. Normally I enjoy this series both for the pace and the plotting. Not this time. The sexual abuse of women and children is ugly, and perhaps Sandford was trying to make that point. I couldn't help thinking that his depiction of sexual abuse of women and children for the purpose of entertainment (and let's not forget profit) was just as ugly. And it was made worse because I was listening to an audiobook and I couldn't skip over the more graphic sections the way I usually do. Now those images are stuck in my head. And on a less serious note, the amount of product placement in these books is getting ridiculous. Vehicles, motels, soft drinks, frozen dinners, you name it. It's almost entertaining seeing how he can work discussions of the products into the story lines. The Tahoe/Tundra conversation was so contrived as to be ludicrous. I don't know if this is getting worse, or if I noticed it more because I had to listen to every word.

  • Giovanni Gelati
    2018-11-19 11:10

    Right off the bat I want to say that I am a huge fan of John Sandford. I have devoured all 20 of his Prey novels and each of the Virgil Flowers spinoffs. There are three other Virgil Flower novels: Dark of the Moon, Heat Lightening, Rough Country and now Bad Blood. Do you have to read them in order? No. Do you need to read them, yes. They rock. I find it incredibly hard to put any of his novels down once I get on a roll. The book just doesn’t want to leave my hand or my mind. Okay, I guess you have to understand that I like the guy’s style and substance.Bad Blood in my estimation is his best work to date with that %$#@Flowers. The dialogue in between the characters is incredible, the repartee fun and at times intense, and the action swift. I offer no spoilers as usual but here is a sample of the dialogue. ”Yeah, but….not like that. Not like some giant conspiracy. “Clinton said.” Then there was that whole thing about morals and good behavior. I’m not sure exactly… I’d like to know what their definition of ‘moral’ is. I mean ,you smell that place?”“You mean the soup? It smelled pretty good.”“I mean the smoke. The dope. The spliff, the ganj. As these good Germans would say, the dank.”Virgil put a hand to his forehead and rubbed. “That’s what it was. I was thinking it was some kind of herb in the soup.”“It is some kind of herb, but I don’t think it was in the soup, ”Clinton said,” I think it was in the curtains and the couch and the rugs. I think she was cooking up that soup to cover the odor. Those people are Christian fundamentalist stoners. I was sitting there grinning the whole time, listening to them. They were totally full of $%^&….depending on how you define moral.”‘What is it with these guys?” Virgil asked. “These church people…I talked to one today who was carrying a gun in her pocket. I think some of them know more about Kelly Baker than they are saying, I think…”“I’ll tell you what it is,” Bill Clinton said,” What it is, is, something is seriously*&^%%$, I wish you luck in detecting what it is.”That came from page 125. The novel totally rocks the whole way through. The plotline is excellent and Sandford as his usual self just crafts another intense narrative with Flowers leading the way, turning over stones and pushing things to a conclusion. I really enjoy novels by the heavyhitters in the genre that continue to push themselves and not just mail it in. This is in my opinion the best Virgil flowers stand-alone of the bunch. If you are a fan of this character in any way shape or form then this is going to be a fun ride for you. If you are a first timer, then you are going to be getting an introduction to Virgil Flowers at his best. I would suggest then that you backtrack and pick up the rest after that.There are some very big novels coming out between now and Christmas, and John Sandford has set the bar very high. Tomorrow I am going to run a post with a preview of novels to come this fall and winter. I can guarantee that this novel will appear in the top 10 if not the top 5 for the quarter when we do our little top 20 list before Christmas. If you are a fan of excellent writing, enjoy a well-crafted plotline, humor, action, and great character driven fiction like I do , then this novel needs to be read. What is your favorite John Sanford novel? Is Lucas Davenport still numero uno or is Virgil working his way there? What are you reading today? Check us out and become our friend on Facebook & Linkedin. Go to Goodreads and become our friend there and suggest books for us to read and post on. You can also follow us on Twitter, and the Gelati’s Scoop Facebook Fan Page. Did you know you can shop directly on Amazon by clicking the Gelati’s Store Tab on our blog? Thanks for stopping by today; We will see you tomorrow. Have a great day.

  • Jeanette
    2018-11-28 07:15

    The further adventures of "that fuckin' Flowers." This one takes awhile to heat up, but once they start going after the bad guys it gets pretty exciting. The big showdown and final outcome is sort of like a combination of the Ruby Ridge fiasco and the raid on the FLDS Yearning for Zion compound. I give Bad Blood 2.5 stars for story, but I rounded up to 3 stars because Sandford writes so well. This one wasn't as much fun as the third installment. The subject matter is very disturbing, all the more because it's so believable. It's disgusting what people justify under the protected status of religious beliefs.

  • Jim
    2018-11-19 13:19

    Dropping a star only because I was uncomfortable with the central plot line - child abuse - and the author's portrayal of it. Sometimes I felt he sailed very close to the edge in his descriptions of what was going on in a vice ring for what was a novel as opposed to a factual account. Some of the words he puts in children's mouths, not to mention the situations he imagines them in, made me squirm a bit. Still, he's not the first to do it and I'm sure he'd argue his story needs to ring true if it's to work. And it does work, because I didn't give up on the book. It was tightly written, had enough levity in it to counterbalance the dark storyline and had really likeable characters as the good guys. I sailed through the pages and would admit that as a hard boiled thriller it doesn't pull punches, which I like. I've read a lot of American crime fiction and was really surprised I hadn't come across Sandford before. Where has he been all my life? He has a recognisable style of his own and stands apart from the crowd when that's pretty difficult to do in this genre. It's the first book I've read of his, and i'm looking forward to reading more.

  • Sandi
    2018-11-28 10:14

    Though the crimes in this book were particularly unpleasant, Virgil is a great character and I always enjoy his investigative methods. As always with this series, the plot was compelling and the rural Minnesota setting well described. Listened to the audio version which was narrated by Eric Conger who has really improved since the first book and now adds to the experience.

  • Kathy Davie
    2018-12-17 11:18

    Fourth in the Virgil Flowers detective mystery thriller series and revolving around that effin' Flowers, lol. Bad Blood takes place in October in Minnesota.In 2011, Bad Blood won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Hard Cover Novel. And I completely understand why. I'd give it a "7" if I could.My TakeHoly cats! H-0-L-Y cats!! This one will have your jaw dropping below the floor! The drama and tension will keep your heart racing as well as your eyes and fingers as they turn pages as fast as possible. Sandford certainly trips you up as he slowly and quickly twists you around.Yeah. That's what I said. Slowly and quickly. Slowly you find out why Bobby killed that farmer. Quickly you begin to suspect the overall crimes within Bad Blood. It could take a strong stomach to get through this.I finally figured out why everyone calls him that fuckin' Flowers is because he's too good at what he does. Virgil says it's just "cop alliteration". He does make a good point about that early suicide in the story. Never really thought about how a guy might, um, present himself in such a situation, but it does make sense. Then again, Lee Coakley sure appreciates him, lol. Virgil, that is.Virgil does have an unexpected way of investigating murder. He likes to blab all about their leads, to see what might happen. And his background as a preacher's son comes in right handy in this.In some ways, I can understand why the Catholic Church was so upset when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. Ya let anybody read the Bible, interpret it the way they want, and it can become a nightmare."I'll tell you what, Emmet, reading the Bible for the … parts is not really reading the Bible."Perverts will use any excuse…I can't believe these religious idiots, how quickly they leap to blame others. I understand why, but it still astonishes me. I did have to laugh about the "minor pie fight" over why the World of Spirit kids scored at the top of academic achievements. Yep, you got it. Everyone decided the other kids in Minnesota would score just as well if teachers got paid more, lol.The StoryOne late fall Sunday in southern Minnesota, a farmer brings a load of soybeans to a local grain elevator — and a young man hits him on the head with a steel bar, drops him into the grain bin, waits until he's sure he's dead, and then calls the sheriff to report the "accident".Suspicious, the sheriff calls in Virgil Flowers, who quickly breaks the kid down...and the next day the boy's found hanging in his cell. Remorse?Virgil isn't so sure, and as he investigates he begins to uncover a multigeneration, multifamily conspiracy — a series of crimes of such monstrosity that, though he's seen an awful lot in his life, even he has difficulty in comprehending it...and in figuring out what to do next.The CharactersAgent Virgil Flowers, a preacher's son, works as a detective-at-large (but doesn't carry a gun) for the BCA. His true love, however, is writing articles on hunting and fishing. Mrs. Wilson is Virgil's neighbor.The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is……is a state police organization. Lucas Davenport is Virgil's boss. Beatrice Sawyer, Don Baldwin, and Mary Lopez are the scene-of-crime investigators. The hippie-ish Sandy is an excellent researcher. Rose Marie Roux is the commissioner of public safety and Lucas' boss. Shrake and Jenkins are BCA thugs."I've never been overgunned. I have been undergunned. After that happened, I reconceptualized." Iowa Division of Criminal InvestigationAgent Bell Wood and Mitch Ingle worked the Kelly Baker murder. Janice.Warren CountyHomestead is its county seat with Dennis Brown as its chief of police and Lee's former boss. The Yellow Dog Café where Virgil spends a lot of time is owned by Bill Jacoby. Earl and Dick Street are some of the customers at the diner. Pat Sullivan is a gay reporter. Clare Kreuger delivers the mail. Rich is a photo technician with a tip. Brian and Judy Craig are farmers with some interesting insight. Peter Van Mann is a widower farmer who got reamed; Jake is his dog. Son Wood owns Son Wood's Surface Sealers and was a friend of Crocker's. Roger works for him. Delores is Son's chatty bookkeeper.The nineteen-year-old football jock, Bob Tripp, works at the Battenberg Farmer's Co-op. George and Irma Tripp are his parents. Maicy is a student. Jay Wenner was a friend of Bobby's.Sheriff's DepartmentThe divorced Lee Coakley is the new sheriff in town and has three kids. (Sue is one of the boys' girlfriend.) Ike Patras is the medical examiner in Mankato. Deputies Gene Schickel and Gregg Dunn will back up Virgil and Lee. More deputies include John Kraus, Buddy, Marcia Wright, Rob, Don, Sherry, and Bob Hart. Stupek. Deputy Jimmy Crocker was on duty the night of the suicide; he was also a childhood friend of Flood's. Harlan is the previous sheriff.Bill Clinton and Andersson are highway patrolmen. Sheriff Beau Harrison in Martin County will need to lend jail space. Larry Cortt is a friend of Hart and his wife, Jenny. Darrell Martin is Lee's private attorney. Judge John O'Hare is tight-lipped; Doris is his wife. Harris Toms is the county attorney.The World of Spirit is……a religion brought from Germany back in the 1900s. Leonard and Louise Baker were Kelly's parents. John and Luanne Baker were her uncle and aunt. Jacob "Liberty" Flood is married to Alma. Edna and Helen are their precocious daughters. Emmet Einstadt is Alma's father and the head of the World of Spirit. Leonard and Junior are his sons. Mary is Leonard's wife. Wally Rooney will be moving into the Floods' house. Kathleen Spooner is Crocker's ex-wife.Harvey Loewe has his own secrets and a desperate need to run. Joe and Marsha Loewe are his parents. Greta and Karl Rouse are really into it, and Karl loves photography. Kristy Rouse is the helpful daughter. The Bochers, Steinfelds, Beckers, Muellers, John McGuire, Ted Morgan, and Loren are fellow worshippers. Dick and Mary Bosche and Dick and Sandy Waldt had slid right in. Jacky Shoen.Lucy "Birdy" McCain Olms is one who got away. Roland "Rollo" Olms was her jerk of a husband. Birdy's family included her parents, Ed and Ruth; her brothers Robert and William; and, Louise McCain Gordon. Charlie Lane is a cop in Sleepy Eye. Gina Becker is an old friend of Louise's.Good Shepherd Lutheran ChurchThe Reverend John Baumhauer is an old friend of Virgil's dad. Danny McCoy used to be the Catholic priest in Homestead.Hayfield is……a town where Virgil worked a case some time back. Clay Holley wants to help out. Marie is Clay's girlfriend. The Johnsons, Pells, and Schooners are all retired neighbors who can't wait to help as well.Nebraska State PatrolLieutenant Joe Murphy knows how to get to Lenore Mackey's house.Tom Parker is a very good defense attorney. Laurie is his associate and connects the murders. Richard Reedy was a slick guy from Marshall, Virgil's hometown.The World of Law is the real world.The Cover and TitleThe cover reminds me of an Old Master oil painting with that gorgeous and atmospheric landscape with its lone barn set back behind the field and surrounded by hills and trees. The painting covers not quite half of the cover's bottom while the author's name — in a dull gold and white against a black background — is embossed and taking up the top half with a tiny bit of series information banding the middle.Oh, yeah, the title is definitely about Bad Blood in this community.

  • Ethan
    2018-11-28 14:33

    A small Minnesota town is shocked when local high school football star, Bobby Tripp, is arrested for the brutal murder of farmer Jacob Flood. Immediately, this opening scene, in which we read the details of Tripp killing Flood, strays from John Sandford's usual practice of hiding the identity of the killer. Knowing Tripp's identity, I was certain that this would be a story that was much different from any of the previous installments in this series. Sure enough, Tripp is found the next day, dead in his jail cell from an apparent suicide. Upon further investigation, it is revealed that Tripp's death was involuntary which could mean only one thing. . . murder.Enter Virgil Flowers. He probably better resembles an aging cowboy/rocker, but there is no denying his skill. Despite his unconventional appearance and behavior, he has become one of the best investigators working for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension(BCA). He is called by the town's sheriff, Lee Coakely. Coakley is an attractive, recent divorcee with two sons. From their first encounter, there is palpable chemistry between her and Virgil. But there is no time for romantic excursions. It is soon revealed that the officer who was guarding Tripp's cell has also, apparently, committed suicide. As you can probably predict, his death is quickly determined to be a murder, as well.As Virgil investigates, he comes across two possible directions at which to follow the case. The first involves the young Bobby Tripp. As a high school sports star, he was sure to get a large scholarship to continue playing ball at the college level. But an injury left him in his small town. Virgil's snooping reveals that Tripp may have been gay. Stuck in his small town and hiding the secret to his sexuality, it is possible that Jacob Flood threatened to reveal Tripp's secret, leading Tripp to kill him.The other thread involves the dead officer's secretive church. Perhaps more reminiscent of a cult, the church is rumored to condone strange sex acts, including pairing underage children with older members. This thread reveals actions dating over 100 years into the towns history and possible connections to previous murders. With all of these issues comming to light, Virgil is thrust into some of the darkest crimes he has ever experienced.This is kind of a change of pace for John Sandford's Virgil Flowers series. Yes, he continues to make Virgil one of the most entertaining and relatable characters in crime fiction, but he forces his lovable character into some of the darkest situations he's ever written about. Rape is never an easy topic, especially when it involves children, but Sandford's skills as a writer allow him to touch upon the subject with a delicate hand, while still advancing his fast paced mystery. This is the best Virgil Flowers novel to date, with a strong web of mystery that will keep you engrossed until the very last page.

  • Eric_W
    2018-12-04 09:10

    An excellent addition to the Virgil Flowers series, a series I prefer to the Lucas Davenport books which often devolve into psychobabble with Weather and Ellen.The case begins with the baseball bat head-bashing murder of a local farmer delivering soybeans to the local mill. The killer is a well-liked football star and his actions puzzle the community, but not as much as the string of killings that follow. BCA detective Flowers is asked to help with the investigation by the local newly elected sheriff who fears her election at the expense of one of her deputies might compromise the investigation. If you read the reviews on Amazon, the one-star comments seem to fall into a couple of groups: those who object to "bad" words and/or the subject matter (child abuse and its connection to a religious cult or it's just "pornography", a bizarre complaint indeed), and those who complain about the Kindle price (get a life folks, you don't have to buy the book.) In other words the one star reviews have little substance to them and can be safely ignored as trite.Some of the dialogue, especially with the children of the cultish group, seemed forced and whether such a group could be as large as it was in a rural community without raising more than a few eyebrows is problematic. It's a good story. My quibbling minor complaint is that perhaps Sandford could have used the story to examine the ramifications of a mindset that teaches a belief system to children they believe to be good that is in direct opposition to normal societal values. One line I really liked: "Nothing scares a shit-kicker like somebody shooting up his truck."

  • Lynn
    2018-12-03 09:24

    I generally like John Sandford's Lucas Davenport books better than his Virgil Flowers books, but this book was a pleasant surprise. Maybe "pleasant" is the wrong word since Flowers is investigating a pseudo-religious cult that engages in child sexual abuse. The plot moves along very quickly, sometimes too quickly. Sometimes it's hard to keep it all straight. There are a lot of characters and suspects to keep track of. But it all comes to a satisfying conclusion.Maybe it's just me, but it felt like Sandford took some of the rougher edges off Flowers this time, and I found myself liking him a bit more. And I really like Sandford's writing style. A good thriller with just enough snark thrown in to ease the tension.

  • Jeff
    2018-11-27 13:33

    WARNING - CONTAINS SPOILERSThis is my first John Sandford and it certainly won't be my last. Virgil Flowers - what a fantastic character - is called in to help with a strange case. A young man murders a farmer and then commits suicide in the police cell after he's arrested. But the female sheriff isn't convinced it's suicide and so calls in Flowers. It's quickly established that the young man was murdered by the deputy who was on duty but then the deputy is murdered! The resulting investigation ends with Flowers and the sheriff uncovering decades of incest, rape, and child abuse within a religious sect. The dialogue is brilliant, the action sequences well written, and Flowers is an extremely likeable character, something along the lines of Jack Reacher.

  • Jenn
    2018-11-27 12:35

    Another great book by John Sandford. As much as the Prey series is still my favourite, Flowers is a rogue unto himself. He's a one man army who occasionally gets a few of the crew to help him out. This storyline was a bit on the raunchy side. Cults, incest and kiddie porn are strife in this small town and Flowers will do whatever is needed to save the wee ones, and the cult members, from their terrible fates.

  • Nancy
    2018-12-17 15:12

    Cults and incest...what more can I say? Despite the disturbing nature of the story and the excessive violence, it was a well written story.

  • Ann
    2018-11-29 07:11

    Another solid book showcasing how good that #*% Flowers really is at his job during a tense investigation

  • Mary
    2018-12-12 07:12

    Virgil gets caught up in a cult calling itself a Church, and has to call Davenport for backup assistance, in this thriller.

  • Paris(kerbytejas)
    2018-12-09 10:18

    The storyline was a bit slow and repetitive.

  • Emily
    2018-12-07 12:09

    This is the first book by John Sandford I have read. I was browsing the new books at the library and was in a hurry (baby getting fussy) so I just grabbed this one. It had a "14 Day Return" sticker on it because it is a high demand book. I figured that would mean it is pretty good – if not well written, at least entertaining. I was wrong.The book is about a series of murders in a small town in Minnesota. The sheriff (a woman, btw) is brand new and calls in Virgil Flowers a BCA agent to help her. At the center of the crimes is an Amish like religious group. As the story progresses, the religious group is revealed to be a cult. Eventually, the sheriff & Flowers discover a large part of the cult's "religion" is sexually abusing women and children.Overall, I was not too impressed with the book – story or characters. First, the characters were extremely cliché. Flowers is a good looking cop who only works the “hard crimes” (because he’s so darn smart!). He’s been married 3x and is always on the lookout for another woman, but (surprise) he doesn’t want commitment. (The ultimate cheesiness was when Flowers was trying to convince the sheriff to do something and he flashed her his *second* most enduring smile. Because his most enduring smile was something so spectacular that it had to be reserved for when women were already laying down…in bed with him. Blech). Sheriff is divorced with 3 kids. We see where this is going, right? Of course, they end up in bed together but, at the end of the book, Flowers is thinking that this won’t last too much longer because the sheriff wants more than he can give her. It would be nice if the author had mixed things up a bit and had either 1) Woman cop who did NOT have to call in a man to save her; 2) Woman who did not jump into bed with smooth talking attractive cop asap; or 3) Woman who slept with cop but didn’t want a commitment. Second, I wasn’t all that impressed by the storyline. Maybe I just watched too much Law and Order but creepy cults & sexual deviants just seem to be overused as “shocking” plot twists. There wasn’t much of a mystery involved at all – by page 180 we pretty much knew who did it. It felt like the author just threw in sexual abuse as kind of a cover for a thinly written story. I probably won’t be reading another Sandford novel.

  • Brandi ;)
    2018-11-29 15:21

    SPOILERS....SPOILERS.....SPOILERS WILL BE GIVEN SO STOP READING NOW....I would have given this book a full 5 stars bc in so many ways it was absolutely amazing. John Sandford is an incredible story teller and as always I was sucked in from page 1. However, this book dealt with a topic that was hard to read, regardless of how fabulous the writing. Child abuse. Sexual child abuse. As much as I love reading about the bastards that abuse get what they deserve, I still find it hard to read about them abusing until caught. Sandford told the story well, he obviously puts a lot of work in his research and he gave the abusers the punishment they deserved. He did very well in making me hate many of the characters and I just couldn't put the book down cause I wanted to see them taken down. The story was fast paced but not to pushy and the best of all was it had Virgil Flowers in it. It could have been 5 stars, I just can't say it was amazing when it deals with the topic it does. However, I am greatful for another Virgil book. I love Lucas Davenport, also. BUT there is just something about that f*cking Flowers that makes me swoon. Lots of naughty thoughts going through my head right now that I won't put in this review, but basically I'm quite partial to Mr. Flowers. I can't wait for his next book.

  • Amanda
    2018-11-23 13:17

    Another F*ckin' Flowers book. He might be topping Davenport as my favorite character...might.Spoilers ahead:We start this one off with a young adult murdering another adult. It's all very vague, there's no background or particular reason why this young man, Tripp, committed the murder. While Tripp is in jail, he is murdered. His death is made to look like a suicide by Crocker, one of the cops in charge of the station that night. Then Crocker is murdered, made to look like a suicide.This trail of deaths prompts Lee Coakley, the lady sheriff, to bring in Virgil Flowers. The little area that Coakley is in charge of usually has maybe 1 murder every 5 years, so 3 in a week is more than they can handle. Flowers comes in and does his thing that leads him to another murder years earlier.After a lot of digging, something even more heinous than the murders turn up. A church, called the World of Spirit, has a large congregation among the farmers but rumors of child abuse keep surfacing. Emmett Einstadt is the head of the church and pretty despicable.It's a long haul to get the church taken down but well worth it. Full of frightening concepts that actually make the murders the tamest part of the book.

  • Peggy
    2018-12-15 12:36

    I listened to this audiobook. Virgil Flowers is an investigator for the Minnesota state police. He works in the more remote areas under the supervision of John Sandford's main protagonist, Lucas Davenport (of the more famous "Prey" series). I happen to like Virgil a lot more than I like Lucas, so I prefer this series. In this book Virgil is called upon to look into the murder of a local farmer. A young man has been arrested for the crime, but he is murdered while in custody. Virgil looks for the deputy who may have killed the killer. What unravels is an unbelievable link to a secretive cult of families who use religion as an excuse for child and sexual abuse. It seems so unlikely, but in the small farming community those who participate will never talk, and those who are on the outside hear only vague rumors. It is up to Virgil to ferret out the truth and find a way to bring the guilty to justice. I enjoy the complicated plot even if the subject matter is very dark and creepy.

  • Larry
    2018-11-17 10:09

    Virgil Flowers works for Lucas Davenport, mostly in rural and small town Minnesota. He is interesting and earns his frequently mentioned nickname in every case, though I like Davenport's smart gunfighter cop better. This case resonates like a couple of Donald Harstad's Iowa cop novels in that the downside of rural America can be pretty low. The contrast between appearance and reality can be jarring, especially in this novel. A religious sect is at the heart of the novel, which opens with four murders right out of the chute, and which accelerates from there. Virgil is a good interrogator and an even better spreader of information and disinformation at the local cafe. The crime takes some solving, which is good. Davenport is a distant presence, but Shrake and Jenkins, his favorite in-house thugs, are there to help Virgil.

  • Steve
    2018-12-15 11:33

    I've read this one before, but it's been a little while. Still, I remembered how it ended and who done it. Great book though. If you haven't read John Sandford or read any of the Virgil Flowers series, this isn't a bad one to start with. But do yourself a favor and read them from the beginning. All great books!

  • Faye Bierbower
    2018-11-17 10:24

    Perhaps this was not the best John Sanford novel ... but just as addicting anyway. It was pre-ordered on Dave's kindle, and delivery was on the 24th. I found it that day, stole it, and finished reading it before he even knew it was delivered. bwahaha!

  • Jane Rose
    2018-12-06 15:19

    Virgil Flowers has a very distinctive and unorthodox investigating style. Not to be taken too seriously because I don’t think this case would stand up in court. (The subject matter is pretty serious however)

  • Rebecca
    2018-11-21 09:28

    More Virgil Flowers please! This series is just as good as Sandford's "Prey" series.

  • Darren Douglas
    2018-12-13 15:36

    This is an astonishingly brilliant book, although the subject matter is horrendous. Virgil 's character just gets better, the way he investigates, through gossip, and his relationship with people, is pure class. Fair play to Sandford, not only do we have a truly remarkable and complex character in Davenport, we also have Virgil, my favourite fictional detective. Stunning book!

  • Kaye
    2018-12-01 09:18

    Finally, Virgil Flowers has coalesced as a real character to me. In this one, his style of detecting doesn't seem so goofy. The story was pretty dark, with not much humor to lighten it up, but it was still a good read.