John Sandford's "Prey" series audiobooks are my favorites. I own them all and have heard each one several times. Yet, I haven't been much of a Virgil Flowers fan. I've listened to the other books about Virgil, but didn't like them as much as the "Prey" books. However, "Mad River" is different - this book is great!
"Mad River" is intriguing, entertaining and satisfying. The characters are believable and the book is so well written that the reader feels the maddening frustration of the law enforcement officers involved. Eric Conger does a wonderful job, as always. In this book he does an especially good job of distinguishing the different personalities of Lucas Davenport and Virgil. I have already recommended this book to others; now I look forward to the next Virgil Flowers adventure.
If I were introducing someone to Sandford, I would pick another.
I liked the small town theme. Ending was week.
by far Virgil.
I am a co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, and author of Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices, and The Bombast Transcripts.
Sanford is one of the few American mystery writers who can actually write. Crais, Lehane, a few others maybe, but too many seem to be putting their names on stuff written by aspiring English majors who went to too many writing workshops. Rant off, sorry.
But Virgil is always fun, ever ready with a felicitous turn of phrase, like "she had a fondness for little white truck driver pills she bought from little white truck drivers." And later, over a cheeseburger and fries after being on the receiving end of a major asskicking, he feels guilty: "When you get released from a hospital, shouldn't you eat something healthy? Lettuce or something?" ROFL
Eric Conger's narration is pitch perfect -- one of those magic books (in this case, a whole series) where the audio version is way better than reading it yourself.
Listen to a lot of audio books driving across the wide open spaces of Nevada during monthly 450 mile trips to and from Las Vegas.
The best Virgil Flowers so far. Characters and pacing reminded me of the late Elmore Leonard, who was one of my favorites. Worth a credit!
The creative mind of Sanford creates villains who are believable and not people you want to run into while they're on the run. This is a brutal tale of poor and desperate characters who screw up and make their situation worse when they have to run. Sandford shows the mindset of villains who know there's no way out.
The subplot of police who look for revenge, use the law and public opinion to justify their action is fascinating. Flowers on the other hand is not of their ilk. The ending is a great one, unusual and unexpected. Mad River is a social look into the minds of the killers, the police and the public. It was a wonderful read and a page turner.
Virgil Flowers is fast becoming as good as Lucas Davenport! Conger is Flowers and that's great. Most authors change their hero's but make it difficult for the listener the differentiate between them when they don't change narrators.
Yes. Great plot twists.
Absolutely, I kept trying to stay on step ahead of Virgil and the gang but...whew it was hard work.
I'm liking the Virgil Flowers series with a touch of Davenport now and then. Some narrators fit so well that they become the character for me. Eric Conger simply fits Virgil. I like the down to earth touch.
I would give this 3 1/2 stars if I could and Eric Confer turns in his expected laudable performance. This is just a decent entry compared to Sandford's best, though.
That said, Mad River is superior to most police procedurals/mysteries that come out. I love John Sandford's books and find them a great, light reading experience. While this isn't his best, I'd still recommend it.
As other reviewers have stated, it's not your typical Virgil Flowers. The story line just makes you miss any of the prior novels
Skillful writing and wonderful narration.
I am captivated by this protagonist. I have read all the Virgil Flowers books and he is just such an interesting "hero". He is not a super tough guy although he can certainly take care of himself. He is a philosopher of sorts. His childhood as a preacher's son in a solid middle class family adds an interesting depth to the detective role. In some ways he reminds me of Columbo. He just ambles about asking questions until we get an insight into his keen mind. This time he is after a trio of young homicidal maniacs. Sandford has a way of making his characters come to life for me.
I loved that Virgil ignored what was professionally good for him and politically correct to stand up for what was right.
This is a great series. Read them all.