I wish Virgil were real and worked in my town. I like him a lot and would like to sit in the diner and talk to him. This was a good book - a little different from former books in the series, but Virgil is still the same. There is a lot of humor in the story and so many suspects that you are constantly changing your mind. Which shell is the stone under!? The Israel connection is interesting, but the great majority of the story takes place in Minnesota, as usual. I loved the Lebanese student pilot. He was an entertaining character and a suspect. Ma is also very interesting and also entertaining and also a suspect. Sandford keep me guessing on this one.
I've read all of Sandford's novels and I'm particularly fond of the Flowers series but not this one. Too many half-developed characters and an implausible story that never grabs you. Good narration though and quite funny at times. I still love you Virgil but leave the international intrigues to Jason Bourne. Minnesota is where the fun is.
Maybe it's me. Who knows what subjective criteria influence enjoyment, but I'll bet there are plenty. Still, after having listened to everything by John Sandford available either at Audible or on discs at the library, and loving all featuring Lucas and/or Virgil Flowers, I was not intrigued by this title.
The plot is massively unlikely, and it limps along. Virgil remains a fabulous character and I especially like his sometime-girlfriend this time out, but the story made me feel tired. I didn't care about the stone, real or fake, and didn't believe a minister working for so many summers in Israel would so abuse the country's hospitality. Plus, when the payoffs came, making the story work, I must have been daydreaming. Who paid?
Sandford is good at making his evil-doers scary, but the thug in this book said to be famous for cutting off men's balls seems as if he wandered in off the set of a sitcom. Who'd be scared of him?
Do good people turn to crime just because they need the money? Maybe sometimes, but I'd need a little more convincing than Sandford provides. And don't ministers at some point rely on God's grace and mercy? Shouldn't a minister in good standing in his profession at least be seen to pray about his problem, even once?
Even given all that, it's still a John Sandford title. If I knew all this before buying the title, I'd probably still buy it. At his worst, Sandford is better than most.
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 11-year-old daughter.
Not sure that John Sandford spend a lot of time writing this novel. He introduced several characters that were not germane to the story and when they reappeared several pages later it had me trying to recall where they fit in. The agent with the double secret phone was one such character. That aside, this was a typical Flowers yarn, even though it didn't deal with the typical Flowers elements. Can't remember Virgil dealing with too many ancient biblical artifacts in his previous adventures. Lots of running in circles in this story but enough action, comedy and intrigue to keep Flowers fans interested. The twist at the end fit the story perfectly. The length was about right too. Those who like the Flowers series will be satisfied but not overly impressed.
Virgil Rocks Again
Hit Man by Lawrence Block. A good intriguing story interspersed with sly humor. Totally different types of books but the writing and stories are both great. Not too heavy and the "heroes" don't take themselves too seriously.
Dead on with Virgil; Conger is the voice of Virgil to me. He's also pretty good with the other characters. I think he does a good job with most of the other voices.
No. I like to string the good ones out because it makes is easy to walk and exercise while listening to a good story.
I love anything by John Sandford. His Virgil Flowers series hooked me from the first book. Never thought I could warm up to another Sandford character the way I did to Davenport, but I was wrong - Virgil Flowers is almost as fascinating and richly drawn as Lucas Davenport.
The narrator, Conger, seemed to be half-heartedly reading the book for the first time. The plot was labored, hard to believe, and uninteresting.
Yes, I have listened to or read all of Sandford's books, and enjoyed them all...until now. Still, I will no doubt buy the next and chalk this one up as a rare miss.
The narrator of the Davenport series or Conger--if he would seem to care, as he has in other Flower's books.
A rare Sandford let down.
I actually didn't find the story particularly interesting. It was the narration.
Yes, I laughed out loud. I like the effin Flowers humor and Eric Conger makes it seem like you are listening to a real conversation or a thought in Virgil's head.
The reason I listen to the Virgil Flowers books is for the throw-away lines and the humor. Eric Conger is Virgil Flowers to me. I can't read these books; I have to listen to Eric Conger read them.
Hard to pinpoint.
Virgil's sense of humor is always something to look forward to.
Ma is awesome.