He's been doing the hard stuff for three years now, but never anything like this.
In the small town of Bluestem, a house way up on a ridge explodes into flames, its owner, a man named Judd, trapped inside. There are a lot of reasons to hate him, Flowers discovers. In fact, he concludes, you'd probably have to dig around to find a person who doesn't despise Judd.
And that isn't even why Flowers came to Bluestem. Three weeks before, there'd been another murder, two, in fact, a doctor and his wife, the doctor found propped up in his backyard, both eyes shot out. Flowers knows two things: this wasn't a coincidence, and it had to be personal.
But just how personal is something even he doesn't realize, and may not find out until too late. Because the next victim may be himself.
©2007 John Sandford; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
"Sandford keeps the reader guessing and the pages turning while Flowers displays the kind of cool and folksy charm that might force Davenport to share the spotlight more often." (Publishers Weekly)
I've been enjoying listening to the Lucas Davenport series, so when I saw the Flowers books I thought, "why not?". It turns out the first one was already in my Library. Hhmm, I thought, how did I miss that one? It took no time at all to realize that the reason I never really read it was because of the narrator. Conger is irritatingly lackluster. He needs to take both elocution AND acting lessons--pleeese. I want so much for him to actually allow words to be fully expressed instead of clipped, squeezed, and rushed--and in a monotone, yet! I would love to read the rest of the Virgil Flowers series (my mystery/detective addiction must be fed), but the thought of listening to more Conger? I dunno. Of course, I didn't like Farrone much at first, either. Although my original complaint about Farrone (lack of distinction between characters, mostly--he is very expressive) still hold, he has gotten somewhat better (except sometimes), and I've gotten more used to him.
Flowers is intelligent, shrewd, a guy's guy, and a ladies' man--as is Davenport--but more of an alter ego in terms of the aggressiveness and "meanness" which Sandford plays up in Davenport's character. I'm hoping he develops into a very different character all his own, distinct from Davenport--otherwise, what's the point in having another series instead of just more Davenport books? I think the difference needs to be more than just city detective, country detective.
Sandford's detective novels are mostly quite well written, fairly graphic (tho' not sexually, which somewhat wastes the Davenport and Flowers hotness factor), and the plots are inventive, if sometimes far-fetched. I don't know yet if the pattern of behavior in Sandford's criminals will be as violent and psychologically driven in the Flowers books as in the Davenport series, but I see no reason a twist on that formula won't work again. While I am always on the look-out for novels of this genre on a par with Larsson, Nesbo, Adler-Olsen, Le Carre, McKinty, French, Huston and now Robert Galbraith, and I don't think these are, I still find Sandford's work well done and fun to read, especially when working around the house and in my studio.
A fairly 'by-the-numbers' detective mystery - from the hero picking up the best looking woman in town within minutes, to the religious nuts and their dark secret - the characters conform to well-known stereotypes. Entertainment if nothing too demanding is required.
I found the narrator's voice somewhat monotone; sometimes finding it difficult to distinguish between some of the characters.
There appears to be an editing error in part two where the narrator mis-reads a line and re-reads it that has been left un-edited. Otherwise audio quality is good.
I was burnt out on the graphic stuff and thought I would never again read Sanford even though I really enjoy the tempo and mystery of his writings. Flowers is great. Keep 'em comin -
Then this is the next best thing. Lucas even makes a few cameo appearances, albeit over the phone. The narrator takes some getting used to, but once you're into the book you won't even notice. Typical Sandford novel at his best. An excellent thriller.
I am a big fan of the author and really liked this book as it reminded me of his older stuff. The story was very interesting as were the charachters. The narration could have been better. Richard Ferrone usually narrates Sandford and he's better than Conger. Overall, it was an enjoyable audiobook.
Awh, I was so bummed when the good writer Sandford wigged out in the middle of his "Prey" series and the whole thing went downhill..........
But I'm here to say that the good writer Sandford is back! With blood, gore, evilness, thrills and chills and.............is there any sex in this one? Read it and find out:-)
This was another great read from Sandford only wish there were more of his novals on-line. Great Author loved the book!
Was afraid I'd be disappointed in a Sanford novel without Lucas Davenport - not!! The way I judge a really good book is if I get to work in the am and want to sit in the car (at the risk of being late!) and keep listening. I suspected but didn't 'figure it out' until almost the end. I highly recommend.
Avid listener of mysteries, thrillers, a little sci fi. Also enjoy self improvement titles. Mom, wife, Social Media Coordinator for biz.
small town suspects
Not quite the edge of my seat as there was not enough action to warrant that until certain parts of the book. However, the character development and flow of the plot was good. I liked the dialogue and thought it was realistic.
I enjoyed learning how the main character put all the clues together.
It used to be a quiet little town.
I am willing to listen to another in the series. I did like the narrator.
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