A real treat, this newest of John Sandford, and I've listened to them all. Full of twists and surprises. I finished and immediately replayed it, to li..Show More »sten for clues and connections I missed the first time around (many!). The narrator doesn't have Richard Ferrone's gravelly voice, but has an effective tone and pace of his own that I got used to within a few minutes. Appropriately, he sounds just like midwesterners I've known, so his characters are convincing and the narration is enjoyable. Yup, a real treat!
I have listened to a few other of John Standford's books and this is the best one I have heard so far. It has it all with a great deal of suspense tha..Show More »t kept me trying to figure out who was the killer and I was not sure until the end of the book. There was plenty of action as well with the different murders and Virgil's always interesting personal life intertwined into it too. All of this and excellent narrating by Eric Conger made this a very enjoyable listen.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great new character who is still growing., October 15, 2009
By J.S. Banks (Mountain View, CA) - See all my review..Show More »s
First a word about the narrator: Eric Conger reads the novel. He does a great job. I was worried because Richard Ferrone is a the definitive interpreter of the Lucas Davenport "Prey" series. Conger is different, a little more laid back, and a perfect match for Sandford's new character, Virgil Flowers.
As for the story itself. The mystery is no great shakes, and one questionable lapse of judgement by our otherwise clever hero is a stutter in the plot. Still, as far as characterization and dialog, Sandford hasn't lost a beat. There is more to chuckle at as the author dials up the humor and lets a little of his inner Hiaasen out. A protagonist a lot less macho than Sandford's Lucas Davenport, quirky Virgil Flowers is younger than our fictional friend, Lucas, and so has a whole bunch of life ahead of him, with twists and turns we can only guess at, but that the author, John Sandford, will be happy to think up. Love this book.
I think this is Sanford's best book yet. It is definitely the best Virgil Flowers book I've read. The flow of the story is perfect. Frighteningly, i..Show More »t is very believable and well researched. Unfortunately, these type of issues do exist to some extent. He put together a great mix of mystery, thriller, action, suspense and even some romance. Eric Conger did his usual good job with the narration, especially during the big scene. He made it come to life and make it a real white knuckle event. I Highly recommend this book.It is one of the best credits I've used this year!
I am bias! John Sandford is my favorite author and he hit it out of the park in May with his latest Lucas Davenport, Buried Prey. I will forgive him..Show More » this Virgil Flowers. I still enjoyed every minute of this book, but it wasn't as good as the others in the series. He is such a talented writer and so detailed, it was still a great story!
John Sandford is a terrific writer and the creator of both the Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers mystery series. Both series have given fans some gr..Show More »eat reads (or listens) and Sandford has certainly earned his place among the very best crime/mystery writers. I'm a fan and I've read (or listened to) everyone one of his books, many more than once.
I'm glad I read this latest Virgil Flowers mystery and, as a fan, will be unlikely to miss the next one. Mad River is an enjoyable, sometimes suspenseful listen. If you are a fan, its worth the credit.
That said, this is not the right book to introduce you to Virgil Flowers or to hook you on the series. Something is going on with John Sandford and it is not leading to great books. It seems Sandford is losing steam with both his series. Plots, character development, local color are all a bit less compelling than they once were.
Perhaps this is understandable with the long-running (22-book) Davenport series. But Sandford's Virgil Flowers offerings (of which this is the 6th) have seemed a fresh and exciting new start. That may yet prove out, but this latest novel is merely a good tale from an author we know can produce great ones.
Listening to Mad River was more like listening to a straight chronology of events than to a novel. The events were well-related and the new characters were engaging enough (although by no means compelling). But it seemed like this story was something Sandford just had to get off his chest, so he told it too straight. As a result, much of the spark Sandford brings to his tales (GREAT local color, plot twists, solid character development) are missing.
I don't want to be too harsh here. If we weren't talking about John Sandford here, the story would probably rate a 4 instead of a 3. I'm not sorry I spent time with this audio, and the plot was sufficiently interesting to be remembered. But if this type of story-telling is the new normal for John Sandford, I'm not sure how long I will be anxiously anticipating his next work.
The best advice I can offer (as others have) is that this is certainly a creditworthy mystery for the Virgil Flowers/John Sandford/Lucas Davenport fan. For everyone else, start with the earlier works and become a fan, first.