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4.0 out of 5 starsThis Is, As Usual, A Non-Stop Story
Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2017
This was, as usual, a non-stop story with lots of action. I don't think the criminal element, which we always get to know, were very interesting people. That is one thing that makes this authors books unique - you know the bad guys as well as the "good" guys. I really like the Virgil Flowers books too but I get tired of him not wanting to carry a gun. He should not be a police officer feeling that way. He is fun & funny though &, as Weather says, has a cute butt.
I am an ardent John Sandford fan. I recently purchased and read the complete Prey series and then the complete Flowers series in order, and I'm only sorry I'll have to wait for the next book in both series. Sandford is a novelist with the rare ability to carry over characters and plot elements with complete believabiity while allowing both to develop in interesting, unexpected but natural ways - the only other "serial" novelist who does this nearly as well is Anthony Trollope, and he avoids murders. I re-read these books with pleasure as great or greater than the first reading because the fast-paced narrative and unexpected plot developments pulls you to read fast the first time; the second or third you can pay attention to atmosphere (he's great on significant landscape detail), character growth, and situation development. Sandford writes like a real novelist, not like someone trying to impress academia with his literary exclusivity.
2.0 out of 5 starsA very disappointing waste of my time
Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2020
I actually had to force myself to finish this book because I could not believe so many readers actually celebrate this author.
I have read almost every single book by Connelly, Coben, Baldacci and Grisham - not to mention countless others - and there is no way I would place this author in their league. Not even alphabetically. Sorry. Maybe his stuff gets better later - don’t know, not interested.
The characters are poorly constructed, the plot(s) ridiculous, and the conclusion abysmal.
So why did I give it 2 stars? Because he’s been able to get this and other books published - and that is truly an accomplishment.
5.0 out of 5 starsI really enjoy the Lucas Davenport series
Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2013
Mystery readers are mystery readers, and I'm one of them. That said, I'm picky. The violence can get too up-close and personal, or too intense, and it puts me off. I can't explain how my standards work, because some of these bad guys are pretty darn bad, but somehow Sandford doesn't gross me out. Even more, the general mood of some murder mysteries can just be so grim that they're no fun for me to read, and that is where Sandford shines. Yes, they're crime novels. Murder mysteries. The first thing that happens is somebody gets killed. Usually some more people get killed before it's over. However, within that context the characters get off lots of wisecracks among themselves, go off on philosophical tangents, and have real personalities, real selves, that make the books great fun to read and, for me, to reread.
Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2014
Mr. Sanford never disappoints. So glad I bought the kindle so I am finally able to go back and catch up on the series I have so enjoyed for most of my adult life. Thank you for providing intellectual reading that both young adults and mature adults alike can enjoy.
There is only one small piece that bothered me in the book and I will be going back to previous books to see if I read it wrong before mentioning it further.... maybe in my next review. Anyway, please, take the time to enjoy this and all the John Sanford books out there.
I've been working my way through the Prey novels for a few years now and this was the latest. Most interesting here is that this is the one where Virgil Flowers is introduced. He also talks about Kidd in this one as an art consultant. If you haven't gotten into either of those series I highly recommend. Really great author, keeps you turning pages with an occasional smile here and there when the 'boys' start talking.
Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2018
John Sandford writes extremely well and this one is okay but he has written much better and more dramatic thriller crime stories. However because this one is about a rather obscure topic (antiques fraud) he gets a pass because of his incrediblely deep investigation and use of nomenclature about the industry. Additionally readers can infer he wanted to develop the "bad guys" more completely (their sexual deviance & pecadillos) but in light of the PC times in which he writes...decided not to. Oh well.
I am slowly working my way to the entire series which I started years ago in the middle when I bought a paperback in the airport. Kindle makes it easy to find and manage a series by an author. Strong language so not for teenagers and below. They made only one of his books into a TV movie Certain Prey with Mark Harmon who is too "clean" to play Lucas Davenport. The killers are always violent - must be the Minnesota winters - and remind me of the movie Fargo.
Sandford doesn't have the flair of James Lee Burke but he is more prolific and always a good read even though he reveals the murderer(s) mid-way in the books. Now it's just a question of how Davenport will figure it out and what tricks he will use.
What can I say to add to the numerous other excellent reviews. I suspect you either love this author and his two great creations(Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers) or not. I’ve been in the former camp since reading one several years ago and now I await each new release eagerly. These are very easy reads, but don’t let that fool you; the author is a Pulitzer Prize winner in his other life and, while the writing appears deceptively simple, it is not. It takes skill to write like this, with a great dollop of quiet humour which I love. Sandford’ s two characters appear together frequently, as indeed they do here, together with a variety of a regular supporting cast, all to good effect. I do not understand why TV or film has not snapped up an option on these books; the Harry Bosch TV series showed it could be done well so why not these? Having said that, I’d still want to read each and every one. The main problem is in waiting for the next! I read them far, far too quickly; perhaps I can amuse myself in the wait for the next by thinking who might play Lucas- and Virgil! If you’ve not read them, start at the beginning for the best experience, the characters do build and develop - and grow older. One of my real favourites.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 1, 2007
Lucas Davenport is still absolutely gorgeous - even though he's not quite as hard-edged as he used to be!!
This is a must for all John Sandford (and , of course Lucas) fans. As usual superbly written, tight, paced and still developing the characters after all this time.
If you enjoy a good thriller - with an edge, and have not read any of the prey series, as the other reviewer suggested - start at the beginning and read in order - growing with the characters only adds to the brilliance of the novels.
Just a shame we have to wait so long between each one - perhaps Mr Sandford could type a bit quicker!!??!!