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Publisher's Summary

Virgil Flowers kicked around for a while before joining the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. First it was the army and the military police, then the police in St. Paul, and finally Lucas Davenport brought him into the BCA, promising him, "We'll only give you the hard stuff."

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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,453
  • 4 Stars
    1,294
  • 3 Stars
    505
  • 2 Stars
    96
  • 1 Stars
    78

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    723
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    241
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    59
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    37

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    57
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    40
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  • Story

Slow Moving

Virgil takes forever to solve this case and their are too many characters to follow

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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No continuity from the old “Prey” books

He worked for Lucas on the police department working narcotics/vice. He does not fit the latest bio.
The new series stories do not carry the wow factor of the Prey stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The Bluestem Murders.....

This mystery moves at a good pace. It's about murder in the small Minnesota town of Bluestem. In Bluestem, everybody knows everybody else ... a typical Sandford-type story. Lots of action with enough tension that kept me listening.

Virgil is called to investigate a double homicide which soon becomes 6 or 7 murders (I can't remember what the final count was). Virgil is a ladies' man and he is soon in a romantic relationship and is shot at when he and his romantic interest are skinny dipping in a secluded body of water. This is a good interest-holding story. The Publisher's Summary is a good description of the novel.

Narrator, Eric Conger, performs very well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 10-18-16

Davenport vs. Flowers

I listened to Dark of the Moon, the first novel in the Virgil Flowers series, four years ago. Six of the eight Flowers novels an 13 of the 26 Davenport novels are in my Audible library. I have preordered Escape Clause which will be released in a few hours. Although Davenport appears in all of the Flowers novels, I prefer Davenport to Flowers. Like most of John Sandford's books Dark of the Moon is excellent, but Sandford is far from being in the elite group of modern detective writers; he seldom writes 5 star novels. This certainly is not one. Worthwhile? Yes! Special? No!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Jenny
  • Orlando, FL, United States
  • 10-28-13

A great sleeping aide!

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

A deaf person

Would you ever listen to anything by John Sandford again?

I love John Sandford. It was the narrator I couldn't handle. He is sooooo monotone I couldn't get through the book. I tried twice.

How could the performance have been better?

A new narrator would make all the difference!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Virgil Flowers is a winner

It took me two books to get used to the idea that Virgil Flowers is just as interesting a character as is Luke Davenport himself. I loved this one -- Flowers' dry wit, his constant habit of understating whatever it is he's commenting on, is funny, sometimes even hilarious. A Virgil Flowers book means a great story, colorful characters and an occasional out-loud laugh.

I especially commend Eric Conger, the narrator, who gets those Minnesota accents just right. Listening to him read a John Sanford book is like a visit home. Kudos to whoever picked Conger to read this series.

The only reason I gave the book four stars is that the dead-dog index is higher than I like. I don't like plots where dogs are killed, not for any reason. There are plenty of ways to heighten tension and horror without killing dogs -- and having Virgil Flowers say how much he likes dogs as he shoots one in the head doesn't help any at all.

Is that a little thing, a niggling complaint? You betcha, it is -- the whole incident is done and over in maybe 20 pages -- because the characters keep referring to it afterwards, which makes it even harder to forget.

I still liked the book -- but I'm hoping that if more readers who are dog lovers -- our numbers are legion -- keep harping on it every time, authors will get the hint. Don't kill dogs. Don't kill or torture any animals, for that matter. Work the plot out with humans only. If you can't keep the dogs safe, leave them out of the story.

Still. A good book, a worthy entry into the John Sanford string of winners.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not Lucas, but no disappointment

Virgil Flowers is on assignment from Lucas Davenport. He's sent to investigate a double homicide, when he stumbles upon another homicide. They seem to be connected, when more homicides occur. Now, to find the culprit. That's when all the fun begins. Virgil is an interesting character, that's easily liked. As the story develops we learn more and more about Virgil, til the end when we want to hear more from him, just because Sandford has made him so intriguing. This is a enjoyable 'who done it' that keeps you guessing throughout and is no disappointment if you're in to crime drama that has a bit of humor and sex. The character development is done superbly, which adds so much to the story. As for the narration, I thought he did a good job, with catching the essence of each person, and Virgil needed to have his own persona, so we could differentiate between the two characters of Lucas and Virgil.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura
  • Montgomery Village, MD, United States
  • 05-29-13

Do YOU compare your children?

Lumping Lucas and Virgil together is unfair to each. With my kids, I don't compare their strengths and weaknesses and choose one over the other. They are individuals. I believe the same is true for these protagonists. That being said, Virgil is a believable, credible guy and has a bright future ahead of him.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Mel
  • Raleigh, NC, United States
  • 05-29-13

Virgil vs Lucas

This was my 3rd Virgil story after 10-12 of Lucas' "Preys". No offense to Lucas Davenport, but I'm enjoying "that f-in Flowers" even more than Lucas.

The whole Minnesota "thing" doesn't appeal to me but I do enjoy the characters and the stories.

I enjoy that Lucas is a secondary character in these but he leaves it up to Virgil to solve the cases.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stacy
  • Santa Ana, CA, United States
  • 04-01-12

Terrible, Boring, Narration!!!!!!!!!!!!

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator was so awful I could not even listen to the book. I tried 4 times to start the book but I could not pay attention no matter how hard I tried. Between the way he read the book and his tone of voice it was the worst narration I have heard yet!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful