Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bad Blood: A Virgil Flowers Novel by John Sanford

Bad Blood: A Virgil Flowers Novel

John Sanford
Putnum, 2010
Hard Cover
Virgil Flowers

Virgil Flowers, the detective everyone loves but hates, because trouble seems to follow him wherever he goes, has a puzzle on his hands that even he doesn't even like the feel of. But doing what he does best―Virgil finds trouble wherever he goes, along with interesting women and a litany of other characters. This time, however, the trouble has already raised its mighty head. Virgil has 4 dead bodies in one very small Michigan town and virtually nothing to move forward on. So, he keeps knocking on doors and reporting his progress at lunch at the local diner, looking for some way in; he wants a way into the problem, something, anything that will produce a crack in the invisible shield that surrounds the town and its mysterious church. Oh, Virgil can guess. In fact, he's pretty sure he knows exactly what is going on. But it's so heinous, so unbelievably wrong, that he can't bring himself to accept it until he and the local sheriff find some proof.

Virgil Flowers, otherwise known as that fucking flowers, is quite the character. A maverick who owns an endless supply of inappropriate T-shirts for the job he does. That job is lead investigator for Lucas Davenport of the Prey Novels. Other than being a fellow with absolutely no pretenses, Virgil could be a young Davenport, with his unrelenting focus on each case he works, with his propensity  for rule breaking and for a type of charisma that simply wins people over.

Bad Blood is not a wild ride. It's not even the thriller that the Dust Jacket claims it is. Bad Blood is a police procedural. John Sanford marches his character(s) through a step by step process that cannot help but isolate the core problem and crack it open like a nut. Even with the almost unbelievable scope of the crime(s) Virgil Flowers must solve, I still felt as though each step taken was a step that must be taken, that this was how police work is actually done. Now, that's a suspension of belief!

John Sandford's Bad Blood develops more of his hot new character, Virgil Flowers, in one hell of a case. How could a fan not like that?

Copyright © 2013 Clayton Clifford Bye

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