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Showing posts from November, 2010

Bad Blood by John Sandford

This is the fourth Virgil Flowers novel by John Sandford, and it's called Bad Blood.  When I got to page 179 I found a nasty surprise: half of that page was missing.  And the wait list for the book still had eight people on it.  I finally just broke down and read around the part that was missing and continued on with the book.  I couldn't wait for months until it came in to finish it--patience is not one of my virtues.

This is Flowers' biggest case since the bodies that were dumped at various veterans' memorials, and this case is much bigger and much nastier.  A county sheriff calls Flowers in to investigate the suicide of a teen boy being held in her jail for the murder of a middle aged farmer, who, upon closer inspection, turns out to be far from the upstanding citizen most people thought he was.  When the correctional officer on duty at the time of the boy's suicide also turns up dead, it becomes clear this case is bigger than a single murder.  Flowers' inve…

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay is Gayle Forman's first novel.  I first read a review about it in BookPage a while ago.  Then I was at a book sale over the summer and was surprised to find it there because it was such a recent release.  It was the find of that particular book sale (which was not really impressive as far as book sales go).  I finally got around to reading it recently.  It's a short, fast read.

Seventeen year old Mia has a perfect life: she loves her family, her best friend and her boyfriend.  Her music studies as a talented and gifted cellist are going so well that it's probable she'll be accepted at Juilliard to further her studies in music.

One day while out for a drive with her parents and younger brother, their car is broadsided by a truck.  The crash is horrific and gruesome and her parents are killed instantly while the fate of her brother is unknown.  Mia is hanging on to life by a thread.  By now she has realized she's having an out of body experience and once …

Rough Country by John Sandford

Rough Country is the third installment in the adventures of Virgil Flowers, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension super agent. The series is written by John Sandford.

Flowers, the BCA's go to guy for cases that are especially difficult or in need of a quick turn around, is on a much needed vacation in the wake of the events that closed the previous Flowers novel.  (This shouldn't deter one from jumping in feet first mid-series; although it's smart to start at the beginning anyway because you'll go back to the beginning to read the ones you missed.)  Those events have also made Flowers a minor celebrity due to a New York Times Magazine article series the wannabe writer wrote about the investigation that was subsequently picked up and run by every local paper in Minnesota, and Flowers isn't sure he likes being a minor celebrity.

Flowers' vacation is interrupted by a phone call from his boss who pulls him off vacation to investigate a murder nearby in a county…

The Promised World by Lisa Tucker

The Promised World by Lisa Tucker is only available in county in large print.  I normally avoid the large print editions because I don't like them.  But I didn't feel like requesting it through ILL, so I just read one of the large print copies in the county.  It's one of those books that once you pick it up and it's in your hands and you're reading it--well, it's hard to put down because it draws you in to its pages.  But it's also the kind of book that once you put it down for whatever reason before you've finished it, you realize it's hard to pick up again because you dread what might be coming next for the characters.  Is anybody else like that--do you avoid reading a book (no matter how good) because you dread the outcome for the characters and the travails they might have to suffer before the end of the book?  I've found myself having these feelings with more than one book.  It's hard to put down, but it's also hard to pick up again…

Heat Lightning by John Sandford

I'd previously read John Sandford's first Virgil Flowers novel, Dark of the Moon, a few years back and found it to be a quick, well written read.  Recently I discovered he has since written three more Flowers titles and decided to start with the second title and read through to the fourth and most recent one.  Heat Lightning is the second Flowers installment.  The darkness of the crimes committed that must be solved in the novel are leavened by the lighter presentation of Flowers and the story.  It works well together--a dark crime doesn't always need dark prose to back it up.

Virgil Flowers is Lucas Davenport's go to man in the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension when there's a sensitive, tough or otherwise puzzling case to solve.  Flowers has a high clearance rate and can often turn around a case in about a week.  This  particular case is especially perplexing with quite a few red herrings thrown into the mix to throw everyone--Flowers and the reader includ…