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Storm Front by John Sandford

It's been a while since I posted here.  I was reading Letters from Skye then I got distracted by Storm Front (which I am reviewing here), and now I've started an Elin Hilderbrand book, but I've not been reading very much of it because I've been distracted by other things (mostly Christmas).  Storm Front is the new installment in the Virgil Flowers series.  It has a Da Vinci Code-esque plot of which I was extremely skeptical.  It's like really, another mystical Bible mystery that could turn the world's religions on their heads AGAIN?  Even Virgil was, like, whoa, dude, really?  (It said so on the jacket blurb, okay?  HE AGREED WITH ME.)  However, this reads like any other Virgil Flowers novel.  This book also reiterated for me that Virgil has seriously questionable taste in women.  I mean, starting up a fling with the broad you're investigating for fraud?  Not.  Smart.

No sooner is a piece of rock bearing the name of the legendary, ancient Hebrew king Solomon uncovered at a remote dig in Israel than a terminally ill Lutheran minister and professor from Minnesota absconds with said stone and via Cyprus flees with it back to the U.S.  Right from the start, Virgil thinks there is something fishy about how the theft went down in Israel, but he has bigger fish to fry because the theft of the stone has triggered an international race populated by shady, dangerous characters, all of whom converge on Virgil's part of Minnesota to engage in an illegal bidding war for the stone.

The Lutheran minister, who has mere weeks left to live, is determined to sell the stone to the highest bidder.  That is, unless Virgil gets to him first or any number of individuals with various and sundry nefarious motives takes the stone by force before it can be secured and returned to Israel.  In addition to tracking the minister and the stone as well as the various shady individuals attempting to acquire the stone for their own purposes, Virgil also has to contend with the media circus that descends upon Mankato, Minnesota, as well as the loose cannon of a woman that he's investigating for fraud after she inserts herself into the international ruckus surrounding the Lutheran minister and his ill-gotten stone.

This story isn't short on plot twists, and once the story gets cranked up, the action doesn't stop.  This is a thrilling, page turner that's hard to put down, and it reads very quickly.  I highly recommend this series and this book.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

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