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Dark of the Moon (A Virgil Flowers Novel, Book 1) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. It may be marked, have identifying markings on it, or show other signs of previous use. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Dark of the Moon (A Virgil Flowers Novel) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What a pleasure to find a novel with an upbeat hero paired with a reader who is more interested in telling a story well than in demonstrating the outer limits of his vocal range. Far from the usual cynical, borderline-depressed investigator, Virgil Flowers is a likable, hang-loose sort of sleuth who enjoys life and seems to relish handling the hard stuff for his boss, Lucas Davenport (Sandford's Prey series hero makes a brief cameo). Flowers's assignment is to investigate several gruesome murders in a small town. Unlike the harder-edged Prey series, Moon is more of an entertainment, allowing Flowers to supplement his determined quest for justice with witty conversation and several romantic interludes. Conger matches the lighter moods with a mellow, almost mesmerizing matter-of-fact delivery, adjusting his vocal range just slightly to differentiate speakers. But when the action demands it—such as the grim opening murder scene or the suspenseful storming of the cult leader's encampment—Conger's voice takes on a properly hardboiled intensity.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Headed to rural Bluestem to assist local law enforcement with the seemingly motiveless murder of an elderly couple, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers happens upon a raging house fire on the edge of town. The house's owner, Bill Judd, killed in the blaze, was an elderly recluse who, back in the day, ran an elaborate pyramid scheme and simultaneously bedded half the women in town. He escaped conviction on the fraud charge, and the money was never recovered. There have been no murders in Bluestem for a half-century, and now there are three in a couple weeks. Virgil is not an advocate of coincidence and so begins digging for a connection between the victims. Complicating matters is his affair with the sister of the local police chief. Sandford's plotting and dialogue are as crisp as ever, and the emergence of Virgil Flowers gives the author another idiosyncratic, thoroughly ingratiating hero to alternate with the ever-popular Lucas Davenport. Flowers, who made his debut as a secondary character in the Davenport thriller Invisible Prey (2007), is a low-key loose cannon whose wardrobe consists of alternative-rock t-shirts carefully chosen to match his agenda of the day. The appeal of the Davenport series is mainly tied to the hero's wit and self-deprecating humor, but this first Flowers entry is more about action: an adrenaline rush peppered with laugh-out-loud moments. Lukowsky, Wes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: A Virgil Flowers Novel
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio; Abridged edition (October 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143143832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143143833
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (593 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,299,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Sandford was born John Camp on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended the public schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. He then spent four years at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor's degree in American Studies in 1966. In 1966, he married Susan Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, a fellow student at the University of Iowa. He was in the U.S. Army from 1966-68, worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian from 1968-1970, and went back to the University of Iowa from 1970-1971, where he received a master's degree in journalism. He was a reporter for The Miami Herald from 1971-78, and then a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press from 1978-1990; in 1980, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis. From 1990 to the present he has written thriller novels. He's also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art. He is the principal financial backer of a major archaeological project in the Jordan Valley of Israel, with a website at www.rehov.org. In addition to archaeology, he is deeply interested in art (painting) and photography. He both hunts and fishes. He has two children, Roswell and Emily, and one grandson, Benjamin. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007, and is greatly missed.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

142 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Bill Garrison VINE VOICE on October 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Dark of the Moon is a new book by John Sandford, author of the great Lucas Davenport series. Sandford uses a co-author in this novel that features Virgil Flowers, a cop working with the Bureau of Criminal Aprehension where he is assigned the hardest cases. Flowers has been divorced a lot, is somewhat afraid of guns, and takes pride in wearing quirky t-shirts. The book opens as he is traveling south to investigate the murder of a harmless ederly couple when he drives upon a house being devoured by flames. The house was set on fire to cover up the murder of the ederly, feeble and hated Bill Judd. Virgil teams with Jim Stryker, an old buddy and the current sherriff, and they start investigating the crimes. A lot is going on in this novel. Stanford throws a lot at the reader.

Dark of the Moon reads just like a Lucas Davenport book. Incredible plotting, tons of characters in the small town, you get to know the town and the feeling that everyone DOES know everyone else. Virgil is a funny guy, all Sandford books have an underlying humor to them. You can tell Sandford is having fun when he writes.

Flowers hooks up with Stryker's sister Joan and has a good time with her, while at the same time wondering if Joan or Jim could be the killer. In fact, everyone Flowers encounters has a motive or a reason to be a killer. Sandford fans will love this book. It is fast pace and full of twists. Flowers' wit always keeps you entertained as well.

With a new Davenport book due in the spring, fans of the author won't have long to wait for another great book. Hopefully, Sandford can continue to write novels featuring Flowers as well.
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Format: Hardcover
First, this is not another installment in the "Prey" series that features Lucas Davenport, one of the most fully developed characters in modern fiction. Second, this may be only partially the product of John Sandford. The Acknowledgment states the novel "was written in cooperation wsith my friend Larry Millett . . ." Sounds like Sandford got more than just an idea or advance reading from Sandford. If indeed Sandford has taken on a co-author, he should have the decency to tell us so forthrightly.

Virgil Flowers, a secondary character in recent Prey novels goes solo in this one. He still works for the Minnesota BCA and Lucas Davenport is his boss. But we read very litle of Lucas here and the interchange between the characters is practically non-existent.

So Flowers, the perpetual I'll-do-it-my-way guy is in Bluestem Minnesota helping out his old buddy, Sheriff Jim Stryker, find a murderer who has burned an old man to death and killed another elderly couple, shooting out the eyes of the husband.

Everyone is a suspect. The son of the old man, who happens to be the area's most hated multi-millionaire; the local newspaper editor; the Sheriff's sister (whom Flowers beds without adding to the story); the illegitimate daughter of the dead millionaire who suddenly proclaims her presence and entitlement to a chunk of the expected inheritance; a born-again Christian who used to be a criminal and maybe still is; a father-son brace of deputies who might be murderers and few others. In all, there are about a dozen primary characters, each of whom may be the murderer. Flowers, working almost alone, has to figure out who the bad guy (or gal) is.

In all, it's a good, kind of old-fashioned "whodunit". It's definitely a change from the "Prey" series.
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38 of 47 people found the following review helpful By eb on October 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Very little about this book rang true for me. The main character had little depth, even though I have been introduced to him in another Sandford book. As other readers commented, the editing was poorly executed: two Curleys speak in one scene even though only one has been established and the time frame re: Flower's morning exercises/running is truncated. A white dog wanders into one scene, never to be seen again. Plus, the Lucas Davenport and Sandy 'the researcher' (as we are constantly reminded) references never worked. The way they were handled, the two characters might have been from Mars and not from Sandford's previous novels.

The above could have been somewhat overlooked if the plot and story worked....which they did not. There were many setups but few satisfying payoffs. And the third act never paid off at all: why had the killer blown out the eyes of his victims? Yeah, he was a nut, but that in and of itself is no excuse for poor writing. And the love interest's explaination at the end was so contrived it wasn't worth reading twice to see if it made any sense.

Many authors develop a franchise that they later 'hand off' to co-writers, sometimes with good results, other times not. This seems to be one of the nots. The next time I purchase a John Sandford novel, I will definitely make sure that it was written by Sandford and only Sandford.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Barb on February 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Started to skim after page 200. Didn't care about any of the characters, they were never fully developed. The plot was all over the place, and the ending was not satisfying. To many things left unexplained.
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58 of 74 people found the following review helpful By SDRTX on October 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Virgil Flowers who is working for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is sent to Bluestem for some investigative work. Virgil's boss, Lucas Davenport the protagonist of Sandford's PREY series only gives Virgil "the hard stuff". Bluestem has some "hard stuff" going on. There's more than one secret, more than one scam, more than one strange character, and maybe more than one killer in the small town. It's hard to know who to trust when every one knows everyone's business.

The first third of the book was very compelling. I was instantly drawn into the story. I loved the character of Virgil Flowers. The storyline was suspenseful. I would give that part of the book 5 stars. After the storyline is set up and the characters are introduced the book runs into problems. The story just started dragging. There were not only too many subplots and tangents, there were way too many characters. A big problem for me, though I liked Flowers a lot, I absolutely did not care about any of the secondary characters. There was so little time in developing them how could you really care. By the last quarter of the book, I couldn't wait for it to end. It was a major disappointment. I do hope Sandford uses Virgil Flowers again as a main character, but next time I hope he tightens up the storyline, make a bit more plausible, use less characters, and make us care about more than one of them.
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