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Mad River (A Virgil Flowers Novel) Hardcover – October 2, 2012
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“The best entry in a stellar series” – Booklist (starred review)
“A high-octane thrill ride. Virgil pulls out all the stops.” – Publishers Weekly
“Wonderfully entertaining” – St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“The greatest strength of Mad River lies in Flowers himself. It’s hard to think of a more balanced and genial investigative hero, yet he’s still able to keep cops and bad guys alike in line. The killers’ motivations and dynamic remain riveting until the final pages.” – Shelf Awareness
“There are few events more welcome in the literary world than the appearance of another John Sandford book. Mad River is shot through with dark humor from all sides [and] the violence that is the driving force of the book ratchets up the suspense to an almost excruciating degree.” – Bookreporter.com
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Flowers is cast in the same mold as Sandford's popular Lucas Davenport, albeit a younger version, Davenport the star of Sandford's "Prey series" and now Virgil's boss. Like his mentor, Flowers is tall, handsome, rugged and familiar with the part of the state where the murders take place. His prose as vigorous and entertaining as in the Prey novels, Sandford builds the tension of a final confrontation through chapters describing the young killers and their victims and the unfolding conflict between what Virgil needs to happen when the three are caught and Sheriff Duke's intentions for the spree killers.Read more ›
As he pursues a trio of loserish youth through the Minnesota countryside, he does not lose fact that they should be taken alive regardless of the fact that they have few redeeming traits. The characters are vividly drawn, Sheriff Duke being perhaps the most vividly anal character in my recent recollection. The plot twists and turns and takes off as even those characters with seemingly many redeeming traits prove to be less (A LOT LESS) than sterling. The author has the rare ability to realize that nobody is either all good or bad, or at least most people. Virgil comes off as a bit more idealistic than Lucas, which may shock some readers, but we're all human.
Halloween is fast upon us. Treat yourself to an absolutely delightful read!
I'm very ambivalent about this book. I've been a Sanford fan since his debut, and ambivalence is a very rare reaction for me.
This book has its moments, and we see aspects of Flowers's character we haven't seen before, especially his rage. But I don't think that's enough to counterbalance the essential lack of meat in the sandwich.
This is, for all intents and purposes, an updating of the Bonnie and Clyde story; a trio of sociopaths leaving a trail of dead bodies in the environs of a rural county in Minnesota, with Flowers on their trail in an effort to stop the carnage and bring them to justice. There's the added wrinkle of a possible murder-for-hire plot involved, and some conflict with a blood-thirsty local sheriff.
That's all there is to the plot, and it's thin gruel, really. A lot of chasing, not much detecting; much like the car chases on TV that so seem to mesmerize so many people and which I find duller than dirt.
The best I can give it is 3 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read the Prey Series and reluctantly shifted horses to Virgil Flowers books. Very interesting style of detective work. Reads like eating candy.Published 1 day ago by Capt
One of the best Virgi Flower's books I've ready. Awesome writing.Published 19 days ago by James Hymel
I first read John Sandford's Prey Books with Lucas Davenport several years ago. I was reluctant to start a series by the same author with a new main character but I was wrong. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Anradale
Really did a great job with this one. The three kids were awful, but by the end you had some empathy for them, because of how they were brought up. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Amazon Customer