Customer Reviews: Storm Front (A Virgil Flowers Novel)
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on October 18, 2013
I am a devoted fan of John Sandford, but Storm Front is the first book he has written which made me sorry that I wasted the time and money to read it. This book is NOT worthy of previous Virgil Flowers books which featured a smart, irreverent detective who solves his cases by a combination of gossip-y interaction and quiet reflection while he fishes.

Although the book has the requisite 2-3 paragraphs which describe Virgil's physical aspect (6'2" tall, hair worn "farmer long," cowboy boots, etc.), the protagonist in Storm Front bears no recognizable resemblance in anything that really counts to previous books. Was this book ghost-written?

I was very disappointed in this book.
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on October 10, 2013
Virgil (nicknamed "that F***in' Flowers" by his police buddies) has always had a bit more comedy to him than Sandford's other police novel hero, Lucas Davenport. But in "Storm Front," a lot of the comedic attempts are of the kind more likely to elicit groans than genuine laughs. To me, this book seems more like a parody of a John Sandford novel, than an actual John Sandford novel. The book is full of caricatures rather than characters, and there aren't any homicides to solve. (I prefer a novel with a lower violence level than, e.g., the Jack Reacher books - one or two murders per novel are plenty for me. But the plot of this one just felt like the stakes were too low to be very interesting. I'm not a fan of "religious mystery" plots.)

I heard Sandford's interview on NPR several months ago, in which he said that other writers would be involved in drafting "Sandford" books from now on, to enable more per year to be published. This is the first new book by "Sandford" I have read since hearing that interview, and I have to say, I think the quality of the writing has suffered. I hope Sandford and his collaborator(s) get better at the new system of turning out "Sandford" novels, so I can enjoy future ones as well as I did the earlier ones. Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers books have always been 4- to 5-star quality, before "Storm Front."
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on October 11, 2013
I have read and loved every book by John Sandford. I know John Sandford. And folks, this is NOT John Sandford. I don't know how much was written by the co-author, but I could tell from the first sentence of the horrible first chapter that someone besides Sandford was writing this. What a huge disappointment after waiting so long for another Virgil Flowers installment. The author has truly let his fans down with this one.
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on October 10, 2013
I am a devoted Lucas and Virgil fan, but this must be the only book I did not finish reading in a single late night marathon. In fact, after Tuesday's delivery to my Kindle, it is now Thursday and I am still not quite finished, but I skipped ahead to the end. Although there was some good stuff and some nice bits of humor, it was dreadfully flat and in spite of the action, b-o-r-i-n-g. Besides being tedious, when did Virgil get so dumb? OK, not going out to the cabin hideout after a long day, that I understand and must admit I would have probably done the same.

BUT, under no circumstances would I have left the artifact just sitting out in the open in my study. Wasn't there a closet in the room? A cupboard? A file cabinet? Even a towel to throw over it?

While I am looking forward to visiting with Lucas next May, I am glad next October is a year away, so I have time to recover from how quickly 2013's Flower wilted. (Yes, that was mean of me.)
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on October 16, 2013
"thump, pause, thump, pause, thump, pause, thump." This riveting passage on p. 125 aptly describes my reading experience for John Sanford's latest offering in the Virgil Flowers series, as it captures the sound of my kindle hitting the floor as I repeatedly fell asleep trying to make my way throught it. An inane plot, cardboard characters and vapid dialogue doom this book. Having read and greatly enjoyed all of Sanford's prior Davenport and Flowers novels, it is clear he had little to do with this one. Whatever committee was responsible for writing this dud should be disbanded immediately, and the series returned to the clever and witty writer who created it. Am off to see if I can get a refund.
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on October 9, 2013
If you have never read a John Sandford book, don't start with this one. I have read every other book sold under the pen name John Sandford and I would recommend any of them. But this one is no good. There is no way John Camp wrote this book. The story is amateurish, bumbling, and disappointing.

I did not complete this book. I only read to chapter five before opting for a refund. It seems to be the trend for popular, established authors to have new material ghost written so that they can sell books for a premium price without expending the required effort and I suspect Mr. Camp has done that here. The content and dialog are terrible. If John Camp did write this book, he should be ashamed. It is not even close to his usual standard of excellent story telling. The editor and publisher should also be ashamed. This book is not worth the $11.99 it's selling for in the Kindle Store, and I pity those who wasted the nearly $30 to buy the hardback book.

Mr. Camp, I love your Prey novels. Lucas Davenport is my favorite fictional character, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the Virgil Flowers books until now. Don't betray your fans with this mediocrity. If you don't have the time, energy, or motivation to do the job properly, then don't do it. Don't pay someone else to write a haphazard novel and them put your name on it, if that is what you have done here. I expect better, and when I pay top price of your material I deserve better. All of your fans deserve better.
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on October 15, 2013
So far, every Sandford novel I read has been of "good quality": serious and structured plot, well researched characters,and properly "tied in". This one feels "sub-contracted". The characters are mushy, the plot goes absolutely nowhere and I just gave up half way through the book. Perhaps this "partner" Michele Cook is to blame?
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on October 21, 2013
Yet another excellent thriller writer takes the low (but profitable) road and insults his readers by allowing his name to be placed on a book that he obviously didn't write. It's clear that Michele Cook, 'journalist and screenwriter' penned the book, and trust me, she's no novelist. She wasn't even good enough to get her name on the cover.

This ugly trend in publishing was started, (as far as I know) by that snake James Patterson, and we've been buried in this swill ever since, with Clive Cussler and even Janet Evanovich joining in the fun.

Boo hoo, nobody reads fiction anymore? This is part of the reason why. I'll never read another book by any author who sells out this way.
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on October 20, 2013
STORM FRONT --- Of the 1000+ novels I've read (by which I mean: started and finished, reading carefully from the first to the last page), this may be the worst. John Sandford should be flat-out ashamed of having his name attached to this half-baked, boring, repetitive, practically nonsensical piece of foolishness. The only decent writing in the book is the plot description on the dust cover, and even that is misleading. Plot set-up: A dying Minnesota university professor smuggles a religious artifact (a breadloaf sized stone) from Israel back to the U.S. with the hope of selling it to the highest bidder to obtain upwards of 5 million dollars to be used for the care of his Alzheimer's afflicted wife. On page 375 we learn that the stone is a fake. For the better part of 376 pages, the reader is forced to plow through one of the most boring Keystone cops plots ever dreamed up by a third-grader. Sandford's name is listed as sole author of STORM FRONT, but he states in an acknowledgement that screenwriter Michele Cook helped him write it --- ah, there's the rub. I've read that Sandford has worked with collaborators on the earlier Flowers novels, as well, but this time it didn't work. How about a Flowers novel written solely by Sandford? That would be welcome.

I have read all the Prey novels (the first 22, each 3 times, and the latest, SILKEN PREY, just once, so far, but it's a 4.5-star novel, so I'll be re-reading it again in a year or two). Also, I've read the first 6 Virgil Flowers tales, each of which has been stellar, but I'm throwing STORM FRONT in the trash and hope to never think about it again. Appallingly bad. STORM FRONT --- a fake, breadloaf sized load.
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on October 11, 2013
John Sanford has always been one of my favorite authors, I purchased all of his novels, butI was so disappoited in this book, the dialog was almost cheap as well as childish. I am surprised Mr. Sanford allowed his name as author of this novel. The story line could have been developed into a fine novel, but the "slapstick" interplay between the character was ludicrous. I will think twice before ordering another of his books, I returned this book for refund--I was that disappointed.
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