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Rough Country (A Virgil Flowers Novel) Paperback – 28 Sep 2010
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Praise for Rough Country
“Rich, satisfying, and frequently hilarious.”—Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
“Sandford takes literary chances, and he succeeds brilliantly here with Minnesota state cop Virgil Flowers. The characters, especially Flowers, come vividly and delightfully to life, and the dialogue is sprightly, witty, and sometimes sexy. Sandford writes entertainment that’s not to be missed. Grade: A.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Unexpected twists...Sandford excels at all the required elements of the novelist: plot, personality, and prose. The melding is masterful and produces an exquisitely paced book at once beautiful and profane, a story that fans of both crime-novel approaches can enjoy. He makes Flowers as appealing and captivating a character as always. With a confident touch, Sandford brings it all home in Rough Country.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
“An entertaining romp...Sandford has long been one of the best crime series mystery writers around. He keeps the pages turning and the dialogue snapping better than anyone this side of Elmore Leonard. An entertaining...and completely engrossing page-turner.”—The Post and Courier
“Fast-paced [and] action-packed.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“It’s a complicated case, but Virgil is up to the task, and, as always, he’s funny, smart, and tough when he needs to be.”—Publishers Weekly
About the Author
John Sandford is the pseudonym for the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Camp. He is the author of the Prey novels, the Kidd novels, the Virgil Flowers novels, and six other books, including three YA novels co-authored with his wife Michele Cook.See all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I’d read all Sandford’s “Prey” novels then decided to order the most recently released Virgil Flowers one. That lead to my ordering all the rest of this series. After they’d all arrived, I put them in publication order. Beginning with the first of the series,
I began a John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers series reading marathon. If you’re a mystery/thriller fan you’ve probably read Sandford and know what to expect. Excellent character development, good descriptions of people and places, interesting story lines, plots with twists and turns, real life, although not for the sensitive to vulgarity, conversations and page-turning, have to see what happens next stories. Rather than get into the storyline of each book in the series, since so many other reviews have already done that, I think that pretty much says it all. The one thought I had after completing each one was…”How does he come up with all these different story lines?” If you like reading mystery/thriller books, I highly recommend John Sandford.
Virgil, the son of a preacher, "held unconventional beliefs, not necessarily Christian, but not necessarily un-Christian, either, derived from his years of studying nature, and his earlier years, his childhood years, with the Bible." He hold a degree in environmental science from the University of Minnesota, reflecting his passion for the outdoors, and especially for fishing. Virgil has parlayed this hobby into a successful sideline as a writer for outdoors magazines. And recently he wrote a two-part series for the New York Times Magazine about a complex case he'd just solved. (That case was the subject of Heat Lightning, the compelling second book in the Virgil Flowers series.) As a result, Davenport says he's "the most famous cop in Minnesota."
Virgil has long blond hair and is obviously good-looking. He typically wears jeans and a T-shirt advertising an obscure rock band, seemingly a different one every day. Women are drawn to him, and he manages to fall in love with a beautiful young woman on just about every case. He's been married, and divorced, three times.
Rough Country opens with the murder of Erica McDill, a partner in a prominent Minneapolis advertising agency at a resort for women-only in the state's lake country. Because the press and the politicians are all over the case, and because Virgil is on a fishing trip not far from the resort, Davenport assigns him to investigate the killing. It quickly emerges that McDill is a lesbian, as are many of the other women at the resort. Perhaps, then, some love affair gone bad explains the murder. But Virgil also learns that McDill was maneuvering to buy out her principal partner in the advertising agency—and planning to fire many of the staff once she gained control. Rumors about the firing were already making the rounds at the agency. To complicate matters further, McDill had tired of her partner, Ruth, who suspected she would be dumped. But there are also complicating factors involving the ownership of the resort, giving yet someone else a motive for the killing.
Naturally, we have faith in Virgil. We know he's going to solve the case. But how he gets there is surprising at the least. And the conclusion is a shocker. I've enjoyed every one of the books I've read in this series. The dialogue is invariably clever and occasionally hilarious. But Rough Country may be John Sandford's best Virgil Flowers novel.