Title: Dark of the Moon
Series: Virgil Flowers #1
Author: John Sandford
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Release Date: October 2, 2007
Virgil Flowers — tall, lean, late thirties, three times divorced, hair way too long for a cop — had kicked around a while before joining the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Lucas Davenport at the BCA promised him, "We'll only give you the hard stuff." Flowers has been doing the hard stuff for three years now — but never anything like this.
In the small town of Bluestem, a house way up on a ridge explodes into flames, its owner, a man named Judd, trapped inside. There is a lot of reason to hate him, Flowers discovers. Years ago, Judd had perpetrated a scam that'd driven a lot of local farmers out of business, even to suicide. There are also rumors of some very dicey activities with other men's wives, of involvement with some nutcase religious guy, and of an out-of-wedlock daughter. In fact, you'd probably have to dig around to find a person who didn't despise him.
That wasn't even the reason Flowers had come to Bluestem. Three weeks before, there'd been another murder — two, in fact. There hadn't been a murder in Bluestem in years — and now suddenly three? But just how personal is something even he doesn't realize, and may not find out until too late. Because the next victim... may be himself.
Librarian's note: as of 2021, there are 13 volumes in the author's Virgil Flowers series. The last was published in April 2021. It is in the "Prey" series but Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers share the billing, "Ocean Prey."
As a huge fan of the Lucas Davenport series, I could not in good conscience skip Virgil Flowers. I had to give him a try. Happy I did.
Virgil is smart, patient, and not afraid to set a trap for the bad guy/or girl. He is not your typical cop. He looks more like a surfer. Blonde, tall and lean. He likes to wear music band T-shirts instead of suits. He also has 3 ex-wives but the failed marriages have not made him bitter. Furthermore, he likes the ladies, and the ladies like him back.
I was pleased with Dark of the Moon as the first installment and I enjoyed how Virgil handled himself. I'm sure he is only going to get better. I didn't like Lucas in book 1 so Virgil is already ahead.