Sunday, January 14, 2024

Rough Country by John Sandford
Virgil Flowers #3


Title: Rough Country
Series: Virgil Flowers #3
Author: John Sandford
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Release Date: September 29, 2009

Virgil Flowers has always been known for having a somewhat active, er, social life, but he's probably not going to be getting too many opportunities during his new case. While competing in a fishing tournament in northern Minnesota, he gets a call from Lucas Davenport to investigate a murder at a nearby resort where a woman has been shot while kayaking.

The resort is for women only, a place to relax, get fit, recover from plastic surgery, commune with nature, and while it didn't start out to be a place mostly for those with Sapphic inclinations, that's pretty much what it is today.

Which makes things more complicated for Virgil because, as he begins investigating, he finds connections between people at the resort and some local women, notably a talented country singer. The more he digs, the more he discovers arrows of suspicion that point in many directions, with many motives: jealousy, blackmail, greed, anger, and fear. Then he discovers that this is not the first murder, that there was a second, seemingly unrelated, the year before. And that there's about to be a third, definitely related. As to a fourth... well, Virgil better hope he can catch the killer before that happens. Because it could be his own.

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 part of the "Prey" series but Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers share the billing - "Ocean Prey."

Ok, now I'm starting to really like this series.

As a fan of the Lucas Davenport series, it was hard not to compare the two series. The end result was Virgil's falling short every time.

It pays to trust the author. In the first two books, I was missing the funny one-liners and the banter Lucas has with everyone. In Rough Country, we finally get Virgil showing some of the same.

Now to the story:

The novel begins with Virgil on vacation. He is participating in a fishing tournament when Lucas calls and assigns him a new job. A woman has been killed while canoeing. As soon as he gets there, many become suspects. It's up to Virgil to figure out who is behind the murder.

I can't wait to start the next one.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

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