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This is a mildly entertaining offering from John Sandford. I like the Virgil Flowers character and his cast of wacky sidekicks but this effort seemed a bit lame and slow moving. I especially didn't care for all the time spent sitting around the store in Wheatfield, eating pot pies, and dreaming up crackpot schemes to flush out the killer. It also seemed to me that the body count warranted more attention than just one state investigator and his two buddies.
Virgil Flowers does it again. What's not to love about this .... unconventional Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent? His cases are always a bit odd, but I think the apparition set up of Holy Ghost was odder than most. You can't help but like most everyone in the town of Wheatfield, as John Sanford certainly makes Minnesotans the people you want as neighbors.
Virgil does things his way. I believe he subscribes to adage that "It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.". Virgil goes his own way but in Holy Ghost he neither went fishing nor womanizing, not even mentally! Perhaps that's why he's a bit discombobulated solving the twists and turns of this mystery. Also, while he did a bit of private philosophizing, he didn't give us his typical insights, memories and version of religion and God.
I miss Lucas Davenport (especially the young Lucas) but I await the next outing with Virgil ... and I wish Sanford would bring back Kidd!
Too slow moving for me as a mystery novel and way too much detail about different types of guns. Disappointed overall since the culprit was not even in the story until basically the end.
John Sandford actually CAN write a crappy book - this is it.
Story went nowhere and the chicken pot pie callback gets worn out early. The culprit isn't in the story for 95% of the book.
Unfortunate but limpid at best. Don't waste your time. This story cheats and introduces facts very late in the game so the reader has absolutely no chance of figuring out the ending. The reviews say that this town was moribund before the Marian sightings ... I think the writing is moribund and the author needs to move on to something else.
This book started off very exciting. Then it got stuck talking about guns and all different types of guns. It was very slow reading. Seemed to go around in circles like the author didn’t know how to end it. Not my favorite read.
Sandford jumped the shark on crime novels awhile back, sad to say this is no exception. Sandford has been devolving into a pure neoliberal establishment faux crat, who probably really believes that the only reason HRC lost the presidential election was due to Russian influence and meddling. [Not because American voters remembered that the Clintons killed the New Deal, and supported military coups like the last one in Honduras, and kidnapped and transported pro-democracy activists back to Egypt and Libya for torture - - and yes, that began under Eisenhower, was halted by John Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy in the Kennedy Administration, but resurrected under Reagan, Clinton and Geo. W. Bush!].
Sandford was mediocre as a reporter, but used to be a halfway decent crime fiction novelist - - until lately!
Another tale of murder and violence in the farm country staring Virgil f------ Flowers, the cop who can't remember to carry his gun. He doesn't get beat up by old ladies this time but does stir up a hornets nest of very casual killers who are a nasty team. Money is the root of all evil even out in the corn patch of frosty Minnesota. Good stuff from the current master of understated rural mayhem. Those long winter nights stir up the primeval violence of the Cro-Magnon soul.
Good book - but a little slow... not up to John Sandford's standard. Still worth the read!
If John Sandford wrote this book, I’ll eat my hat. The Virgil Flowers we know and love was notably absent from this book. While this was a decent police procedural, pseudo-Flowers lacks the irreverent flair that makes the real Virgil a sexy, successful detective who mostly avoids law enforcement bureaucracy unless it can work to his advantage. The story was far from compelling in spite of its viable plot concept. Holy Ghost did introduce Skinner, a young man who has the makings of a promising character in future books; sadly for us readers, Virgil Flowers appears to have wandered off into domesticated bliss.
Many years ago a friend introduced me to John Sandford and his PREY series. Always loved his books, very well done and entertaining with great character development. In one of those he introduced Virgil Flowers, in sort of a cameo role. Then came the FLOWERS series. I still read everything Sandford puts out, but I have come to love the Flowers series best. A super combination of serious and silly. HOLY GHOST delivers again. He best combination of characters yet. And throughout it all, he gives Flowers the chance to mull over more cosmic things, like God, legality and morality. In this case, he lets us see how frustrated Flowers becomes with himself and repeatedly fails to figure out who the serial killer is in Wheatfield. I laughed out loud a lot in this one. Enjoy.
As always, I really enjoyed this book. The storyline was a bit silly. Lots of dumb actions by participants, both cops and citizens. Can't say more without giving too much away. But it doesn't matter. Still a good entertaining read. And I'll probably listen to the audiobook when it becomes available. Love the narrator.
William Kent Krueger is another great writer and he uses Minnesota as most of the books' settings - as does Chuck Logan; another great author.
You've got to admire John Sanford for his consistency in delivering very entertaining and readable stories. If other readers have similar favorite authors, please leave them in a comment here. Some of mine are: Michael Connelly, Daniel Silva, Peter Robinson, Don Winslow, Deon Meyer, Lawrence Block (his Matt Scudder books). Thanks.