Monday, September 27, 2010

John Sandford Bad Blood a Virgil Flowers Novel

Right off the bat I want to say that I am a huge fan of John Sandford. I have devoured all 20 of his Prey novels and each of the Virgil Flowers spinoffs. There are three other Virgil Flower novels: Dark of the Moon, Heat Lightening, Rough Country and now Bad Blood. Do you have to read them in order? No. Do you need to read them, yes. They rock. I find it incredibly hard to put any of his novels down once I get on a roll. The book just doesn’t want to leave my hand or my mind. Okay, I guess you have to understand that I like the guy’s style and substance.
Bad Blood in my estimation is his best work to date with that %$#@Flowers. The dialogue in between the characters is incredible, the repartee fun and at times intense, and the action swift. I offer no spoilers as usual but here is a sample of the dialogue. ”Yeah, but….not like that. Not like some giant conspiracy. “Clinton said.” Then there was that whole thing about morals and good behavior. I’m not sure exactly… I’d like to know what their definition of ‘moral’ is. I mean ,you smell that place?”
“You mean the soup? It smelled pretty good.”
“I mean the smoke. The dope. The spliff, the ganj. As these good Germans would say, the dank.”
Virgil put a hand to his forehead and rubbed. “That’s what it was. I was thinking it was some kind of herb in the soup.”
“It is some kind of herb, but I don’t think it was in the soup, ”Clinton said,” I think it was in the curtains and the couch and the rugs. I think she was cooking up that soup to cover the odor. Those people are Christian fundamentalist stoners. I was sitting there grinning the whole time, listening to them. They were totally full of $%^&….depending on how you define moral.”
‘What is it with these guys?” Virgil asked. “These church people…I talked to one today who was carrying a gun in her pocket. I think some of them know more about Kelly Baker than they are saying, I think…”
“I’ll tell you what it is,” Bill Clinton said,” What it is, is, something is seriously*&^%%$, I wish you luck in detecting what it is.”
That came from page 125. The novel totally rocks the whole way through. The plotline is excellent and Sandford as his usual self just crafts another intense narrative with Flowers leading the way, turning over stones and pushing things to a conclusion. I really enjoy novels by the heavyhitters in the genre that continue to push themselves and not just mail it in. This is in my opinion the best Virgil flowers stand-alone of the bunch. If you are a fan of this character in any way shape or form then this is going to be a fun ride for you. If you are a first timer, then you are going to be getting an introduction to Virgil Flowers at his best. I would suggest then that you backtrack and pick up the rest after that.
There are some very big novels coming out between now and Christmas, and John Sandford has set the bar very high. Tomorrow I am going to run a post with a preview of novels to come this fall and winter. I can guarantee that this novel will appear in the top 10 if not the top 5 for the quarter when we do our little top 20 list before Christmas. If you are a fan of excellent writing, enjoy a well-crafted plotline, humor, action, and great character driven fiction like I do , then this novel needs to be read. What is your favorite John Sanford novel? Is Lucas Davenport still numero uno or is Virgil working his way there?
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