Book Review: DEADLINE by John Sandford

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.

deadline sandfordAs a favor for a friend, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers looks into multiple dognappings that have occurred in the small town of Trippton, where his friend lives. Someone is stealing the residents’ pets, and rumor has it the canines are being sold to medical labs.

Before Flowers can make much headway in the investigation, he also stumbles upon a meth lab and some school board members who have been stealing millions of dollars of school funds. When a local reporter comes close to exposing them, he’s murdered. Turns out it’s only the first murder in a string of them, as Virgil takes up where the reporter left off and the crooked board members resort to extreme means to cover up their corrupt activities.

There’s a lot going on in Deadline, John Sandford’s eighth Virgil Flowers outing (after 2013’s Storm Front). The biggest joys of this series are Flowers himself (his boss is Lucas Davenport from Sandford’s Prey novels), the cast of eccentric supporting characters, and the humorous dialogue. In one conversation, one of Flowers’s fellow BCA agents observes that since “half of all shoot-outs are inside buildings,” he’d get rich if he invented “office camo,” so “you’d look like a cabinet, or maybe a water cooler.” Readers familiar with Flowers’s profane nickname will appreciate the name he gives a new friend at the end, but the uninitiated can also enjoy this installment without having read the previous books.

Nerd verdict: Lively Deadline

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Naomi Johnson
    October 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Just started reading this one. Why is that I enjoy the precocious children Sandford writes, but loathe the same kind of character as written by Martha Grimes?

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      October 24, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      I don’t know because I’ve never read her!

      • Reply
        Naomi Johnson
        October 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm

        I haven’t read her work since the book where the dog knew – without any encouragement – to untie the children held prisoner and then showed them how to escape from the basement. Argh!

        • Reply
          Pop Culture Nerd
          October 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm

          Wow, telepathic super dog!

          • Reply
            Naomi Johnson
            October 24, 2014 at 4:47 pm

            I wasn’t as smart as the dog. I actually finished the book. But that author hasn’t been allowed to burn me again.

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