Monday, November 21, 2011
Sigh, got a crime to solve...
Content to spend his life buying vintage tee shirts featuring classic rock bands and fishing on quiet lakes, Virgil Flowers is a smart crime solver despite his passive demeanor. When a series of bombings threatens to de-rail the construction of a Walmart-style big box store in a small community, Virgil's aw-shucks personality initially appears inadequate to the task of stopping the violence, but the town's residents soon learn better. That's the basic gist of John Sandford's Shock Wave, the latest in his Virgil Flowers thriller series.
This easygoing yet immersive crime story does a capable, entertaining job juggling, contrasting, and playing off one another its many flavors: the strong glue of Virgil's placid exterior; the intensity and focus he's more than able to dredge up when called for; the drama generated by the bombings themselves; and the diverse characters with their many concerns and motivations. Along the lines of that last point, Mr. Sandford also makes the most of the several quirky small-town personalities that pepper his story, and the attendant humor they generate.
This was my first Virgil Flowers novel, and I enjoyed it more than enough to want to catch up on the previous entrees in the series, as well as to keep an eye out for new installments. After all, I have to see if Virgil indeed gets a new boat (as the Governor helped arrange), after the bomber in Shock Wave blew up his old one, much to Virgil's disappointment.
Shock Wave is available on Kindle for $14.99... and possibly for free with the Kindle's new borrow from your local library feature!