The eleventh Virgil Flowers novel from bestselling thriller writer Sandford. A drolly fraudulent plan to reverse the fortunes of a declining Minnesota town hits a snag in the form of a much more serious spate of felonies, which warrants a call to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The dialogue is sometimes biting and always witty, and the entire book is at once wicked and sublime. This would be perfect for fans anxiously awaiting the next Carl Hiaasen. They will be delighted to learn the distinctions between Cheeto and Cheez-It residues. But no palm trees; just lots of good corn acreage.
Sandford is so good at mixing humor into his mysteries, and that ability pays off greatly here. Whenever things take a dark turn, Flowers still manages to keep the plot light with his wit and humor. The story moves relatively fast, on par with his other novels, and the intriguing opening premise kicks things off with a bang. Those fearing this title might venture into Dan Brown-like waters need not worry, the initial setup involving the Virgin Mary doesn’t delve deep into religious text or beliefs. Instead, it serves as a tantalizing way to ramp things up, but the story does move away from that as Flowers chases a killer on the loose. Bottom line, it’s another very strong showing from Sandford.
It’s a good mystery, embellished with byplay and banter between Virgil and his allies ... My one complaint is that Sandford never lets us in on how the apparitions are produced ... the impresarios must be doing something technically and artistically right, and it would have been nice to go backstage with them ... Sandford belongs in the heady company of the late, prolific Ruth Rendell.