By John Sandford
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
BCA Agent Virgil Flowers is back in the tenth book in the #1 New York Times best-selling series. Flowers would rather be photographing wild life as a freelance photographer instead of solving a murder. But unfortunately his much needed vacation has been cut short by a call asking him to investigate a murder in the tiny town of Trippton, Minnesota.
Not only does this put an abrupt halt to his much needed rest and relaxation, it also pulls him away from his girlfriend and his dog. The prospect of going back to Trippton in the middle of winter isn’t very appealing, even though he has friends there since he previously solved a case there.
After a Class Reunion meeting held at the home of the richest woman in town, she turns up dead. The murder happened minutes after the meeting, so one would assume the killer is one of her classmates. Unfortunately, almost everyone in the small town disliked the victim and more than a few had a solid motive. Virgil knows how catting people can be; especially those with a history.
The townspeople mostly like Virgil, for an outsider that is. He has a few true friends in the snow covered town, Johnson Johnson being at the top of that list. Johnson is happy to see him and more than willing to help him get information that Virgil may have trouble getting on his own.
Then, as if Virgil needed more irritation, enter Margaret Griffin. She has been sent by a major toy manufacturer to serve cease and desist orders to someone in Trippton because they are making “modified” dolls of an x-rated nature. Someone in high places within the state wants the little homegrown shop closed, so Virgil is also asked to give Griffin a hand. Unfortunately for him, that results in more problems than the murder investigation.
When an attempt is made on Virgil’s life, he isn’t sure if it is the people in the town that depend upon the illicit income from the modified dolls or the murderer feeling the heat.
I loved everything about this book. The humor, the twists and turns, the characters and interestingly entertaining plot add up to another best seller. As a longtime fan of Sandford’s writing, I was not disappointed.
The engaging plot had me reading “just one more chapter” late into the night. Sandford skillfully pulls the reader into the story and holds you there in the bitter cold of Minnesota right there with his characters.
Virgil is an interesting man. He seems laid back, but looks can be deceiving. His mind is always turning and moving towards the goal of finishing up the cases and getting back home. The reader can tell he is smart, savvy and more than a little compassionate for the plight of those who need help, even if they are on the wrong side of the law.
There is a reason Sandford is a best-selling author. His books are interesting, funny and easy to read. Don’t confuse “easy” with simple. Deep Freeze is a complex story told in a laid back manner that keeps readers turning the pages.
I am sorry to say I have not read one of Sandford’s books for several years. Conversely, I am excited to have rediscovered his masterful prose and will be catching up with some of the previous adventures of Virgil I have missed. I highly recommend this book to thriller fans as well as anyone who loves a well written book with a fabulously entertaining plot.
Copyright © 2017 Laura Hartman