Whenever you hear the sky rumble, that usually means a storm. In Virgil Flowers’ case, make that two. The exceptional new thriller from the writer whose books are “pure reading pleasure” (Booklist).
The first storm comes from, of all places, the Minnesota zoo. Two large, and very rare, Amur tigers have vanished from their cage, and authorities are worried sick that they’ve been stolen for their body parts. Traditional Chinese medicine prizes those parts for home remedies, and people will do extreme things to get what they need. Some of them are a great deal more extreme than others—as Virgil is about to find out.
Then there’s the homefront. Virgil’s relationship with his girlfriend Frankie has been getting kind of serious, but when Frankie’s sister Sparkle moves in for the summer, the situation gets a lot more complicated. For one thing, her research into migrant workers is about to bring her up against some very violent people who emphatically do not want to be researched. For another…she thinks Virgil’s kind of cute.
“You mess around with Sparkle,” Frankie told Virgil, “you could get yourself stabbed.”
“She carries a knife?”
“No, but I do.”
Forget a storm—this one’s a tornado.
The kidnapping of a pair of rare Amur tigers from the Minnesota Zoo, located in a suburb of Minneapolis and St. Paul, propels Thriller Award winner Sandford's outstanding ninth Virgil Flowers novel (after 2014's Deadline). Winston Peck VI, the pill-popping brain behind the operation, is relying on hired thugs Hamlet Simonian and Ham's older brother, Hayk, to act fast and process the tigers for ingredients used in traditional Chinese medicine which means Virgil, an agent with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and his team have little time to waste if they're to recover the tigers alive. Meanwhile, Virgil's girlfriend, Frankie Nobles, has a guest, her younger sister, Sparkle. Sparkle's research for her dissertation into migrant workers at a local canning factory leads to a beating for Frankie when factory thugs mistake Frankie for Sparkle. The rule-bending Virgil must use his wits to resolve the kidnapping and avenge Frankie's beating in an entry notable for its twisted, inept, and drug-addled bad guys. Plenty of humor leavens the action.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A good Sanford book. Satisfying ending. Some good characters. Recommend it.