Virgil Flowers will have to watch his back--and his mouth--as he investigates a college culture war turned deadly in another one of Sandford's "madly entertaining Virgil Flowers mysteries" (New York Times Book Review).
At the local state university, two feuding departments have faced off on the battleground of science and medicine. Each carries their views to extremes that may seem absurd, but highly educated people of sound mind and good intentions can reasonably disagree, right?
Then a renowned and confrontational scholar winds up dead, and Virgil Flowers is brought in to investigate . . . and as he probes the recent ideological unrest, he soon comes to realize he's dealing with people who, on this one particular issue, are functionally crazy. Among this group of wildly impassioned, diametrically opposed zealots lurks a killer, and it will be up to Virgil to sort the murderer from the mere maniacs.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Our favorite wisecracking, trash-talking, cowboy boot–wearing detective is back in action, and domestic bliss hasn’t changed him one bit. Virgil Flowers has his hands full helping run a farm with his extremely pregnant girlfriend, Frankie, in John Sandford’s 12th book in this series. But when a prominent University of Minnesota neuroscience professor is murdered, exposing his double life, Flowers is sent in to find answers. His keen instincts are as sound as ever, but we really love his trademark irreverence, which he uses to throw shade on everyone from bitter Minneapolis cops to lofty academics. Virgil Flowers is one of the smartest detectives in current fiction, and his attitude makes him the one we’d most like to have a beer with.
Bestseller Sandford's compulsively readable 12th novel featuring astute Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers (after 2018's Holy Ghost) will please fair play fans. Thanks to some string-pulling, Flowers gets assigned to assist the Minneapolis PD with the investigation of a homicide at the University of Minnesota that has stalled two weeks after the crime. Someone bashed in the head of Barthelemy Quill with a laptop in the university library in the middle of the night; Quill, a professor who worked in a lab specializing in spinal injuries, was in the midst of a romantic rendezvous at the time. The dead man's sister, a major political campaign donor, prevailed on the governor to add resources to the case, a decision not welcomed by the veteran police detective in charge. Flowers finds no shortage of suspects, including a map thief and an academic rival whose theories were denounced as bunk by Quill during one of her lectures. Readers who like a bit of unrepentant wiseass in their sleuths will find Flowers fits the bill. Sandford makes blending humor and mystery look easy.
Definitely not the old Virgil
Most of the 1st half of book is a boring waste of time. (Another reviewer suggested Sandford had not even written this book. I wonder too.)
The 2nd half gets Virgil back doing police work. However, the manner in which crime is ‘solved’ stretches credulity. Good apprehension of bad guy. But then are closing couple pages foretelling Virgil’s demise?
Virgil Flowers series
I am so sad, that I just read the last book in the series, called bloody genius. Thoroughly enjoyable.