Deadline

John SandfordPublisher: Putnam , New York , 2014
ISBN:9780399162374 Classification: FicSan

Publishers Weekly ★ 08/11/2014 In Thriller Award–winner Sandford’s stellar eighth Virgil Flowers novel (after 2013’s Storm Front), the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent, who works for Lucas Davenport, the hero of the author’s other major series, helps friend Johnson Johnson with a little problem that keeps growing in the Mississippi River town of Trippton. Johnson’s neighbors are concerned about a series of dognappings by hillbillies who live up by inaccessible Orly’s Creek. Roy Zorn, a “small-time motorcycle hood,” might also be manufacturing some meth up that way. If Virgil can’t solve the dog problem, dog lovers may shift to open warfare. Meanwhile, the members of the Buchanan County Consolidated School Board, fearing they’ll all go to prison, vote unanimously to kill reporter Clancy Conley, who “inadvertently discovered that the school board was stealing the school system blind.” Virgil doesn’t get much help from Sheriff Jeff Purdy, but 12-year-old McKinley Ruff and high school janitor Will Bacon provide critical assistance as panicky board members escalate the violence. Sandford is an accomplished and amusing storyteller, and he nails both the rural characters and terrain as well as he has skewered urban life in past installments. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Oct.)

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