Coming late to the Sandford Prey novels (I’ve only been reading them for a few months), I wasn’t aware some of his other non-Prey books were spin-offs featuring Virgil Flowers. Thanks to the nice folks at Putnam, sending me an advance of Deadline, I’m in the loop and excited.
It was already great knowing a backlog of Prey novels were out there for me to buy and enjoy (I’m a half dozen into the archives already). After reading Deadline, I’m sold on Sandford’s Virgil Flowers titles, as well. What a great situation for me, the reader!
Flowers is a recurring sidekick of Lucas Davenport’s, star of the Prey series. His role there is muted and often non-essential, though I know he’s always ready to stand by Davenport in any situation. Deadline finds Flowers, absolutely the lead character of the novel, investigating a series of murders that initially draw him away from the case he originally was involved with. Only time working hard at the little things involved in crime solving, and plenty of hard thinking, and digging into what people tell him, help him to fully understand the magnitude of the case.
Who to trust of course is important. Flowers begins with a mystery involving dozens of stolen dogs, seeing possible motivation on the part of a small community of meth-producers removed from society. That quickly blows up in his face, and it’s all he can do to handle the animal owners, who are prepared to take the law into their own hands.
As if this isn’t enough, a deep embezzlement scheme slowly comes to the surface, accompanied by a growing checklist of dead bodies. Flowers, a captivating character himself, and a memorable cast, live a dangerous game of cat and mouse as the two story-lines come together.
Deadline is an engrossing tale, populated with people coming alive on the page, moving a good story along at a nice pace. I found it exciting, with some passages worth reading a second time just to savor the writing, and a great story. Nicely done, John Sandford.
@PenguinUSA, @J_Sandford, #Prey, #VirgilFlowers, #Deadline