Fresh from his 'spectacular' (Cleveland Plain Dealer) debut in Dark of the Moon, investigator Virgil Flowers takes on a puzzling – and most alarming – case, in the new book from the #1 bestselling author.
John Sandford's introduction of Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers was an immediate critical and popular success: 'laser-sharp characters and a plot that's fast and surprising' (Cleveland Plain Dealer); 'an idiosyncratic, thoroughly ingratiating hero' (Booklist). Flowers is only in his late thirties, but he's been around the block a few times, and he doesn't think much can surprise him anymore. He's wrong.
It's a hot, humid summer night in Minnesota, and Flowers is in bed with one of his ex-wives (the second one, if you're keeping count), when the phone rings. It's Lucas Davenport. There's a body in Stillwater – two shots to the head, found near a veteran's memorial. And the victim has a lemon in his mouth.
Exactly like the body they found last week.
The more Flowers works the murders, the more convinced he is that someone's keeping a list, and that the list could have a lot more names on it. If he could only find out what connects them all… and then he does, and he's almost sorry he did.
Because if it's true, then this whole thing leads down a lot more trails than he thought – and every one of them is booby-trapped.
Filled with the audacious plotting, rich characters, and brilliant suspense that have always made his books 'compulsively readable' (Los Angeles Times), this is vintage Sandford.
From Publishers Weekly
"Making his fiction debut, 'Sandford,' a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist using a pseudonym his real name is John Camp, has taken a stock suspense plot-a dedicated cop pursuing an ingenious serial killer-and dressed it up into the kind of pulse-quickening, irresistibly readable thriller that many of the genre's best-known authors would be proud to call their own," stated PW.
From Library Journal
Lieutenant Lucas Davenport, highly touted killer detective, invents intricate video games that he sells for cash. Called in to aid the Minneapolis team scrambling to stop a psychopathic serial woman-slayer, Lucas almost meets his match. The self-styled "mad dog" murderer views his rape/stabbings as a game as well, setting up obstacles for the police, carefully selecting his victims, and priding himself on clever moves. Despite his largely deja vu plot, debut novelist Sandford (also the author of The Fools Run due from Holt in September under the name John Camp; see Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/89) delivers tense action, chilling excitement, and thrilling suspense. Fast-moving prose and romantic sidelines add a little zest, too. BOMC featured selection.
From Publishers Weekly
Would that Sandford, creator of the marvelous and bestselling Prey thrillers, had heeded Thomas Wolfe's advice about going home again. Instead, he's resurrected a hero from his previous crime series (The Fool's Run, etc.) in his latest thriller, which begins when the infamous KiddAartist, computer expert and master criminalAis called in to investigate the mysterious death of a former colleague in Texas. Working with the victim's sister, Kidd slowly uncovers a massive computer conspiracy masterminded by St. John Corbeil, the president of a Texas microchip company, whose excesses spiral out of control when the company's product (after gaining a foothold in the world of intelligence) bombs in the commercial marketplace. At first Kidd is inclined to steer clear of the seamier side of the conspiracy, but when several members of his own high-powered criminal group are implicated and the National Security Agency begins scrutinizing his operation, he brings in his part-time partner and lover, LuEllen, to help with the investigation. Their probe turns dangerous when the corporate kingpin hires a pair of assassins to hunt down Kidd, eventually forcing him to focus on a mano-a-mano duel with Corbeil. Sandford pens plenty of stirring action scenes as Kidd's encore unfolds, and it's clear that the author likes playing with his hero's shady sensibility and the chemistry he enjoys with the versatile and erotic LuEllen. But despite his edgy and sometimes provocative narrative style, Sandford struggles to bring a sense of urgency to the narrative. Kidd's return will be welcome news for Sandford fans, but the tepid plot makes his comeback a pedestrian affair. 400,000 first printing.
One stifling summer night in Longstreet, Mississippi, talented fourteen-year-old Darrell Clark ran home and was shot by cops, who had mistaken him for a purse snatcher. When the predictable cover-up starts, a group of black activists decide that the time has come for action against a corrupt city government. Marvel Atkins, their leader, links up with Kidd, the man with the plan to bring the city tumbling like the pack of Tarot cards he likes to consult. All he has to do is watch out for the Empress. The Tarot has warned him she is dangerous, but first he must find out who she is.
A gripping ultramodern novel…fast-paced and suspenseful. – Chicago Tribune
Con artists Kidd and LuEllen utilize state-of-the-art, high-tech corporate warfare to organize the technological takedown of a defense industry corporation, but their string of successes is cut short when the ultimate con artist gets conned.
This series of techno-suspense novels featuring artist, computer wizard and professional criminal Kidd (The Fool’s Run; The Empress File; The Devil’s Code) and his sometime girlfriend, cat-burglar LuEllen, are far fewer in number and less well-known than Sandford’s bestselling Prey books. In this entry, Bobby, Kidd’s genius hacker friend (“Bobby is the deus ex machina for the hacking community, the fount of all knowledge, the keeper of secrets, the source of critical phone numbers, a guide through the darkness of IBM mainframes”), goes offline for good when he is hammered to death by an intruder. Bobby’s laptop is stolen, which is bad news for Kidd as several of his more illegal transactions may be catalogued on the hard drive. Kidd needs to find the computer, break the encryption and revenge Bobby’s death. The trail leads from Kidd’s St. Paul, Minn., art studio to heat-stricken rural Mississippi and on to Washington, D.C., where Kidd uncovers a government conspiracy that threatens the reputations and livelihood of most of the nation’s elected representatives. One of the joys of the series is learning the tricks of computer hacking and basic burglary as Kidd and LuEllen take us to Radio Shack, Target, Home Depot and an all-night supermarket to buy ordinary gear, including a can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew, to use in clever, illegal ways. The action is as hot and twisted as a Mississippi back road, but the indefatigable Kidd eventually straightens it all out and exacts a sort of rough justice that matches his flexible moral code. The early entries in this series have aged badly because of the advances in technology, but this latest intelligent and exciting thriller proves a worthy addition to Sandford’s overall body of work.
Anna Batory's evening starts with a frenzied animal rights raid and then moves quickly to the site of a suicide jump. It's all in a normal night's work for Anna, who leads the Night Crew, a freelance video team out to make a quick buck on sensational footage they can sell to L.A. news stations. But this night is different: the jumper is a teenager named Jacob Harper, and Anna's cameraman Jason beats a strangely hasty exit after filming the jump. A few hours later, Jason too is dead: shot and knifed.
Jacob Harper's father is an attractive former cop who works out the connection between his son's death and Jason's. The two young men share a drug dealer-and when Harper finds said dealer dead as well, he calls Anna to the scene and shows her a creepy knife wound on the dealer's body: the name "Anna" carved into his chest. From that moment on, Anna knows she's chasing down a killer who's got a thing for her-but who is it? A series of heart-thumping encounters between Anna and her shadowy stalker keep this thriller moving at the dizzying clip that Sandford's fans expect.
Those who love the Prey series for the quirks and contradictions of its antihero, Lucas Davenport, will find a kindred creation in Anna: an attractive loner, taciturn and tough-minded, a classical pianist with the fighting reflexes of a wild animal. Will Sandford keep bringing her back? Time will tell.
Having spent the past two years in hiding following a daring and successful heist, a big -time robber is back in Minneapolis, having spotted the opportunity for an even greater steal. It's a couple of weeks before the big Republican party convention: thousands of people spending cash, which is flowing into a relatively inadequate Brinks warehouse, protected by only three or four armed guards. The robber's plan is to distract the cops by manipulating and alerting them to a possible assassination attempt. Lucas Davenport meanwhile has problems of his own, targeted by a psychopathic pimp, who blames Davenport for the fact he's in a wheelchair. Only it's not Davenport he's going after; it's his innocent daughter, Letty.