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SHOCK WAVE: A Virgil Flowers Novel

Fifth in the series written by John Sandford (the PREY series)

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Virgil Flowers is back in "SHOCK WAVE: A Virgil Flowers Novel" by John Sandford

  • Dec 23, 2011


Virgil Flowers returns in SHOCK WAVE and the read is a good one. This is the fifth novel of the series and this time he is chasing a bomber. Virgil is based in Mankato, Minnesota and therefore routinely covers the southern part of the state for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He also goes whether his boss, Lucas Davenport, sends him. Virgil has quite the reputation, not just with the ladies, and always gets the job done.


The latest bombing was of a construction trailer located at the site of a planned PyeMart store. PyeMart is a major grocery and more type chain store deal and somebody is trying to stop their latest venture. This just hours after the company’s board room in their very secure office tower was blown up killing one and wounding another. Like the office tower bombing, the destruction of the construction trailer has killed one and wounded another. Lucas Davenport sends Virgil to the small town of Butternut to deal with the problem in typical Virgil Flowers fashion.


That means both traditional police work and a reliance on the unorthodox methods when traditional police work does not give Virgil Flowers the answers he needs. Butternut is one of those small towns where everyone pretty much knows everyone else. That means everyone knows who the folks on the edge are and also know that most of those types can’t pull these bombing off successfully. Yet, somebody is doing it because it keeps happening.


As expected, Virgil does finally solve the case in a fast paced book that also occasionally provides a laugh out loud moment. No new ground in terms of character development is broken here. Instead, the focus is on the case and chasing a bomber that is striking again and again in the area. In a refreshing change from recent books in this series, discussions and observations about sex and sexual perversions are almost non-existent making for a much better read. The focus is on the case, the suspects, and how to stop the attacks. The read moves very quickly with a minimum of character exploration. That is especially obvious in the way the secondary subplot is handled as it could have easily been expanded some to add some complexity to the book. Despite that minor nit, there are plenty of twists and turns in this nearly 400 page novel to give you a good read.



SHOCK WAVE: A Virgil Flowers Novel

John Sandford


G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Group)



ISBN# 978-0-399-15769-1


388 Pages




Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.


Kevin R. Tipple © 2011

Reviews, writing events, and more at http://kevintipplescorner.blogspot.com/


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More SHOCK WAVE: A Virgil Flowers N... reviews
review by . March 29, 2012
Two corporate bombings in Minnesota make authorities bring top investigator, Virgil Flowers, to investigate and find the bomber.      There is animosity toward PyeMart a Wall mart type of corporation. Business owners feel they'll be forced out of a job and environmentalists feel the corporation will pollute the water with adding pollutants into the water.      Virgil is a somewhat nonchalant investigator. He's humorous and brings is own love of fishing …
review by . April 15, 2012
Virgil Flowers is a great character...
   While I've grown a little cold on the John Sandford novels that feature Lucas Davenport, I'm finding I like the Virgil Flowers novels a lot.  Shock Wave has Flowers tracking down a serial bomber intent on stopping a large Walmart-like store from setting up shop in a small town.  Flowers is a nice mix of irreverence, vulnerability, and persistence, all wrapped together in a mind that never stops running.        Sandford does a good job in capturing …
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Kevin R. Tipple ()
Ranked #90
My stories have appeared in such magazines such as “Lynx Eye,” “Starblade,” “Show and Tell,” and "The Writer's Post Journal" among others and online at … more
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ISBN-13: 9780399157691
Author: John Sandford
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Date Published: 10-04-2011
Format: Hard Cover
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