Bonnie and Clyde, they thought. And what’s-his-name, the sidekick. Three teenagers with dead-end lives, and chips on their shoulders, and guns.
The first person they killed was a highway patrolman. The second was a woman during a robbery. Then, hell, why not keep on going? As their crime spree cuts a swath through rural Minnesota, some of it captured on the killers’ cell phones and sent to a local television station, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers joins the growing army of cops trying to run them down. But even he doesn’t realize what’s about to happen next.
About John Sandford
JOHN SANDFORD is the author of twenty-two Prey novels, most recently Stolen Prey; the Virgil Flowers novels, most recently Shock Wave; and six other books. He lives in Minnesota.
Tom McCall and Becky Welsh think that Jimmy Sharp has led them to Dr. John O’Leary’s home to relieve Marsha O’Leary of a diamond necklace she recently showed off around town. No sooner have they broken in, however, than Jimmy shoots the O’Learys’ oldest daughter, Agatha Murphy, without getting the necklace. In their haste to exit, Jimmy shoots Emmett Williams for his brother-in-law’s Dodge Charger, and their murder spree has begun. First they clear the decks by killing Jimmy’s father and Becky’s parents; then they murder a McDonald’s owner and his wife for some traveling money; then, when a bank robbery goes bad, they kill a Bare County deputy. Called in to the first murder scene, Virgil alertly realizes that Jimmy aimed for the one and only O’Leary window he could easily get through and wonders if Agatha’s murder was something other than a panicky reaction—something like a murder-for-hire arranged by Agatha’s estranged husband, smarmy insurance salesman Dick Murphy. As Virgil, who wants to talk the killers in, tilts with Duke, who wants to shoot them down on sight, Sandford explores the unstable dynamics among the three fugitives and raises questions about how any of the easily identified culprits can ever be brought to justice. – Kirkus Reviews
In ‘Mad River,’ A Friendly Cop Tackles Rural Crime
NPR Book Review – September 23, 2012 (Excerpt)
John Sandford has written his own five-foot shelf of novels and thrillers, most of them as part of the “Prey” series. Almost all of the books are set in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
His cast of characters has changed and shifted somewhat over time, but largely features Minnesota cops. The plots are centered around Lucas Davenport, a kind of superstar investigator who ages a little from book to book and has a checkered career with a bit of a bad boy reputation – one that has not prevented him from becoming a high ranking official in state law enforcement.
But several years ago, John Sandford switched gears and introduced a new character — Virgil Flowers. Flowers is a rural Minnesota cop who works for Lucas Davenport, but in some ways picks up where Davenport leaves off.
Sandford says one of the reasons he created Flowers was because Davenport got married and had kids. “Most people like a little sex in their novels,” he tells Weekend Edition host Linda Wertheimer. “And the problem with Davenport was that he could no longer chase women because that would make him a bad guy, and your hero can’t be a bad guy in that way.” [Read the full article...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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