Bad Blood by John Sandford

So this past Saturday I was MISERABLE at work. I hate working weekends to begin with, but this weekend was made even worse by the fact that it was so dead at the hospital…I had nothing at all to do. So I told the receptionist to hold my phone calls that I was going to Walgreens to get a book. Now we all know how wonderful of a selection pharmacies have for books </sarcasm>. I searched through the ten books that they had to offer and decided this one would be the least disastrous. As it turns out, it was a truly thrilling and emotional read! I’ll be damned.

Frankly, I’ve never even heard of John Sandford, but apparently he’s kinda a big deal on the mystery/thriller/detective novel scene. I get that now. This is the fourth book in his Virgil Flowers series. Luckily, you don’t have to read these books in order. They have their own stories with just a central investigator named…you guessed it…Virgil Flowers. And he’s a pretty cool guy. I thought he was a total douche at first, but it turns out he does have a heart and he’s a pretty genuine guy.

Bad Blood holds a riveting story but one that’s not easy to read. The book starts out with a series of murders/suicides. We don’t know which they are at first, but the answer to that quickly becomes clear. The murders are centered around a local church called the World of Spirit. The church seems odd to some people, but until they dig into it, no one realizes just how fucked up things are. There’s some sick sexual shit going on here. Child abuse, spousal abuse, murder, rape, etc. These are your trigger warnings. If you can’t read about those things, you probably should not read this book.

It’s not gratuitous though. I’ve tried to pose the question to myself why do some books with rape really bother me (in that I think it shouldn’t be written about) and others don’t. And my answer is simple. When rape is glorified in a book or there is no retribution whatsoever because of it…it pisses me off. I’m thinking specifically of the Peter Straub story in the Stories anthology. I can never read anything by that man again because of his disgusting story. But when it’s shown as a part of what sadly goes on in this world and is shown as the disgusting, hurtful, did I mention disgusting act it is..I’m ok with it being in a story. In Bad Blood, it’s the latter.

Virgil Flowers is sent in to investigate and bring down this ring of crime in the small farming town and works with female officer, Lee Coakley on solving the case. Personally, I would LOVE to see a Lee Coakley series written because she was incredibly awesome!! Of course there’s some romance that spawns between the two, but I thought it was done very well. I enjoyed the love story as well.

So I went from skeptic to fan with this one book…I’ve now ordered the first three books in the Virgil Flowers series along with the first book in Sandford’s Prey series. Looks like I may have found a new favorite author to read when I’m looking for a good mystery/thriller.

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7 Responses

  1. I am glad this was good considering! I also can’t believe you don’t bring a book to work ‘just in case’. I suppose if you had, though, you wouldn’t have discovered this one. πŸ™‚

  2. Great review! I will keep him in mind for when I get desperate for audiobooks. My library has a ton of thriller authors in audiobook.

  3. Ooooh, love an unexpected good book!

  4. i love John Sandford! I’ve read all of the Lucas Davenport books but none of the Virgil Flowers series. I’ll change that soon! Glad you liked this.

  5. Who would have guessed such a good book would be found lurking on drugstore shelves? Glad you found a winner! πŸ™‚

  6. You made Rich a very happy fella! πŸ˜€ Glad you like it–you’ve made me want to get back to Davenport series (I don’t keep up nearly as well as Rich does.)

  7. Wow! That really worked out well for a Walgreens find. Good for you Chris πŸ˜€

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