Flowers 02:Heat Lightning, by John Sandford

Second Virgil Flowers book, and the one that contains the "massacre of those Vietnamese guys" that people keep asking Virgil about in Rough Country ("it wasn't a massacre").

In this one, Vietnamese vets are turning up murdered, with lemons stuffed in their mouths. Davenport is busy working the security for the Republican convention that's covered in Wicked Prey and so Virgil is sent to look into it. Although in fact Davenport does make more appearances (in person, as well as on the phone) in this story than either of the other two Flowers novels.

Another good one - maybe not quite as good as Rough Country but still very entertaining. I laughed quite a lot when reading the book, e.g. when they were pursuing some criminals and ended up following them to Canada

As they crossed back over the river, Jarlait said, "Now we've broken two laws - illegal entry into Canada, then illegal entry into the States."

"Probably best not to emphasise that when we're talking to people," Virgil said.

Actually, during the Canada bit, just for a moment I caught myself thinking "oh dear, what if someone from Canada reads this book - they'll know that Flowers and Jarlait crossed the border". So I must have been living in the book's world.

Like a Prey book, the plot didn't unfold in a way that felt particularly conventional - or at least, it's not the same plot structure as other Flowers books: in this one, you get descriptions of what the killers are doing, but don't find out until about halfway through the book who they are. Worked OK.

There was some back-story of a terrorist plot and the involvement of US homeland security dirty tricks, which maybe could have been done a bit better: this was a vague subplot through most of the book and then for the last chapter or so took centre stage. But it was readable, if a bit implausible.

And that means I'm now up to date with all the Prey and Flowers books. Maybe time to start on the Prey books again, reading them in order.

Completed : 03-Jan-2010

[nickoh] [2010 books] [books homepage]