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by John Sandford

Publishers Weekly Starred Review. In Thriller Award-winner Sandfords stellar eighth Virgil Flowers novel (after 2013s Storm Front), the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent, who works for Lucas Davenport, the hero of the authors other major series, helps friend Johnson Johnson with a little problem that keeps growing in the Mississippi River town of Trippton. Johnsons neighbors are concerned about a series of dognappings by hillbillies who live up by inaccessible Orlys Creek. Roy Zorn, a small-time motorcycle hood, might also be manufacturing some meth up that way. If Virgil cant solve the dog problem, dog lovers may shift to open warfare. Meanwhile, the members of the Buchanan County Consolidated School Board, fearing theyll all go to prison, vote unanimously to kill reporter Clancy Conley, who inadvertently discovered that the school board was stealing the school system blind. Virgil doesnt get much help from Sheriff Jeff Purdy, but 12-year-old McKinley Ruff and high school janitor Will Bacon provide critical assistance as panicky board members escalate the violence. Sandford is an accomplished and amusing storyteller, and he nails both the rural characters and terrain as well as he has skewered urban life in past installments. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Clancy Conley's journalism career has fallen victim to his methamphetamine addiction, and he's bounced to the bottom of the career ladder, writing part-time for a weekly paper in rural Trippton, Missouri. And that's where his story ends. Clancy is inexplicably gunned down while jogging, and state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers (Storm Front, 2013), already in town helping his friend Johnson Johnson track down a serial dognapper, is just curious enough to pull rank and investigate. Clancy told his friend Wendy, Trippton's lady of the evening, that he was working on an explosive story that would revive his career. But his editor denies knowing about any such story, and Clancy's computer is suspiciously missing. Undeterred, Virgil hits the jackpot when he finds Clancy's photo card. It seems Clancy had been looking into some sort of budgetary shenanigans and the dark deeds of some of Trippton's most upstanding citizens. Sanford balances straight-talking Virgil Flowers' often hilariously folksy tone and Trippton's dark core of methamphetamine manufacturers and sociopaths; the result is pure reading pleasure for thriller fans.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.