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Library Journal Review
Lucas Davenport (Buried Prey), a senior agent with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, sends his junior colleague, Virgil Flowers, to investigate mysterious bombings at the construction site of a new PyeMart megastore in the tiny town of Butternut Falls and at its headquarters. Flowers, starring in his fifth series outing (after Bad Blood), has a number of suspects from which to identify his likely culprit: the many local merchants, environmentalists, and politicians who oppose the new venture for economic, environmental, personal, and professional reasons. Verdict The plot, a thinly disguised reference to the local community opposition that Walmart has faced for years, lacks the excitement and panache characteristic of Buried Prey and other Davenport titles. Also, introducing local humor and personalities may help to create a more credible story, but-dang it, Sandford-that ain't enough! [See Prepub Alert, 4/11/11.]-Jerry Miller, GSLIS, Simmons Coll., Boston (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Wry humor, a fully realized lead, and tense atmospherics lift Sandford's suspenseful fifth novel featuring Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers (after Edgar-winner Bad Blood). When a bomb kills a construction superintendent in Butternut Falls, a small community divided over the imminent arrival of a PyeMart megastore, Virgil gets on the case, even though it's his day off. Three weeks earlier, a bomb exploded at PyeMart's Michigan headquarters shortly before a board meeting. Willard Pye, the company head, was unharmed, but his executive assistant was blown to pieces. Given the number of locals hostile to the company, Virgil has no shortage of possible suspects, and the ante rises as more bombs are detonated. Coupling a thoroughly modern investigative approach with old-fashioned logical deduction, Virgil narrows in on his target. Sandford effortlessly conjures up the rhythms and personalities of a small town in one of his best outings to date. Author tour. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
PyeMart is coming to Butternut, Minnesota, and not everyone is happy about it. Then bombs start going off, first at at corporate headquarters in Michigan and then at the Butternut construction site. Virgil Flowers, of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, is dispatched to coordinate the investigation with local police and the federal ATF agents. So who are all these cops looking for? A violent tree-hugger, livid that the construction will damage a pristine trout stream? Or one of the local business owners? The bomber sets off a couple more blasts and continues to avoid detection. Flowers himself is nearly collateral damage. Sandford's fifth Flowers novel is thoroughly entertaining but not quite on a par with its predecessors. Its relative weakness may stem from the fact the local crime victims are faceless, and the corporate victims seem so, well, deserving of their fates. Virgil himself still hasn't cut his hair, can't keep a woman, and has a new collection of rock-band T-shirts all endearing characteristics. A Sandford B+ is better than most thrillers out there. He's set his own bar very high.--Lukowsky, Wes Copyright 2010 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
A methodical bomber gives Virgil Flowers a welcome chance to recover from his atypically bombastic last outing (Bad Blood,2010, etc.).Three days before his 70th birthday, billionaire Willard Pye and his board of directors are one room away from an explosion that rocks his boardroom outside Grand Rapids and kills Angela (Jelly) Brown, his executive assistant. Another blast follows with indecent haste, killing a construction superintendent at the site planned for a new PyeMart in Butternut Falls, Minn. The second bombing brings out the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in the person of Virgil Flowers, who assures the disgruntled Pye that he expects to clear the case within a week. "One week and I kiss his ass," Pye tells Marie Chapman, his high-priced amanuensis. But a week doesn't look like nearly long enough for a case this complex. Lots of townsfolk in Butternut Falls are against the new megastore. The Cold Stream Fishers, fearing that a pristine trout stream will be fouled, are especially militant. And Despite Pye's denials, it looks as if a PyeMart expediter has bribed Mayor Geraldine Gore and at least three city councilmen into supporting the highly divisive project. Virgil networks, invites more than 100 locals to make up lists of potential bombers and wonders whether his faltering long-distance relationship with Warren Count Sheriff Lee Coakley is strong enough to keep him safe from Marie Chapman and other indigenous temptresses. The bomber, meanwhile, is moving ahead with a deep-laid plan, setting off one explosive device after another in order to make some kind of statement, mislead Virgil and cover his tracks.The tale drags at times, but the mystification and detection are authentic and the solution surprisingly clever. Virgil fully deserves to have Willard Pye kiss his ass.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.