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Jackie K. Cooper

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Shock Wave: Sandford Strikes Again

Posted: 10/18/11 05:38 PM ET

Most readers know novelist John Sandford from his Prey books. This is the series of books featuring Minneapolis St Paul detective Lucas Davenport. Sandford also wrote some stand alone novels and has recently branched out into another series. This one features Davenport's chief investigator Virgil Flowers.

The Flowers books, of which Shock Wave is the latest, are different in tone and texture from the Prey series. Virgil is a man who is what he is, and that means he is basically a good old boy who favors t-shirts with pictures of musical groups on the front. He also is an avid fisherman and fishes when and where he can. To contradict this he is also a writer of magazine articles and stories. To top it off he is a very good investigator.

His skills are certainly necessary when he is asked by Davenport to head to Butternut Falls, Minnesota. There has been a bomb explosion and one man has been killed. Earlier there had also been a bomb attack at Pye Pinnacle, the corporate headquarters of Pyemart, which is located in Michigan. One woman had been killed there. Willard Pye is the man behind Pyemart which is a Wal-Mart type company. Pyemart is building a mega-store in Butternut Falls and many of the people there are opposed to the plan.

It is Flowers job to find the bomber before anyone else is killed. This is difficult to do as he has very few clues upon which to formulate a profile of the bomber. Still he had better work quickly as he has entered the bomber's sights for elimination.

Shock Wave is a solid Sandford read. It contains the requisite suspense, the necessary oddball characters, a twisting and turning plot, as well as a hero in Flowers. What more could you want? The answer is - not much.

If you are not a Sandford follower yet then this is a great place to jump in. He is one of America's most unique and definitive writers and each and every book is a pleasure to read. He is one of the top tier of mystery writers which includes Jeffery Deaver, Michael Connelly and John Lescroart.

Pick up a copy of Shock Wave and let old Virgil lead you on a wild race against the clock as he attempts to solve the case of multiple bombings. His steady but innovative way of solving the crimes will provide you with a good novel in which to get absorbed.

Shock Wave is published by G P Putnam's Sons. It contains 388 pages and sells for $27.95.

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