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Holy Ghost (A Virgil Flowers Novel) Hardcover – October 9, 2018
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Pinion, Minnesota: a metropolis of all of seven hundred souls, for which the word "moribund" might have been invented. Nothing ever happened there and nothing ever would--until the mayor of sorts (campaign slogan: "I'll Do What I Can") and a buddy come up with a scheme to put Pinion on the map. They'd heard of a place where a floating image of the Virgin Mary had turned the whole town into a shrine, attracting thousands of pilgrims. And all those pilgrims needed food, shelter, all kinds of crazy things, right? They'd all get rich! What could go wrong?
When the dead body shows up, they find out, and that's only the beginning of their troubles--and Virgil Flowers'--as they are all about to discover all too soon.
"Brave Girl, Quiet Girl: A Novel" by Catherine Ryan Hyde
From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a gripping and emotional novel about friendship, motherhood, and the journey toward finding a place to call home. | Learn more
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“John Sandford’s madly entertaining Virgil Flower mysteries are more fun than a greased-pig-wrestling contest. The plots outlandish; the characters peculiar; and the best bits of dialogue are largely unprintable.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"Another winner."—Washington Post
“Holy smoke, Holy Ghost is a hot one! . . . The dialogue is sometimes biting and always witty, and the entire book is at once wicked and sublime.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Wickedly enjoyable . . . Sandford’s trademark sly humor shines throughout.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Praise for Deep Freeze
“Along the way to the satisfying ending, Virgil displays the rough humor and rough justice that make him such an appealing character.”— Publishers Weekly
“The ride, as always in a Sandford novel, surprises and delights....Add a gripping storyline, a generous helping of exquisitely conceived characters and laugh-out-loud humor that produce explosive guffaws, not muted chuckles, and you’re in for the usual late-night, don’t-even-think-of-stopping treat when Flowers hits town.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
About the Author
- Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition (October 9, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0735217327
- ISBN-13 : 978-0735217324
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.3 x 1.38 x 9.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #249,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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POV: Third person. I’m grateful for that decision, as I believe the more neutral stand that third person permits is a better fit for the wry sarcasm that I detect in the narrative.
BLUSH FACTOR: There are plenty of profanities, including several “f” words. There also is slang regarding issues of activities normally occurring in the bedroom, if you get my drift. Probably, you won’t be reading this aloud to your prayer group.
ADVENTURE: Yes, to wild hunting grounds of rural Minnesota with its wild fly population waiting for the great white hunter. You’ll understand this factious reference better while perusing chapter one.
THE WRITING: A tongue-in-cheek look at rural life for a war vet opens this suspenseful tale of murder. The opening drips with sarcasm and is almost over-the-top. Had I not known some folks in southeast Ohio who reminded me of this mayor, but who WERE over-the-top, I might have burst out laughing. Instead, I just got this wry-looking smile…
I hasten to add, though, that at some points in the book I did break into an audible chuckle. There are times when I believe you will, as well.
GRAMMAR, EDiTING & SUCH: This is a first-rate production by a premier writer.
CHARACTER: Anybody not familiar with Sandford’s Virgil Flowers will probably find him to feel familiar, for he is the natural-born big brother I’d have sought out when I was younger. After all, any man who loves his dog as much as Flowers loves Honus has to be a hero.
SOUL: Since I live in rural North Dakota myself, and have come to know a number of folks who could well be characters in “Holy Ghost,” I
‘…decided Bilbija was right: the thing hadn’t been opened in years, and part of the problem with pushing it open was that it had been tarred shut.
On the other hand, the roof had good sight lines to the places where the shooting victims had been standing. When Virgil walked around the roof, he found the second floor was built over half the structure, with the back half dropping to a single story. If someone had a short ladder—not even a stepladder but one of the three-step stools used to reach high cupboards—he could have climbed onto the back roof, then used the stool to climb to the top. Getting down would be even faster, if it had become necessary to flee. He could have gone from roof to roof with no more than a three-foot drop.
If the shooter climbed up and down the back of the building, between the wall and the dumpster by the kitchen door, he might even do it unseen.
Virgil put it down as a possibility. The roof didn’t show any footprints, discarded DNA-laden cigarette butts, a book of matches from a sleazy nightclub, an accidentally dropped driver’s license, or any other fictional possibilities, so he went back down the hatch and pulled it shut.
“Find anything?” Bilbija asked.
“A nice view, but . . . no.”
“Didn’t think you would,” Bilbija said. “Say, you want a beer or a quick shot to keep you going? I got a nice rye.”
Virgil declined the offer and worked his way back up Main Street, this time behind the stores on the west side, and found a more complicated situation, a mix of mostly ramshackle prewar houses and small businesses, some of them in converted houses. The ProNails place had a dusty, handwritten “Out of Business” sign in a window, but Auto Heaven, Buster’s Better Quality Meats, and Trudy’s Hi-Life Consignment were still operating; nobody had heard a shot fired.
Because of the way the houses and businesses were mixed, there were multiple spaces and slots between hedges and behind fences where a rifleman could have hidden. Virgil was lining up a theoretical shot down toward the churches when a man’s voice called, “Hold it right there! I got a gun on you!”
Virgil raised his hands: “I’m a cop. Don’t shoot.”
A heavyset man in a blue T-shirt and a ragged pair of Dickies coveralls stepped out from behind a garage twenty feet away. He was maybe fifty, balding, with a wind-eroded face. He was aiming an ancient twelve-gauge double-barreled shotgun at Virgil’s stomach. “Cop, my…’
Sandford, John. Holy Ghost (A Virgil Flowers Novel) (pp. 33-35). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
The honest look at rural life is not always a pleasant sight. City folks are probably not impressed by us, but that’s tough. I loved the insight into people who feel just like my neighbors and I enjoyed the mystery too much to take any stars away due to language.
Five stars out of five.
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Complexly plotted, great dialog, and very real characters.
I swear to God I don't know what I'm going to do if Sandford ever retires!
Lately, in Sandfords books, the reader knows who the killer or killers are in the 1st couple chapters and it's about Davenport or That F'n Flowers trying to track them down. I don't mind the Cat-and-Mouse books so much but I first fell for Sandford's books trying to figure out who the perpetrator(s) were. I'm more than halfway into this one and I'm still guessing. Without spoiling anything, I will say there were some questions that Virgil was trying to answer that I figured out first and that is always a treat. Call 'em mysteries within a mystery.
If you've loved any of Sandford's previous works, this one won't disappoint. Frankie is a treat, Jenkins and Shrake still crack me up, and Bea Sawyer is as by the book and helpful as always. If you've never read any of the others, you don't know anything about the people I just mentioned and should check out earlier books in the series.
I can say without finishing the book I already feel I got my money's worth. Can't wait for the next Prey novel.
Read this one and you will not be disappointed.
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This works quite successfully for a good three quarters of the story, its entertaining to listen and meet the towns folk, their dialogue amd gossipy natures seem pretty authentic and Virgil is so different to Lucas Davenport in his personality and proceedural duties that he remains agreeable and entertaining company throughout the story once again. Plus it was good to see his usual colleagues involved to pepper those particularly sparky and sarcastic conversations you'd expect, though Lucas isn't present in this now he's gone elsewhere .
However, when the "reveal" finally comes its fairly weak one and below par for a Sandford novel, and I automatically questioned it. I just felt it more than likely that in reality it would probably have been sorted out differently way before it got to the stage that it did.
But then its no less unlikely than some of Mr Sandfords stories, and ,given the vast majority of them, particularly the Davenport novels, are the very best out there and I've read them all, then obviously I'd still recommend this, though perhaps not as highly as some.
This one however i found boring and had to really work up to picking it up to read.
The humour was really good, the suspects, all 600 or so, all had good alibis and i was wrong more than right.
It just seemed all a bit pointless.
Sorry John, but I hope Virgils next outing is a tad more exciting.
Although a handful of oddballs meet their unseemly ends in every Flowers novel, there seems to be no shortage of them to front up for the next crazy ride. Count me in!