As soon as I hear of a new John Sandford book coming out I begin to stalk Audible and the bookstores. Part of the intrigue for me is the Minnesota setting. I grew up in Minnesota and currently live a few short miles from the western border. I’ve read all the Lucas Davenport books and now that the Virgil Flowers books are coming out, I think I’ve read all of those, one way or the other. In other words, I either read with my eyes or my ears. I listened to Shock Wave and found it just as exciting as the other Virgil Flowers books. I love this character and have to remind myself he’s fictional.
This time he’s investigating a series of bombings in Butternut, Minnesota. There’s plenty of suspects as no one seems to want the discount mart to go into this small town, except for the mayor and councilmen that were paid off to get the zoning changed. But as many small towns have discovered, the opening of such a store kills Main Street and Butternut has an additional problem in that the run-off from the parking will damage the trout fishing in the Butternut River. So in addition to upset business people, the local environmentalists are against the project as well. Flowers eliminates each suspect right up to the very end. There’s great characters and tight plotting. It’s an all around great read.
Eric Conger narrates Shock Wave, as he has many Sandford books. He does a wonderful job and puts a great voice on Virgil Flowers. Having grown up in Minnesota I did have a little problem with his pronunciation of crappy (we always said croppy – I know it’s not spelled that way) and Faribault. My aunt lived in Faribault and everyone I heard from around there called it Faribo. Again, I know it’s not spelled that way. Incidentally, there’s a whole lot more places like that in South Dakota. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s how we can tell if someone is from around here or not – but that’s just a guess.
A MINIMAL MINIMIZING UPDATE: Thanks to those who have asked about or sent along words of encouragement. The process continues. I’m making enough progress, that the project seems to fuel itself. I’m finding more clear floor space in the garage and have moved the rather large stack of books on the downstairs table to the bookshelves.