Customer Reviews for

Heat Lightning (Virgil Flowers Series #2)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

John Sandford is a superb writer! . . .

I throughly enjoyed this book! . . . once I began reading it, it was hard to put it down. I am of the Vietnam era and remember the angst of that time. The author so expertly develops his characters that it enables the reader to truly "know" them. The plots in these b...
I throughly enjoyed this book! . . . once I began reading it, it was hard to put it down. I am of the Vietnam era and remember the angst of that time. The author so expertly develops his characters that it enables the reader to truly "know" them. The plots in these books are magnificently woven and there is a believability to them that the reader can relate to. I am totally enamored with the Virgil Flowers character and likewise with Lucas Davenport - please keep the books coming that include their stories.

posted by cewilch on November 24, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Not what I expect from Sanford

Minnesota of Crime Bureau Apprehension investigator, Virgil Flowers, is summoned to the scene of a second murder victim. Two shots to the head, a lemon wedge in the victim's mouth posed in front of a Vietnam War memorial; a far different feeling than that of the warm b...
Minnesota of Crime Bureau Apprehension investigator, Virgil Flowers, is summoned to the scene of a second murder victim. Two shots to the head, a lemon wedge in the victim's mouth posed in front of a Vietnam War memorial; a far different feeling than that of the warm bed he had just shared with his second ex-wife. We know the killer is after a list of others. Targeted Assassinations, probable but why? Left-winged anti-war radical Activist and academic Mead Sinclair explains "When the Vietnamese execute a prisoner-a political prisoner, or even a murderer-they'll gag him by stuffing a lemon in his mouth. Hold it there with tape. Duct tape." Vigilantly or revenge killings? By whom and why? Flowers must find out before any more bodies are found.

Sanford's great plot idea becomes laborious, and somewhat torturous with his overuse of time breaks that even confounded him and the publisher's proof readers. Glaring mistakes causes the reader to stop and regroup just as Flowers in his investigation. While the answer to the why Virgil is always seeming a step behind the shooter is finally answered, not so with the author's proof reading oversights. Nor is the question why Flowers cannot hold conversations in which double entendres are interjected or the blatant fact that he much rather be out on boat fishing.

Even Prey's Lucas Davenport's appearance can't save this novel.(Character is flat. For those whom never had read any of the Prey series, the reader would assume he is just another so-so bureaucrat.) Philosophical questions of God, the eco-system, politics Sanford raises are out of place to the story he is telling and its ending ventures into the realm of absurdity.

posted by Molinarolo on July 27, 2009

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  • Posted October 16, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Will the Real Virgil Flowers Please Stand Up?

    What happened to the cool, eccentric, and laid back Virgil? Too many subplots and other extraneous characters, along with a strange and unbelievable plot, completely blew Virgil away. I continued to ask Virgil why he allowed Lucas to undermine him like this. Virgil is a loner who doesn't need the help of backup characters. And why such a story about events that happened years ago. What's with the lemon wedge, and why it's relevancy? Sanford can certainly do better than this and proved it in his first novel starring Virgil Flowers. He needs to reread his first book and get back to the basics. I'm disappointed in this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2008

    Virgil Flowers is back

    The second in John Sandford's Virgil Flowers series (after last year's fun Dark of the Moon) finds the somewhat eccentric investigator assigned by Lucas Davenport to a series of serial murders in which a lemon wedge was placed in the victim's mouth. Flowers soon discovers that the lemon ritual was practiced by Vietnamese firing squads on their unlucky subjects, and that all of the current victims served in Vietnam. This leads him to a former 60's radical who might have CIA connections and then into the bed of the man's half-Vietnamese daughter (not surprising for the rakish Flowers.) The suspect list eventually focuses on the head of a private security firm involved with the Republican Convention taking place in Minneapolis. Although Heat Lightning is a fast-paced read with an exciting denoument, I wasn't sure I bought the ins and outs of the entire plot, and the resolution is a little tough to take. But Virgil Flowers is such an engaging character that he more than made up for the book's weaknesses. Also recommended: A STRANGER LIES THERE - winner of the Malice Domestic Award for best first mystery, its protagonist is a former 70's radical whose anti-Vietnam War action left three people dead. His past comes back to haunt him one morning in the form of a dead body on his front lawn.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2012

    Pawprint

    Is found in dried mud looks like windrushes

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2012

    Sandford Did it Again!

    You just gotta love Virgil, even tho you may not like some of his antics. Sandford created a very human character. great reading.

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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Disappointment

    I had heard that John Sandford wrote good books, especially the Prey Series. So, I was very eager to read when a friend loaned me Heat Lightening. By page 50 I was very disappointed. It lacked all the essentials I'm used to as a James Patterson fan such as: depth of likeable and or dislikeable characters (Virgil and all the other characters were just so flat and boring) and original, off beat, thrilling plots full of twists. The writing style was not as easy to read either. I'm still going to give the Prey Series a shot though. I would recommend Patterson's Jack and Jill, 1st to Die or The Quickie.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    The abused don't forget!

    This book was a bit hard to read as there were so many deviations from the main subject. To me, it was a man's book with not the most appeal to a female. I read it throughout, but was saddened about the main theme - -Revenge!

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