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Bad Blood (Virgil Flowers Series #4)

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Overview


Two bodies in two days. One is murder. The other is suicide. Virgil Flowers never imagined that discovering the connection would lead him into the perverse history of the Minnesota farm community, and almost unimaginable darkness.

Winner of the 2011 Thriller Award for Best Hardcover Novel

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Bad Blood (Virgil Flowers Series #4)

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Overview


Two bodies in two days. One is murder. The other is suicide. Virgil Flowers never imagined that discovering the connection would lead him into the perverse history of the Minnesota farm community, and almost unimaginable darkness.

Winner of the 2011 Thriller Award for Best Hardcover Novel

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The first homicide was easy to solve: A beating death that the teenage murderer tried to pass off as a fatal grain elevator accident. Beyond that, each case gets tougher, but Minnesota sleuth Virgil Flowers doesn't stop until a widespread conspiracy involving town leaders is exposed.

Publishers Weekly
When 19-year-old Bob Tripp hits farmer Jacob Flood in the head with a T-ball bat at the outset of Sandford's exciting fourth thriller to feature Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers (after Rough Country), Tripp's subsequent attempt to make murder look like an accident fails. The morning after Tripp's arrest, he's found hanging in his cell. Warren County sheriff Lee Coakley seeks Flowers's help to investigate what role, if any, deputy Jim Crocker, the officer on duty at the jail at the time, played in Tripp's death. A link to the earlier murder of a young woman leads Flowers and Coakley to members of a small church with strange ways. As the pair become aware of the magnitude of the unspeakable crimes (rape, child abuse, incest) behind the deaths, they search desperately for a lever to pry open what turns out to be Flowers's biggest, if perhaps most unlikely, case to date. Author tour. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews

An open-and-shut case of murder leads Virgil Flowers, of Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (Rough Country, 2009, etc.),to a twisted, century-old conspiracy.

Despite his efforts to pass off Jacob Flood's death as an accident, it's no secret that Robert Tripp, 19, killed the farmer with a baseball bat. The wounds that were supposed to have disabled Flood had obviously been inflicted after death, and Bobby all but confessed to Warren County Sheriff Lee Coakley. But the case turned darker the night that Coakley arrested her suspect, whose apparent suicide in his cell is pretty clearly murder as well. Jim Crocker, the overnight deputy who was supposed to guard the prisoner but who killed him instead, didn't kill himself, since despite a death scene staged to suggest that he ate his gun, it's obvious to a trained investigator like Virgil Flowers that Crocker was enjoying the favors of a female visitor only a few seconds before he departed this life. As if three murders weren't enough, Virgil swiftly, if intuitively, ties them to a fourth: the sexual violence that claimed the life of high-school student Kelly Baker, who was found naked, violated, but conscientiously scrubbed clean of DNA 14 months ago in a cemetery just across the Iowa border. Once Virgil's begun to question everyone in the town of Battenberg, he's immediately struck by the involvement of so many of the town's citizens—from the parents who home-schooled Kelly Baker and insist that their daughter had no time for boys, to Emmett Einstadt, Jacob Flood's monumentally creepy father-in-law—in the World of Spirit, a Bible-based church that follows a very different path to salvation than Virgil's father, a Lutheran minister, ever preached. The mystery, which is resolved early on, leads to an extended series of cat-and-mouse games between Virgil and the people he knows are guilty of some truly heinous crimes.

Lurid and overscaled.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399156908
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/21/2010
  • Series: Virgil Flowers Series , #4
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

John Sanford is the author of twenty Prey novels, most recently Storm Prey, and ten other books. He lives in Minnesota.

Biography

John Camp (better known to readers as thrillmeister John Sandford) began his career as a journalist -- first as a crime reporter for The Miami Herald, then as a general reporter, columnist, and features writer for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch. In 1986, he won the Pulitzer Prize for "Life on the Land: An American Farm Family," a five-part series examining the farm crisis in southwest Minnesota.

Camp's interests turned to fiction in the mid-1980s, and he took time off to write two novels which were ultimately accepted for publication: The Fool's Run, a techno-thriller featuring a complex con man known as Kidd, and Rules of Prey, a police procedural starring maverick Minneapolis detective Lucas Davenport. When both books were scheduled (by different publishers) to be released three months apart in 1989, Camp was persuaded to adopt a pseudonym for one. He chose his paternal grandmother's maiden name, "Sandford" for Rules of Prey, and the nom de plume has remained attached to all the books in the series.

Less Dick Tracy than Dirty Harry, hard-boiled, iconoclastic Lucas Davenport is a composite of the cops Camp met while working the crime beat as a reporter. Intelligent and street smart, Davenport is also manipulative and not above bending the rules to get results. And although he has mellowed over time (something of a skirt chaser in his youth, he is now married with children), he remains one of the edgiest and most popular protagonists in detective fiction. Fans keep returning to the Prey books for their intelligently hatched plots, high-octane pacing, and deft, fully human characterizations.

From time to time, Camp strays from his bestselling series for standalone thrillers (The Night Crew, Dead Watch), and in 2007 he introduced a new series hero, Virgil Flowers of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, who debuted in Dark of the Moon. Although he is no longer a full-time journalist, Camp contributes occasional articles and book reviews to various publications. He is also a passionate archaeologist and has worked at a number of digs, mainly in Israel.

Good To Know

Don't confuse John Sandford with John Sanford -- it's one of Sandford's pet peeves. Sanford (without the "d") is a Christian philosophy writer.

The Sandford pseudonym has caused a few problems for Camp in the past. At an airport once, his ticket was reserved under Sandford, while all of his identification, of course, had the name Camp. Luckily, he had one of his novels with him, and thanks to the book jacket photo, he was able to convince airport security to let him on the plane.

The books in Camp's less successful Kidd series (The Fool's Run, The Empress File, The Devil's Code, and The Hanged Man's Song) have been re-released under the Sandford pseudonym.

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    1. Also Known As:
      John Roswell Camp
    2. Hometown:
      St. Paul, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 23, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    1. Education:
      State University of Iowa, Iowa City: B.A., American History; M.A., Journalism
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 435 )
Rating Distribution

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(184)

4 Star

(128)

3 Star

(61)

2 Star

(30)

1 Star

(32)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 438 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    superb police procedural

    Bob Tripp, in charge of the Battenberg Farmer's Co-op grain elevator patiently waits for Jacob Flood to arrive to deposit his crop; Bob plans to kill Jacob. His scheme works perfectly as the police arrive at the scene and conclude he was murdered by Tripp rather than the accident the young man claimed happened. They arrest Tripp who is placed in a jail cell with overnight deputy Jim Crocker remaining in the office. While in the jail Tripp dies in what looks like a suicide, but is a homicide while at his home Crocker is also dead with the evidence pointing towards a female.

    Because of a conflict of interest, Warren County Sheriff Lee Coakley asks BIA Agent Virgil Flowers for assistance. They drive separately to Homestead where the killings occurred. The pair learns that two of the victims belonged to the cult World of Spirit where rumors of rape, incest, and young teen brides are acceptable practices. Virgil and the sheriff also know they have no legal admissible evidence as the cult members stick closely together circling the wagons. Knowing the innocent are being harmed, the two law enforcement officials continual their diligence, but remain clueless.

    With his fourth Flowers (and the zillion Prey tales) thriller, John Sandford once again affirms he is amongst the top echelon in the police procedural sub-genre. Virgil has a wicked sense of humor that distinguishes him, but when it comes to a case he is serious and meticulous. With plenty of murder, mayhem, and more, fans will enjoy the investigation by "F" Flowers and the female sheriff.

    Harriet Klausner

    22 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bad Blood is the 4th in the Virgil Flowers series

    When there's trouble deep in the wilds of Minnesota the one man to count on is Virgil Flowers and Sheriff Lee Coakley definitely needs someone to count on, she's got a murder that looks like a suicide and she's about to learn what it means when the sh-t hits the fan, Virgil on the other hand has always taken solving crimes with a level head and deep thinking, don't be fooled by his laid back attitude because there is a steel trap mind under all that blonde unruly hair. Lee and Virgil work well together and soon they realize that there's more to their relationship than just work so while they solve crimes they also scratch a certain itch.
    John Sandford the award winning author of the Lucas Davenport Prey series has developed a spin off series staring the unsinkable Virgil Flowers, now if you're a fan of the "Prey" series you have obviously met Virgil a time or two in one of Lucas Davenport's novels where he's affectionately referred to as that "effing Flowers". But one thing for sure is that Virgil get's the job done, and what makes this series one of a kind is that Mr. Sandford uses unique and in some cases slightly illegal means to catch the bad guy (s). In this episode he gives us a look at life on the farm like you've never expected to view it. You will recognize his dialogue as he uses many of the same characters in both series. His characters are unforgettable, first rate and will stay with the reader for a long while after the last page is turned.
    So if you're looking for an in-between series when you run out of Lucas Davenport you will love this series, if you're looking for a crime drama that includes a lot of hard tack crime and yet gives you the incredible outdoors of Minnesota than you won't do better than this. If you like your protagonist to be a hard loving, hard living warrior with the heart of a scholar you can't go wrong. But the real reason to read this novel and the ones that came before and the ones that come after is because you won't find a better storyteller anywhere.
    Fans of Ridley Pearson's Walt Fleming series will like this series. If you're a fan of Paul Doriron author of The Poacher's Son you will enjoy this too.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Total Turnoff

    Who doesn't like "that effing Flowers?" John Sandford brings Virgil back in the fourth of the Virgil Flowers series. Smooth writing and good characters are what usually make Sandford's books so satisfying.

    I've read and enjoyed all of John Sandford's books. Sandford has continued the smooth writing, but my problem with BAD BLOOD is the subject matter -- sexual abuse of children. We all know it happens but I have to admit that I hate it and I hate reading about it, especially in fiction.

    If you're reading one of Sandford's books for the first time, skip this one. Overall, despite my love of Sandford's character, Virgil Flowers, this book was a total turnoff for me. Lynn Kimmerle

    13 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A bit shocking!

    This is set in small town, Minnesota, about a religious cult which involves sexual deviance, (Sodom and Gomorrah). Suddenly, the town goes from one murder to four murders, all seemingly cult connected. There is a lot of snappy dialog, fast-paced action and a great vengeance section that will make your mouth drop open. A real page-turner!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Hot Shower

    Upon finishing this novel, be sure to have a full water heater, as you will want a good, long shower. I think author John Sandford revels too much in the details of the child molestation cult that is the focus of his otherwise well-written novel. We all know that these things happen, that they are extremely ugly and cause years of psychological damage to children, but we don't really need to see the pictures or the behavior so vividly described. I think the same points could have been made had the author showed more discretion in his descriptions. Add to that the blood bath that comes with the story, and you have the makings of a book that will hopefully turn a lot of people off.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2011

    Odd

    The paperback book is $9.99; the nookbook is advertised in The Book Report for $14.99, but on the nook the book is selling for $19.99.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Paper back under $10

    Love this series but 20 bucks for the ebook

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    Upset

    I called Barnes and Noble to ask about the price difference from the ebook version vs the paperback price. I got no real answer except to say that was the correct price. Even the manager at the Des Moines store was upset with the lack of a good explanation she thought I was not treated as a customer should be.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    Price!

    What's the deal with the price? I will get my copy at Wal-Mart.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2011

    Weird pricing...

    Any reason why this is priced at 19.99?

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    It's Fiction, People.

    I don't understand the the wringing of hands and the rage of some readers because of the subject matter in this novel. It's not the front page of your daily newspaper and if you feel so sick while reading it, just stop reading. I'm a Nurse Practitioner and have seen horrible cases of child abuse, but this is just a book and portrays something that could happen in real life, but it is make believe. Virgil does quick work cleaning the dirt and filth of this cult from a small town. Sandford does a terrific job with Virgil Flowers and the plot of this particular novel is heart breaking. A very intense read, but I highly recommend it.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2010

    sadly disappointed

    A plot about sex crimes with the hero engaged in relatively explicit sex on the side is really sad. I quit reading 3/4 through. I have read all the Sanford books, but this is very disappointing. This is the last one I will buy.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Worst book Sanford has written.

    The sexual fiction and assumed lifestyle is outrageous. As a police officer, I handled child abuse cases some of which were very bad. One case I had a father molesting his 4 daughters and 2 sons. That SOB is still in prison where he belongs.
    This story is disgusting and it would take a pervert to enjoy it.

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    Hated it!

    Like the Virgil Flowers books, but this is so gross. I don't find child abuse and incest.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2011

    Not as good as previous Virgil Flowers books

    As a fan of Virgil Flowers, I was really looking forward to this new book. The story was as compelling as usual, however I kept waiting for the 'real' Virgil Flowers to show up. He seemed shallow and insensitive in his relationship with the female sheriff as well as the other characters in the story. He was just not the same person he was in the previous stories.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    thrilling page turner

    Great Book. Couldn't put it down. Each murder connects together to ultimately reveal a shocking revelation in a small Minnesota farming town. However, be forewarned that the material in this book is very crude.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 19, 2011

    Where Has Virgil Flowers Gone?

    The storyline was preposterous. A sect with a history of generations of child abuse and no one tells, no one tries to get help, no one tries to escape. And where was the urgency and outrage on the part of the investigators? The characters were wooden and not well drawn. You get only a glimpse of the easy charm that makes Virgil Flowers so likeable. A disappointment all around.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    Very good!!

    I love this series!! I have to comment about the nook and lend me feature. Makes me SO angry to spend nearly 18 dollars on a book that I purchaced and can't lend. What's up with that?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2010

    Sandford just gets better and better, even with a totally new twist.....don't miss this!!!

    John Sandford is one of the most solid mystery writers out there today and thankfully, while dealing with his tried-and-true characters, he is still finding new ways to make them intriguing and fresh. Since revealing that Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller are half-brothers, Sandford has a new plot twist -- the evolution of their relationship. In this book, he puts them together working on a case from the prosecution perspective instead of Mickey's traditional defense status. Personally, I learned more about how lawyers put together their cases than I have learned even from John Grisham. But this is not dry legal stuff -- Sandford has created a totally new approach to legal procedure and it has the same depth and intelligence he is famous for. If you are a Sandford fan, don't miss this new approach -- amd even if this is your first time with Sandford, it's a good place to start. Sandford always satisfies......

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2010

    Loved it!

    I really enjoyed this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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