Rough Country (Virgil Flowers Series #3)

( 272 )

Overview

The murder of a successful advertising executive leads Detective Virgil Flowers to the unlikely scene of the crime: a peaceful and bucolic wooded resort. But one with as many suspects as it has secrets.

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Rough Country (Virgil Flowers Series #3)

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Overview

The murder of a successful advertising executive leads Detective Virgil Flowers to the unlikely scene of the crime: a peaceful and bucolic wooded resort. But one with as many suspects as it has secrets.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
It starts with a phone call. Lucas Davenport wants Virgil Flowers to investigate a murder at an upstate Minnesota resort/spa that caters exclusively to women. Happy to comply, Virgil arrives on the scene and quickly uncovers a sticky tangle of interconnections between the victim, the guests, the staff, the townspeople, including several attractive notables. While Flowers is still puzzling over what seems to be an ever-growing suspect list, he learns that this restful rural place seems to attract homicides and that at least some of them seem to be the work of the same diabolical artist….
Publishers Weekly
Near the start of bestseller Sandford's winning third thriller to feature Virgil Flowers of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (after Heat Lightning), Virgil gets a call while muskie fishing from his boss, Lucas Davenport (the hero of Sandford's long-running Prey series). Lucas orders Virgil to look into the shooting death of Erica McDill, an ad agency exec from Minneapolis and a big supporter of the Democratic Party, who was staying at the Eagle Nest Lodge in nearby Grand Rapids. A talk with lodge owner Margery Stanhope turns up unusual details: Margery's clientele is mostly lesbian; an all-female rock band is involved; guests who are so inclined can buy young men for an evening's pleasure; and financial reasons could explain the murder. It's a complicated case, but Virgil is up to the task, and, as always, he's funny, smart and tough when he needs to be—and catnip to the ladies. 500,000 first printing. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
Virgil Flowers (Heat Lightning, 2008, etc.) emerges from the long shadow of mentor Lucas Davenport to solve the murder of an advertising executive that features some long shadows of its own. Someone had the prowess to kill Erica McDill with a single head shot from 80 yards away as she paddled her canoe outside Eagle Nest Lodge. The footprint that cops found near a shell casing is from an upscale women's brand shoe, but that doesn't do much to narrow the list of suspects: Eagle Nest's clientele is exclusively female. Hauled in from a musky-fishing tournament by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Virgil quickly finds himself up to his armpits in women who prefer the company of other women. Even Eagle Nest accountant Zoe Tull has been smitten by Wendy Ashbach, the country singer who's fronting an all-girl band at the Wild Goose, where she's cast a spell over every female in the house. Maybe that's why Zoe, who's helpful enough to introduce Virgil to her straight (and sex-starved) sister Signy, somehow forgets to mention the strangling of a guest from Iowa two years ago, shortly after she, like McDill, took a businesslike interest in Wendy's band. No matter. However distracted he is by pursuing Sig, repeatedly crossing Zoe off his list of suspects and then penciling her back on, and questioning everyone else in northern Minnesota, Virgil does enough honest detective work to justify focusing his investigation first on the band, then on Wendy's creepy father Slibe and even creepier brother Slibe Jr. Readers may at first share the verdict of Virgil's fishing buddy-"I thought it would be interesting, but it's just nasty"-but following the trail to McDill's killer proves as interesting ashooking and landing a 40-pound musky.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425237342
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Series: Virgil Flowers Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 72,188
  • Product dimensions: 4.44 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

John Sandford is the author of twenty-two Prey novels, most recently Stolen Prey; the Virgil Flowers novels, most recently Shock Wave; and six 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
( 272 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(110)

4 Star

(83)

3 Star

(34)

2 Star

(24)

1 Star

(21)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 274 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Winner from John Sandford . . .

    I truly enjoyed this book! A reader always know they're up for a treat when a new John Sanford novel arrives. I've been a Lucas Davenport fan for a long time now, and this new character, Virgil Flowers, has also gotten me hooked. The tightly woven, well written plots of Sandford's books make it hard to put them down for whatever reason. With the worries of todays economy, it sure is nice to have a good book to escape into. I want to thank the author for such a great read and now I will begin my wait for his next book.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fans who enjoy the Davenport police procedurals will enjoy the terrific efforts of one of his detectives

    Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Agent Virgil Flowers is in a fishing tournament when his boss Lucas Davenport calls him. Lucas directs Virgil to investigate the shooting death of Minneapolis ad executive with strong ties to the Democrats Erica McDill at the nearby Eagle Nest Lodge.

    Virgil quickly heads to the Grand Rapids to learn what he can at the lodge. He interviews owner Margery Stanhope, who explains most people who stay at the lodge are lesbians. Virgil questions the all girl rock band and wealthy guests who can purchase young men or women for a tryst without blinking. As Virgil investigates he learns there was a homicide here last year that seems unrelated, but now he seeks a link when a third killing occurs. He knows he better find the killer before another homicides occur.

    The setting of the lodge being a place for lesbians to relax and have fun makes for a great counter to super womanizer Virgil, who is at his outlandish amusing best as he muses whether he is in heaven or hell. The investigation is super with Virgil adjusting his theory to new clues and especially another homicide. Fans who enjoy the Davenport police procedurals will enjoy the terrific efforts of one of his detectives (see DARK OF THE MOON and HEAT LIGHTNING) whose behavior is quite different from that of his superior.

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    OKAY, BUT NOT SANDFORD'S BEST

    THIS WAS NOT UP TO PAR WITH THE PREY SERIES. IT JUST SEEMED THE STORY COULD NEVER TAKE-OFF AND JUST WENT IN CIRCLES. THE ENDING WAS PRETTY GOOD, HOWEVER, IT DOES NOT MAKE UP FOR THE FIRST 315 OR SO PAGES PRIOR TO THE LAST 73.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Gotta love "that 'effin' Flowers"

    I have really enjoyed this series even though I am only two books in. Virgil is a likeable guy. I love the dry humor--it makes it more real and keeps me turning the page. I haven't read the Prey series, but I definitely intend to after reading these.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2014

    Yb .fjv X '

    Shaggawqyuq cb xbb f

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    ?...

    Disgusted

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    Claire

    Huh

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    Sara

    Do it anyway you want. I smile and lean forward and kiis u

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    Ben

    Grabs her pulling her against him kissing her hard

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Caine

    Threw up a peace sign

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Jacy

    Ok bye. I prefer chicks anyway walksaway

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    To lets fuq from cici

    Heres my number text me for sex:303-324-7470!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    Maria

    Im ready.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    Lets fuq

    Tell me when you are ready.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2013

    A small resort town in northern Minnesota gets a shock when one

    A small resort town in northern Minnesota gets a shock when one of its guests, Erica McDill, is shot in the head during a kayaking outing. McDill is a prominent advertising executive, from the Twin Cities, whose death precedes a large transition in her company that would make her the largest stockholder.
    Virgil Flowers is fishing with a friend when he receives a call from his boss, Lucas Davenport. With that, his vacation comes to an end and he makes his way to the scene of McDill's murder. You see, Virgil is an investigator for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) who only tackles "the hard stuff". He doesn't fit the investigator stereotypes. Rather, he keeps his blond hair long, wears t-shirts with logos of obscure bands, and finishes off the ensemble with blue jeans and boots. Despite his unusual appearance, Virgil is known for getting results.
    The investigation takes an unusual turn when Virgil learns that the resort is an all women's establishment. His fears are confirmed when boot tracks, from an expensive women's shoe company, are discovered in the mud near the murder site. Quickly, Virgil is immersed into the small town and its lesbian subculture. With the possibility of past murders connecting to the death of McDill, and the ever growing threat of more violence, Virgil struggles to keep his own emotions in check as he searches for the mysterious killer.
    I've been a fan of John Sandford's Virgil Flowers series since reading the first book, Dark of The Moon. There is something very appealing about Virgil's oddball behavior and fantastic instincts. As always, Sandford keeps his writing simple and accessible. More so than the previous novels, however, Rough Country felt a little slower and less important than the other two. The opening portion in particular seemed a bit overlong. How long can you really wander through the woods before losing your audience. Fortunately, just as I was wondering when the book would pick up, Sandford introduced a new thread to the mystery that propelled the novel to a solid ending. The plot of this story doesn't allow as much time to spend learning about this interesting character, but the mystery itself is strong enough to make Rough Country worth the read and to make me eager to continue this series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2013

    excellent

    I've always enjoyed the Lucas Davenport series and read them all. Virgil Flowers is a unique personality with a lot of quirks but really likeable. The book keeps you turning the pages well into the night.A great read for those who like a fast paced "who done it".I'm waiting for the next Sandford book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 12, 2013

    A great book with interesting setting. It kept me guessing unti

    A great book with interesting setting. It kept me guessing until the end. A real page turner and I couldn't wait to find time to read each day. John Sandiford is a wonderful author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Recommend to everyone!

    Virgil Flowers is at his best once again. He is called to help with a murder that has more twist and turns than a roller coaster ride. Virgil follows his instincts and they take him everywhere the case goes even it seems to make no sense but you'll be on the edge of your seat while reading waiting to see where the story goes next. A must read for all Virgil Flower fans.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    I've now read the 1st 20 of the Lucas Davenport Prey Series & ...

    I've now read the 1st 20 of the Lucas Davenport Prey Series + the 1st 3 of the Virgil Flowers series & this is the 1st book I can honestly say was a serious disappointment. There were way too many non-essential characters introduced with what felt like irrelevant "filler" detail. There was a low-level of excitement throughout the entire story ... including the ending.

    That being said, the combination made for a boring & tedious read. I had to force myself to stick with this effort to the end & mainly did so to stay with the continuity of the often interwoven storylines.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Flowers has replaced Davenport for me.

    I always enjoyed a good Sanford book, but started to tire of Davenports tough guy act and his brutality. Enter Virgil Flowers who solves cases by talking and listening. He is a master at using the networks and relationships of the townfolk to get to the bottom of things. I love how he tells anyone he may talk to who he thinks may be a suspect.
    Virgil is a fresh new character and i cant wait for the next one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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