Deep Freeze (A Virgil Flowers Novel) – John Sandford - (G P Putnam)
There’s just something different about a small town…quirky, parochial, and vindictive. While a number of writers do a good job of capturing that small town ethos, for my small town guy money, no one does it better than John Sandford, in his backwoods Minnesota books featuring Virgil Flowers as he pursues bad guys in his guise of investigator for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Sandford’s latest Flower’s outing, Deep Freeze perfectly captures that small town infighting based on the socio-economic hierarchy that got it’s genesis way back in high school. So it’s perfect that the backdrop for the murder Virgil is tasked to solve is a planning meeting for a 20th high school reunion.
The cast of characters includes the haves and the have nots or the in crowd and the outsiders, but Sandford never stops there; he mixes in a parade of misfits that includes; the victim’s sexually confused ex-husband, an S&M sex “therapist” with a criminal record who services a handful of the local ladies and an odd assortment of drunks and bowlers who aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.
Add to the mix a passel of folks just trying to get by who are customizing Barbie dolls by adding features Mattel never intended and are in the crosshairs of a fish out of water private investigator from Los Angeles in a rental Prius and you’ve got makings of clever whodunit John Sandford style. After years of reading my way through his Prey series of books, I find the Virgil Flowers books to be a perfect break and easy, fun to read series.