Escape Clause (A Virgil Flowers Novel) – John Sandford (G P Putnam)
I became a John Sandford fan through the Prey series, featuring the character Lucas Davenport. Sandford is a master craftsman at weaving intricate stories chock full of twists and turns. As the Davenport stories progressed well into double digits I have to admit that I started to grow weary with the series. It took a while, but I find myself slowly warming to Sanford’s other mainstay character, Virgil Flowers.
With the latest entry in the Flowers series, Escape Clause, it struck why have evolved to liking this series so much; Flowers is a character who is the equivalent of a comfortable, well-worn, shoe. He is a laid back, easy going kind of guy who takes care of business. The light turned on for when I realized the similarity between Flowers and James Lee Burke’s, Dave Robicheaux.
In Escape Clause Flowers answers the call and is on case of trying to track down the folks who broke into the zoo and made off with a pair of rare tigers. Sandford lace’s the plot with a never ending parade of oddball characters ranging from animal rights activists and natural medicine practitioners to thugs imported from Armenia through California. I could see this one easily transplanted from the wilds of Minnesota to the below sea-level wilds of New Orleans.
Sandford always manages to keep things interesting by dabbling in the quirky and lacing just the right amounts of humor and plot twists. This one is Sandford and Flowers at their entertaining best.