John Sandford's "truly captivating" (Richmond Times-Dispatch) new hero goes north to solve a puzzling murder-and finds that the country is very rough indeed.
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.)