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Monday, February 5, 2018

Storm Front

I’m not often a mystery/thriller type of reader but I managed to get seven book report credits out of twelve required by my 11th grade English teacher for reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes.  Still later, writers like P.D. James, John le Carre, Tony Hillerman, Patricia Cornwell, Scott Turnow and  John Grisham caught my eye. So there I was in a small waiting room at Mayo Clinic waiting for my wife on the 2nd day of three days of testing, apparently looking really bored. A kind secretary noticed and offered access to the departments   lost and found collection of mysteries  This was a first time read of John Sanford. A Pulitzer prize winning journalist and  highly successful author of  mysteries. His stories are often placed in a Minnesota setting. Hey! I live in Minnesota and frequently pick out books with settings I’m familiar with. Set it in Paris (I’ve been there twice) and if the murder takes place on the steps  of the Opera, I’ve been there chaperoning  a class of high school seniors eating a bag lunch. I can still  see it clearly….


Which brings me to John Sanford’s Storm Front.
When John Sandford is traveling around Minnesota, he's got one thing on his mind: Is this a good place for a crime? A veteran thriller writer with more than 40 novels to his name, Sandford has staged crime scenes all across the state, from the North Woods to the Mall of America.  
In this one an ancient relic in unearthed during an archaeological dig. A Minnesota college professor who finds it, returns it to the Gopher State naturally and is followed by two conflicting Israelis ( a Mossad agent and a member of the agency responsible for protecting ancient relics, along with several Hezbollah terrorists, a Turk and several thieves who want to make a killing moneywise or otherwise. The relic could change the world's history as we know it. Virgil Flowers, southern agent of the Minnesota BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) is put in charge.
This is good stuff.  Stephen King describes it as unapologetic guy fiction.  Stop! There is such a thing as Chick Flicks and I've be reading a lot of Victorian and Jane Austin lately so lets all keep and open mind.  It's not smarmy. It's gritty but not in the category of a President claiming "locker talk" to justify grabbing women's privates because he is rich and famous.  I enjoyed the book and will likely find some more  by Sanford at our local library....:) 


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@Barrie Summy


Red said...

This sounds like a good read. You would always be wondering what would happen next and who might be in the action

Anonymous said...

Speaking of crimes in Minnesota, did you have to pay for that big fancy football stadium I saw on the TV yesterday?

But wow, from St Paul to Paris and back to Minnesota and it all shed its own particular light onto the path you were leading us down. Good writing that. Good review.

Anvilcloud said...

A very prolific author whom I hadn't heard of. (I was going to write "of whom I hadn't heard," but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

Valerie said...

I confess to never having read a John Sandford book but there's still time. I think I would enjoy it.

Out on the prairie said...

I will have to look over titles, i may have read some of his,. I am running out of books soon so need a new author, maybe give him a try. Hope all the tests went good, that is a long time in the hospital.

Arkansas Patti said...

I have definitely heard of him but so far have not read him You have pushed me over the line of indecision. Never too late to find a favorite author.

Barrie said...

I like the idea of the author traveling around, figuring out if he's got a good setting for his next crime novel! Thanks for reviewing, Ray. We've switched spots this month. I reviewed a nonfiction (albeit not a history) :)

Sarah Laurence said...

I hope your wife is doing better after the tests. A good page-turner makes the best hospital reading.

Powell River Books said...

Like you I enjoy reading books that include a place or theme I’m familiar with. Sometimes it’s a stretch with science fiction, but even there you can almost always find some common thread. I do like mystery/thrillers. I’ll keep an eye out for some of his titles at the used bookstore. They seem to get lots of that genre to choose from. - Margy

Dee said...

Dear Troutbirder, I've read all of John Sanford's novels--both series. I tend to like the Virgil Flower's series best because in some ways it's a little less violent and his attitude toward life (virgil's) is a hoot!

Like you, the fact that i lived in MN for 38 years was a great part of my enjoying the novels.

I hope the testing has gone well for your wife. Peace.

Linda McLaughlin said...

I've never read Sandford, but this sounds like something I'd like. I'm always up for a story that involves ancient artifacts.