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Mad River by John Sandford
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Mad River (edition 2012)

by John Sandford

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6461914,945 (3.9)6
Member:JoMacMears
Title:Mad River
Authors:John Sandford
Info:Simon & Schuster Ltd (2012), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Mad River by John Sandford

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I've been bummed at the downturn in the quality of recent output from two of my other favorite writers in this genre, Michael Connelly and Ridley Pearson, so I was pleasantly surprised that John Sandford's latest is just as fine as all his others. It's a great read, with a believable story line, great dialogue, credible situations for the law enforcement characters... all the hallmarks of Mr. Sandford's previous successful novels.

Lucas Davenport was one of the best long-term characters developed in this genre, and the transition to the younger-and-fairly-similar-but-different new star, Virgil Flowers, has been great to experience. I really appreciate the way Sandford has kept Davenport involved in a key role, but has let Flowers carry the ball. It's been a smooth transition that seems to have been carefully planned and successfully executed.

I've heard Mad City's plot compared to both Bonnie and Clyde and Natural Born Killers. Both are valid, I guess, but I'd compare it to more of a 'needle and a haystack' story. Bad stuff happens, the criminals hide in a rural part of the state, more bad stuff happens as they move from hiding place to hiding place, and Virgil and the local authorities always seem to be a step behind. In the meantime, the situation turns into a political nightmare, pressure mounts on law enforcers, the randomness of the initial event turns out to be not so random, and bad stuff continues. Sandford does a great job creating a manic atmosphere for both the criminals and the good guys, and as always Virgil works his magic in his spare time on the local female population.

John Sandford has created yet another winner for his faithful readers. Anyone unfamiliar with his work can literally pick out any of his books as a start, but the farther you go back into his catalog, the better. ( )
  gmmartz | Jun 21, 2016 |
Three down on their luck young people start on a spree that results in body upon body as they run in circles for their lives. Virgil Flowers is their only hope of staying alive, but the local law has other ideas. It was a good book. I always like John Sandford's books. This one began to drag a bit toward the end but overall it was well up to his standards. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
I usually tear through a Virgil Flowers escapade in a day maybe two. This took me over 2 months. Granted I had a really shitty personal life at the time but this didn't do the trick for me like they have up to this point. Cant put my finger on it other than to say I didn't see my old Buddy that f*****g Flowers anywhere on these pages. ( )
  debavp | May 22, 2016 |
Unemployed, broke, no future in their home town, teenager Jimmy Sharp told his girlfriend, Becky Welsh, and sidekick, Tom McCall, that they were breaking into the house to get diamonds. But Jimmy killed a women during the robbery, then, when they ran into car trouble as they made their getaway, killed a man to get his car.
When a couple was killed in their home in a nearby town, Virgil Flowers of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Unit was called in to help find the killers.
The killings continued and it didn’t take long for Flowers to figure out who was responsible, but finding them in a rural area, determining the motive, and preventing additional deaths was much harder. The original motive became obvious, but it had to be proven. The local sheriff, however, was a staunch believer in shoot to kill.
MAD RIVER tells the story from both the perspectives of Flowers and of the trio. There is a little repetition. It doesn’t seem realistic that the trio of losers could avoid detection for as long as they did, that the Flowers was able to get more usable help from non-professionals, or that the sheriff followed his old script rather than understand why it wouldn’t work. ( )
  Judiex | Nov 30, 2015 |
Bonnie and Clyde, they thought. And what's-his-name, the sidekick. Three teenagers with dead-end lives, and chips on their shoulders, and guns. The first person they killed was a highway patrolman. The second was a woman during a robbery. Then, hell, why not keep on going? As their crime spree cuts a swath through rural Minnesota, some of it captured on the killers' cell phones and sent to a local television station, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  Tutter | Mar 1, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Sandfordprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Conger, EricNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Bonnie and Clyde, they thought. And what's-his-name, the sidekick. Three teenagers with dead-end lives, and chips on their shoulders, and guns. The first person they killed was a highway patrolman. The second was a woman during a robbery. Then, hell, why not keep on going? As their crime spree cuts a swath through rural Minnesota, some of it is captured on the killers' cell phones and sent to a local television station. Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers joins the growing army of cops trying to run them down. But even he doesn't realize what is about to happen next.The next novel in the Virgil Flowers series.… (more)

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