Monday, February 23, 2015

Rough Country by John Sandford

Detective Virgil Flowers has been called to the lake country of Minnesota.  Unfortunately, it's not to indulge in his love, fishing, but to investigate a murder.  One of the fancier resorts in the area has reported a guest missing who went out in a kayak the evening before to watch the eagles and never returned.  She is found shot and killed and the case is beyond the resources of the local police.

Virgil starts his investigation and finds lots of suspects.  The resort is a female only one, and it turns out that it has a reputation for being a gathering place for lesbians.  Is the victim's sexuality the driving force behind the hate that killed her?  Or was it her plan to buy the resort herself as a retreat from running a competitive marketing agency?  Was it her interest in a local country band with a singer who is ready to do anything to make it big?

Suspects are plentiful.  The victim had a relationship with the singer, Wendy, and that didn't set well with Wendy's current lover.  There was a former lover of Wendy's who also had her eye on the resort as an investment opportunity.  There were employees of the marketing firm who knew that the owner was planning a massive layoff and that some of them would lose a job that would be hard to replace.  Then there is the singer's family.  They have a local reputation.  The mother ran off years ago with a lover, leaving her husband and children behind.  The father raised the children and is very protective of them.  Plans to help his daughter leave the country behind for a show business career don't set well with him.  Can Virgil sort through all the suspects and find the killer before more people are targeted?

This is the third Virgil Flowers mystery Sandford has written.  Readers who love his Lucas Davenport mysteries will also enjoy Flowers.  He is not as intense and driven as Davenport, who is his boss.  Instead this former preacher's kid is charming and open and always ready for a romantic encounter.  This book is recommended for mystery lovers.

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