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In this high-octane thrill ride, bestseller Sandford's fifth novel featuring Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers (after 2011's Shock Wave), Lucas Davenport, Virgil's boss (and star of his own series), dispatches Virgil to a remote corner of the state to deal with "a bad one." Four people are dead: a married couple in Shinder, another two in nearby Bigham. The gang responsible-armed and dangerous teens Jimmy Sharp, Tom McCall, and Becky Welsh-have already murdered one woman during a robbery, and Virgil soon suspects them in these other crimes. Fearful that the killing spree hasn't run its course, Virgil pulls out all the stops to get inside the minds of his quarry while he sorts through all the possible motives for the spate of deaths. Virgil's penchant for wisecracking, which in less skilled hands could have been annoying, serves to deflate the tension, and his backstory is simple enough to allow new readers to easily keep up. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Three rural Minnesota teenagers, Jimmy Sharp, Becky Welsh, and Tom McCall, are on a crime spree. It started with the murder of a store clerk during a botched robbery. Victim number two died in a car heist as they made their getaway. Then they decide what the hell and settle a couple of personal scores. The kids are murderous but not dumb, and they avoid capture from an ever-growing cadre of pursuers that includes Virgil Flowers from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Flowers is the nominal head of the investigation, but he struggles to keep control of the various law-enforcement agencies involved. He's determined to take the kids alive, an end game that's not endorsed by his associates. As the pursuit continues, he's able to establish phone contact with Welsh. At least one of the killers has moved from abstraction to human, and Flowers becomes more determined than ever to bring them in alive. Flowers is a complex character camouflaged by his long hair, rock-'n'-roll T-shirts, smart mouth, and fearlessness. The son of a minister, he is burdened by a spirituality that subtly influences his every decision. It's more pronounced in this case as he fights the pack's need for revenge and, in the end, leaves readers assessing the morality of the kids as well as their pursuers. This may be the best entry in a stellar series.--Lukowsky, Wes Copyright 2010 Booklist