John Sanford – Dark of the Moon (2007)

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Dark of the Moon is the first book in the Virgil Flowers series by John Sanford. Virgil Flowers an easy going detective of the Minnesota BCA, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, also a resident of Blue-stem. He always appears to be in T-shirts and his character has been written in a comedic style. He had three divorces and no longer wishes to have a serious relationship.

Thus said, our character in the midst of his weekend plan chances upon a mansion on fire, fire as high as the sky. The mansion belong to Bill Judd Sr, a womanizer and had become prosperous due to a scam run during the eighties, much to the wrath of all those who lost their livelihood to that scam.

It turns out he was murdered and a parallel murder of the Gleasons by a .357 revolver, calls the expertise of Flowers. The sheriff Jimmy Stryker a friend of Virgil’s counting on being elected the third term, requests assistance from Virgil and they together start investigating the murders.

Virgil investigates in his own special way and arrives at a conclusion albeit a different track which pisses of the killer, who in turn tries to point Virgil in the right direction.

The killer continues his killing spree and kills a few more couples in a gruesome way. Virgil chances upon a postmortem shot of a woman in the safe deposit box of one of the couple’s killed. His investigation leads him to a “Miracle Child” and he enlists the help of Sandy, top researcher for Lucas Davenport to obtain access to multiple files and addresses related to the child.

It’s thrilling to know who the killer is or why he is on the killing spree. It’s even thrilling to find out who informs the killer of the most vital information which triggers him on the killing spree.

I found it rather slow paced intellectual cum action thriller compared to the Prey series. Overall it’s a good read and you definitely need to follow up with the next novel in the series “Heat Lightning”.

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