John Sanford – Rough Country (2009)

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Rough Country is the third novel in the Virgil Flowers series by John Sanford. The novel deals with the unexplained murders of a few lesbians in influential positions.

Erica McDill, the CEO of Ruff-Harcourt-McDill advertising agency goes to the Eagles Nest Lodge at Stone Lake over by the Grand Rapids to think over the future prospects of her company. She gets killed point blank in the middle of the lake while paddling across the lake to see the eagles.

Virgil, enjoying his holiday on the lake fishing and gets called into investigating this murder as most of the deputies are busy looking for the missing little Linda. He inspects the area of the murder and finds shell of the rifle used to kill Erica along with a boot print. He suspects a woman to have killed Erica.

He talks with several people at the Lodge, the manager Margaret Stanhope, the accountant Zoe Tull, the bartender and several other probable suspects. His primary investigation leads him to know that Erica was not straight and had relationships with both men and women. Her lover back at the city is devastated at the news and the partner who sold his part of shares to Erica’s agency reveals that Erica was planning on letting go several of the employees in the agency.

Virgil gets to know Erica had a fling with Wendy Ashback, a lead singer of a local music band. He gets to know from Wendy that she was in talks with Erica over a promising career in music and her death has destroyed her prospects. Further investigation leads him to another murder related to Wendy. Constance Lifry was murdered too in Iowa post talks with the lead singer about a gig in the city.

This leads Virgil to look at Zoe, Berni Kelly the current lover of Wendy and Slide Ashback and Slide Ashback Jr. As he eliminates one after the other and arrives at the killer by investigating in several angles.

Again Virgil is unlucky in love and the storyline leads us to the cold blooded murders of several people including Wendy’s mother. Its an awesome read, we find it hard to put down the book without finishing it first.

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