One of those days: late fall, bare black tree branches scratching at a churning gray sky, days cold, nights colder. The harvest was very late—record late—and moving fast. The soybean crop had been delayed because of a cold summer, and then in the middle of October, with half the crop in, rain began to fall, a couple of inches a week, and didn’t quit for a month. Now it was dry again, but a landslide of bad weather hovered over the western horizon, and the combines were working twenty hours a day, bringing in the last of the beans and corn.
Bob Tripp leaned against the highway-side wall at the Battenberg Farmer’s Co-op grain elevator, knowing that Jacob Flood was on his way.
You could not only see the harvest—the working lights in the fields at night, the tractors and wagons on the roads—but you could hear it, and smell it, and even taste it in the air. Tasted like grain, and a little like dust, Tripp thought. His favorite time of year for the outdoors: regular deer season just over, muzzleloader coming up, snowmobiles ready to go.
Flood had called from his field in the early afternoon: “I need to get in and out fast. You open?”
“I got two wagons being weighed right now,” Tripp had said. “John McGuire’s coming in probably twenty minutes, nothing after that. If you can get here in an hour or so, we should be open. People have been calling to check, nobody’s called about coming in after John.”
“Put me down for three,” Flood said. “And goldarnit, I gotta get in and out.”
“Help you the best we can,” Tripp said. Tripp was nineteen, a high school jock who should have been playing freshman football at a state college. An automobile accident in June, which had broken his left leg, had put that off for a year. The leg had mostly healed by September, and he’d taken the temporary clerk’s job at the co-op, where the leg hadn’t been too important. He was getting along well, doing rehab exercises every night. The doc said he’d be as good as ever by spring.
Maybe he would be, he thought. Maybe not.
He looked at his watch. Five minutes to three. Nobody coming in. He walked back to the small elevator office, worked the combination on his locker, and popped it open. He wore coveralls on the job, kept his civilian clothes in the locker. He pushed them aside, took out the aluminum T-ball bat he’d hidden there.
He’d had the bat since he was five years old, even then a budding star. He swung it a few times, getting reacquainted with its weight, and thought about what he was going to do. He might get caught, but he’d do it anyway. He looked at himself the way athletes do, spotted the fear, the trepidation, and the anger, and let them percolate through his muscles, jacking himself up for the battle.
Running late and barely able to keep his eyes open, Jacob Flood leaned on the truck’s horn as he nudged the old Chevy up to the edge of the scales. He’d been working since early Wednesday morning, with four hours of sleep in the middle of it.
Copyright © 2010 by John Sandford
Bad Blood is good news for John Sandford fans, who begin anticipating the next Virgil Flowers novel the second they put one down. This time, the long-haired law enforcement agent and chick magnet is called in to help a sheriff—who is both attractive and tough—solve a baffling string of murders.
It wasn’t an easy way to die, Sheriff Lee Coakley tells Virgil. According to the kid who called in the alleged accident, local sports star Bobby Tripp, the victim fell into the grain bin. But when evidence revealed the dead farmer had been struck first, Bobby was arrested…and found hanging in his cell the next morning. Coakley’s dilemma is this: Bobby, it appears, was murdered, too. And she’s pretty sure it was by her deputy in charge....
Virgil’s not sure how it all fits together yet, especially when he sets out to question the deputy and finds the guy sprawled on his couch, felled by a gunshot that, upon first inspection, seems like a suicide. But it isn’t. What it is, Virgil soon learns, is a multi-generation, multi-family conspiracy involved in crimes so monstrous even he, who’s seen it all, is stunned. Now all he has to do is figure out how to end the madness without becoming the next victim.
Hardcover Book : 400 pages
Publisher: Putnam Pub Group/Member, Penguin Putnam ( September 21, 2010 )
Item #: 13-162615
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.9inches
Product Weight: 17.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
The themes in this book are somewhat disturbing. I would not recommend it to a sensitive reader. The plotlines are similar to the movie " The Village", where the young people of this small town are unaware that a different way of life exist outside of a circle of families. Similarities end there. Young people are being sexually abused by their own parents and other adults in the name of "religion". Read it with that warning.
I LIKE JOHN SANDFORD SERIES...HOPEFULLY HE WILL KEEP WRITING ABOUT VIRGIL FLOWERS. THIS STORY WAS BIT DISTURBING BUT HAD A FEEL IN WHAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN IN THE PAPERS AROUND THE COUNTRY LATELY. JUST AS A TV SERIES TAKES STORYLINES FROM THE NEWS.
Reviewer: Momma B
This book kept me reading up until 3 a.m. this morning as I could not put it down. The subject matter was difficult to read about but it was so well written. Kudos to John Sanford, I cannot wait for his next book!
Reviewer: Carole R
Very well written, subject matter disturbing, but more than likely based on real fact. Love this author.
Reviewer: Michelle H
While the storyline was a bit disturbing, it was a fantastic book. Well written and kept me on the edge. I love the Virgil Flowers series! Hope Mr. Sandford keeps them coming!
Reviewer: Stacey H