Title: Mad River
Author: John Sandford
Review: It may just be me, but it seems as if John Sandford has got a little more violent with his last few books. Davenport, in the last Prey book dealt with Mexican gangs who viciously deal with their problems without blinking an eye. The sad part of that book, with its various torture murders of families, is its basis in reality. But Davenport has always leaned a little violent, enough so I would be fearful of going to Minnesota if I already didn’t live here.
A few years ago Sandford started writing Virgil Flowers books, the happy go lucky BCA agent who works for Davenport. More interested in hunting and the ladies than the grittiness of the Prey world. His cases tended to be a little more Midsomer Murders than Rebus. But with Mad River, you have the case of a group of spree killers wrecking havoc on the smaller farm communities of southwestern Minnesota. The senseless murders begin piling up and then a graphic rape is thrown in to finish it off.
So while I enjoyed the book, the plot and writing was excellent as usual, I was slightly disappointed. Sandford is a master story teller, I just wish he would keep the two approaches separate; the dark and the light. I enjoy both approaches to the Minnesota BCA immensely and would hate to see them bleed together over time.
Publisher: GP Putnam’s Sons. Published October 2nd 2012 by Putnam Adult (first published October 1st 2012)
Quick Review: 4 out of 5 Stars
Why I Read It: I read every John Sandford book.
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me through the Goodreads.com giveaway program.
Synopsis: Bonnie and Clyde, they thought. And what’s-his-name, the sidekick. Three teenagers with dead-end lives, and chips on their shoulders, and guns.
The first person they killed was a highway patrolman. The second was a woman during a robbery. Then, hell, why not keep on going? As their crime spree cuts a swath through rural Minnesota, some of it captured on the killers’ cell phones and sent to a local television station, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers joins the growing army of cops trying to run them down. But even he doesn’t realize what’s about to happen next.
Author Biography: John Sandford was born John Camp on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended the public schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. He then spent four years at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor's degree in American Studies in 1966. In 1966, he married Susan Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, a fellow student at the University of Iowa. He was in the U.S. Army from 1966-68, worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian from 1968-1970, and went back to the University of Iowa from 1970-1971, where he received a master's degree in journalism. He was a reporter for The Miami Herald from 1971-78, and then a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press from 1978-1990; in 1980, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis. From 1990 to the present he has written thriller novels. He's also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art. He is the principal financial backer of a major archeological project in the Jordan Valley of Israel, with a website at www.rehov.org In addition to archaeology, he is deeply interested in art (painting) and photography. He both hunts and fishes. He has two children, Roswell and Emily, and one grandson, Benjamin. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007, and is greatly missed