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Virgil Flowers Series, Book 10
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Class reunions: a time for memories—good, bad, and, as Virgil Flowers is about to find out, deadly—in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series Virgil knows the...
Class reunions: a time for memories—good, bad, and, as Virgil Flowers is about to find out, deadly—in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series Virgil knows the...
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Description-

  • Class reunions: a time for memories—good, bad, and, as Virgil Flowers is about to find out, deadly—in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series
    Virgil knows the town of Trippton, Minnesota, a little too well. A few years back, he investigated the corrupt – and as it turned out, homicidal – local school board, and now the town's back in view with more alarming news: A woman's been found dead, frozen in a block of ice. There's a possibility that it might be connected to a high school class of twenty years ago that has a mid-winter reunion coming up, and so, wrapping his coat a little tighter, Virgil begins to dig into twenty years' worth of traumas, feuds, and bad blood. In the process, one thing becomes increasingly clear to him. It's true what they say: High school is murder.

Excerpts-

  • From the book Chapter One
     
     
    David Birkmann sat in his living room with an empty beer can in his hand and stared sadly at his bachelor’s oversized television, which wasn’t turned on. A light winter wind was blowing a soft, lovely snow into the storm windows. He needed to get out to plow the drive in the morning. He wasn’t thinking about that, or the winter, or the storm.
                He’d gotten away with it, he thought. That didn’t make him much happier.
                David – he thought of himself as David, rather than Big Dave, Daveareeno, Daveissimo, D-Man, Chips or Bug Boy– didn’t consider himself a killer. Not a real killer.
                He was simply accident-prone. Always had been.
                Accidents were one reason he’d been elected as Class of ’92 funniest boy, like the totally unfunny time when he hadn’t gotten the corn chips out of the vending machine in the school’s junk-food niche. He’d tried to shake the bag loose and the machine had tipped over on him, pinning him to the cold ceramic tiles of Trippton High School.
                Everybody who’d seen it had laughed – the fat boy pinned like a spider under a can of peas – even before they were sure he wasn’t injured.
                Even George Marx, the assistant principal in charge of discipline, had laughed. He had, nevertheless, given David fifteen days of detention, plus the additional unwanted nickname of Chips, a nickname that had hung on like a bad stink for twenty-five years.
                His own father had laughed after he found out that Trippton High School wouldn’t make him pay for the damage to the vending machine.
                Big Dave, Daveareeno, Daveissimo, D-Man... Bug Boy... squashed like a bug.
     
     
    The latest accident had occurred that night, though David thought it was all perfectly explainable, if you understood the history and the overall situation. He knew that the cops wouldn’t buy it.
                The history:
                First, his father was the Bug Man of Trippton, the leading pest exterminator in Buchanan County. For nine months of the year, the brightly-colored Bug Man vans were seen everywhere you’d find a bug. For the other three months, in the heart of winter, even the bugs took time off.
                David had never been the most popular kid in school and because of his father’s rep, had been told to bug off or bug out when he tried to hang with the popular kids, even in elementary school. That’d become a tired thirteen-year-long joke in the trek between kindergarten and twelfth grade. He’d always laughed about it, trying to ingratiate himself with the Populars.
                He wasn’t laughing, now.
     
     
    Because, second, Birkmann had fallen in love with Gina Hemming in the summer after sixth grade, when the first freshet of testosterone hit. He’d loved her all through school, and...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 24, 2017
    Bestseller Johnson pays homage to Agatha Christie in his cleverly plotted 13th Walt Longmire novel (after 2016’s An Obvious Fact), which takes place in both the past and the present. In 1972, Walt, an Absaroka County deputy and newly returned Vietnam War vet, joins his boss, Sheriff Lucian Connelly, for the Wyoming Sheriffs’ Association annual excursion across the state aboard the steam train Western Star. In Walt’s pocket is a copy of Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. On the train, Walt attracts the attention of Kim LeClerc, the comely companion of Sheriff George McKay, who warns the deputy to stay away from her. Soon afterward, during a station stop, someone knocks Walt out just as he’s about to reboard the train. Walt hitches a ride to the next stop, where he learns that McKay has disappeared and another sheriff has been shot dead. In the present day, Walt is opposed to the release of a serial killer, who’s dying and has been imprisoned for decades, for a personal reason that will catch readers by surprise. Witty dialogue abounds; when Kim asks Walt if he killed many babies in Vietnam, he replies, “Hardly any, they’re small… Hard to hit.” And Johnson winds up the whodunit with a solution that Christie could never have imagined. 15-city author tour. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents.

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2017
    Virgil Flowers, of Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, works an altogether unremarkable murder and a surprisingly inventive case on the side.The night before Gina Hemming is fished from a frozen river, someone bashes her in the head with a champagne bottle shortly after a meeting of the committee to organize her 25th high school reunion. Since Gina holds the power of the purse over virtually everyone in Trippton--she inherited the town's bank on her father's death--and the bruises on her body suggest habitual S&M play, there are lots of suspects, from Lucy and Elroy Cheever, whose business loan application she was about to deny, to heavy-equipment operator Corbel Cain, her sometime lover, to Fred Fitzgerald, who recently purchased a whip from Bernie's Books, Candles 'n More. But none of them murdered Gina; the opening chapter shows lovelorn exterminator David Birkmann, who's been carrying a torch for her since their school days, killing her when she indicates in the most direct way possible that she doesn't return his interest. The investigation is every bit as routine as it sounds, and it's nice for Virgil that Sandford has thrown in an unrelated complication: the arrival of LA gumshoe Margaret Griffin, who's gotten the Minnesota governor's support in serving a federal cease and desist order against Virgil's classmate Jesse McGovern, who's been doing a brisk mail-order business hawking her X-rated creations, Barbie O and Boner Ken. On second thought--since the Barbie knockoffs get Virgil beaten up by four oversized females and his truck burned to the ground--it may be less nice for Virgil than for his fan base. As so often in Sandford's small-town adventures (Escape Clause, 2016, etc.), the greatest pleasures here are incidental: clipped conversations, quietly loopy humor, locals mouthing off to and about each other. Pull up a seat, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from September 15, 2017
    Gina Hemming, the best-looking girl in Trippton, Minnesota's Class of '92, is rich and arrogant, thanks both to her beauty but also to inheriting the local bank from her father. On a cold January night, she gathers a group of classmates at her home to plan their twenty-fifth high-school anniversary. Among the attendees is David Brinkmann, the class clown. David had carried a torch for Gina since the summer after sixth grade. Now that he and Gina were both divorced . . . well, that plan went to hell in no time. Gina is found dead floating in the river, and Virgil Flowers from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assigned the case. Virgil has worked another case in Trippton and reconnects with his old pal Johnson Johnson (not a typo), who becomes Virgil's unofficial assistant. There's also a parallel plot in which some unknown citizens are turning Ken and Barbie dolls into sex toys. The tenth Flowers novel is a knowing portrait of small-town life layered into a very well plotted mystery. Virgil understands that, in small towns, no one ever outgrows high school, and he uses that knowledge to unravel both mysteries by dissecting the relationships and economic realities in the town. One of the very best novels in a superior series.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

  • Library Journal

    May 15, 2017

    Having investigated the murderous school board of Trippton, MN, Virgil Flowers isn't happy to be called back when a woman is found there encased in ice. Her death seems to be connected to the midwinter reunion of the high school class of 20 years past, whose members obviously take old grudges to the extreme. Tenth in the No. 1 New York Times best-selling Virgil Flowers series.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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