Monday, July 21, 2014

Shock Wave - John Sandford

A bomber blew up the boardroom at the Pye Pinnacle in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Three weeks later the same thing happened at a construction trailer at a new PyeMart site in Butternut Falls, Minnesota. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) instantly got involved. An ATF supervisor called the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and asked for a local liaison in Butternut Falls. The BCA sent Virgil Flowers.

The bomber was believed to be lived in Butternut Falls and he must be caught as soon as possible, especially after he went after Flowers. The new PyeMart site was controversial. The locals believed that the major and the city council were bribed to approve the zoning change, but they couldn't prove it. Flowers himself focused to catch the bomber. A local fisherman suggested that Flowers did a “Market Research”: everybody in town told Flowers confidentially who was likely to be the bomber. Each person nominated 10 names. Flowers had to went through the answers, interviewed the suspects and checked out their backgrounds. One of the names should be the bomber. The idea was new and interesting, and for us readers this made the book not as boring as usual when Flowers did so many interviews.

The identity of the bomber was revealed near the end. I think Shock Wave is one of the best Virgil Flowers books. In the previous book, Bad Blood, Flowers had a romantic relationship with the sheriff, which had to end in this book.

A restaurant waitress asked Virgil Flowers 'why you're called 'that fuck1n' Flowers.'"
He said: "They call me that because I'm so good with women."

Well, he actually didn't give a straight answer like that because he was upset, a little shook up after a bomb. I find this little scene quite touching and a bit sad because his sheriff was leaving him.

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