Book Review - Shock Wave by John Sandford
While I've grown a little cold on the John Sandford novels that feature Lucas Davenport, I'm finding I like the Virgil Flowers novels a lot. Shock Wave has Flowers tracking down a serial bomber intent on stopping a large Walmart-like store from setting up shop in a small town. Flowers is a nice mix of irreverence, vulnerability, and persistence, all wrapped together in a mind that never stops running.
Sandford does a good job in capturing the small town atmosphere where the action takes place. It's reasonably clear that someone in the town is doing the bombing, but there's a number of people who would make good suspects. Many people in town will be negatively impacted by the new store, and most would be happy to see the construction stopped. But which person would be motivated enough to kill? On top of the bombing, there's also a question surrounding why the city council approved a zoning change after initially opposing the site. Is the bombing also tied to the possible corruption? These are all questions Flowers has to figure out, and it doesn't help that the bombings are accelerating at a frightening pace.
On top of the characters, Sandford does a perfect job in making sure the killer isn't known until the very end. I was guessing the entire time, and found out it wasn't the person who I thought it was going to be. I was also impressed with the use of "crowd-sourcing" to dig up a list of likely suspects. While I don't think it's something that would be accepted very well in reality, it did present some interesting possibilities of involving others in solving a crime.
I hope Sandford continues with the Flowers character in future books. It would definitely put him back on my "read right away" list.
Obtained From: Library