Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Holy Ghost by John Sandford

First Sentence:  Wardell Holland, the mayor of Wheatfield, Minnesota was sitting in the double-wide he rented from his mother, a Daisy Match Grade pellet rifle in his hands, shooting flies.
The population and economy of Wheatfield, Minnesota has seen incredible growth since the floating image of the Virgin Mary began to appear in the Catholic church.  That's not the only thing to appear.  While the apparition brings the town back to life, what they hadn't planned on was a sniper and the arrival of Agent Virgil Flowers from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
It's an unusual thing for an author to compare and contrast the odors of animal excrement, but it is indicative of Sandford's style and humor. While one is not given a long backstory, there is just enough information to know who are the characters.  There is no prologue, no lamenting past cases; one can start with this, the 11th book in the series, and be just fine.
Sandford's characters are a pleasure to read.  They are people--individuals--and it's interesting that there's no obvious bad guy.  Odd as it sounds, some of the most enjoyable characters are the "Nazis."  There is a lot of information on guns—can you say "filler"— than is really needed.             
Even if one hasn't read John Connolly, a very good author of horror, one can appreciate Sanford's reference to Connolly's book Every Dead Thing—"Good thing we're going to talk to heavily armed Nazis 'cause now I can quit reading this book.  It's scaring the hell out of me.' Such passages add realism and humor to the story.  Even food becomes an object of humor as it is the antithesis of what may be found in other books.
The pace picks up significantly and the question of que bono, who benefits, arises.  The ending was a bit of a cheat, but epilogue is wonderful.
"Holy Ghost" is a fun, easy read.  It's a perfect weekend or airplane book.  Overall the book really was enjoyable, and makes one want to read more books in the series.

HOLY GHOST (PolProc-Virgil Flowers-Minnesota-Contemp) - Good
      Sandford, John – 11th in series
      G.P. Putnam's Sons – Oct 2018


  1. Hmm....the setting and context interest me on this one. And I like the way the reader is placed in time and setting right away. I'm not surprised you enjoyed this one, even if the gun information was a bit much...

    1. It is a fun read. Remarkably, this is the first Virgil Flower book by Sandford I've read. I believe I need to correct that oversight.