Book Review: ‘Deep Freeze’ Is The Next Virgil Flowers Exciting Thriller

I just love John Sandford novels with Virgil Flowers and Lucas Davenport. His latest is Deep Freeze (in stores Tuesday, October 17; G.P. Putnam’s Sons). This one is a Virgil Flowers mystery centered on a woman found floating in the river during a typical, cold Minnesota winter.

Poor Virgil Flowers can’t catch a break. He’s on vacation and out in the cold of winter trying to photograph a rare bird for a magazine. He finally gets his pictures when his phone rings. It’s his boss at the Minnesota Bureau Of Criminal Apprehension telling him he’s needed on a murder case in nearby Trippton (not far from him and where he has a history). As he points out he’s on vacation but his boss tells him he will make it up to him. He has to break the news to his girl Frankier and Honus the dog.

After a meeting of the class of ’92 reunion committee Gina Hemming was murdered and her body was thrown into the frozen lake and resurfaced. Arriving in town and reuniting with his good friend Johnson Johnson and his girl he gets right to work. He starts talking to the former classmates and soon discovers that Gina had some secrets. He now has to talk to people outside of the class and into the world of B and D. He’s also given an assignment to help private investigator in town trying to serve a warrant to a mysterious woman named Jesse McGovern, who everyone seems to know, yet no one knows her (the town won’t squeal on her). She’s making counterfeit Barbie and Ken sex dolls and Mattel wants it stopped.

So Virgil now has two issues to deal with. The people loyal to Jesse are not happy with Virgil and he gets beat up by them. Not to bad and he’s able to keep investigating. This case is driving him crazy as he feels he’s missing something. Then he ends up getting help from the one and only Jesse and finally figures out who did it (we already learn at the beginning of the book who did it).

When he finally returns home to Frankie he makes an important decision about their future.

If you’ve never read one of John’s books you should. They are just great. They’re easy to read as each chapter is usually short and not a lot of small type or useless stuff being written. I could only wish every author would write like these books and other Putnam authors do. It’s fun to read these stories once a year. It’s like catching up with an old friend. John gives enough backstory so that you know what’s going on if you’re new to the series.

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