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Shock Wave (Virgil Flowers #5)

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,789 Ratings  ·  834 Reviews
The thrilling new Virgil Flowers novel from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author.

Talk about risky business.
The superstore chain PyeMart has its sights set on a Minnesota river town, but two very angry groups want to stop it: the local merchants fearing for their businesses, and the environmentalists predicting ecological disaster. The protests don't seem to be slowing
Audiobook, Unabridged, 9 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Penguin Audio (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Can we please find out what John Sandford is eating and put every other thriller writer on the same diet? It’s insane that over 30 books into his career the last two he’s done, Bad Blood and Buried Prey, were among his very best. Now he delivers another top-notch crime story in Shock Wave.

The small city of Butternut Falls, Minnesota, is an uproar over a new big box discount store called PyeMart being built. Someone decides to do more than write angry posts on the Internet and powerful bombs go
Jonathan Janz
Sep 13, 2015 Jonathan Janz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hey. You.

Yeah, *you*. Come here a minute.

You reading John Sandford's Virgil Flowers books yet?

No? Well, why the hell not? Don't you like fantastic writing? I mean, knock-your-socks-off writing that you can chew on and savor like a perfectly-cooked steak?


What about labyrinthine plots and vivid settings?

Didn't move the needle, huh?

What about a palpable sense of danger, a wry sense of humor, and an ability to keep the reader guessing?

None of that stuff entices you? Dude, you're a tough s
Andrew Smith
Dec 19, 2014 Andrew Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve really changed my mind about the Virgil Flowers books. I gave up on the first one, as I couldn’t get past the feeling that it wasn’t a Lucas Davenport tale and must therefore be, somehow, inferior. I didn’t try another for some time, until I read some positive reviews from people whose judgement I trust. I’ve not looked back since.

This one is pretty typical. It meanders along with Flowers adopting his normal style of blending in with and befriending the local community whilst asking pretty
James Thane
May 05, 2012 James Thane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
This is another very entertaining entry in John Sandford's Virgil Flowers series. Virgil is enjoying his day off, drinking beer and watching scantily-clad women play volleyball when some inconsiderate jerk sets off a bomb at a construction site in Butternut Falls, Minnesota, where PyeMart, a retail giant is building a new superstore. A couple of weeks earlier a bomb had exploded at the company's headquarters in Michigan, killing a secretary and nearly wiping out the company's CEO and board of di ...more
May 08, 2015 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook. My favorite Sandford character, again decked out in cowboy boots and rock band t-shirts, and again on vacation, is charged with investigating the bombings of executives of a large chain.

It’s a scenario familiar to many smaller communities: a large chain like Walmart or Target (in this fictional case the store is called PyeMart) wants to move in and build a store. The community has many small businesses that will go under from the competition of the larger store. They are also worried
Rick Fisher
Jan 30, 2012 Rick Fisher rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Im a little mixed on the newest Virgil Flowers novel by John Sandford. This is one of my fav authors and characters. Although the writing is onpoint, as usual and the dialogue is quick, witty and 100% Flowers, "Shock Wave" has one of the weakest plots Ive read in awhile. It lacked the detail and imagination I am used to from such an amazing author.
I can see the situation as being realistic and relevant in our socitey, but, nontheless, building a novel around it was a stretch.
Character compo
Jan 10, 2013 Alondra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
3.50 Stars.

Another classic Virgil Flowers thriller. No nonsense, hilarious at times and one dropped bomb after another. No pun intended. Virgil is on the case again; this time after a bomber with a plan. No plan is perfect and the bomber learns this quickly.

I love reading this series; and love the main character. Nice flow and good for a quick read.
11811 (Eleven)
Jun 26, 2015 11811 (Eleven) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost forgot to add this one. Sandford is always good. Virgil Flowers is always good. This episode was easily as good as the rest. Between Flowers and Lucas Davenport, I'm now at 21 John Sandford novels and I'm not sick of him yet. I think it's safe to call me a fan.
Jul 07, 2012 Skip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
Early in the fifth Virgil Flowers novel, a county sheriff refers to Virgil as a "social investigator," which is apt. In this book, for example, he actually undertakes an anonymous written survey to assemble a list of suspects. More generally, he pokes around a town, bouncing his case theories off people and getting their input until he solves the case. After two bombings kill employees of a modestly upscale discount store, Virgil travels to a town where small business owners and conservationists ...more
Oct 21, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: crime & thriller readers
This is the 5th of Sandford's Virgil Flowers series. It's written with the same attention to plot detail as the Davenport "Prey" series but with a slightly lighter touch in spite of the murder and mayhem involved. An enjoyable "crime break" between more literary fare.
Lawrence Block
Oct 08, 2011 Lawrence Block rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I've ever read a book by Sandford to which I'd give fewer than five stars. This one is written with the skill he always displays. Virgil Flowers, always engaging, grows in dimension, as JS's characters always do.
Mal Warwick
Nov 27, 2011 Mal Warwick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Worthy Crime Novel from John Sandford

Virgil Flowers considers himself a “shitkicker” and tends to dress, talk, and act like one, favoring T-shirts from rock bands, cowboy boots, fly fishing, fast motorboats, and, shall we say, casual language. Here he is in conversation with one of his suspects in Shock Wave, a trade school instructor:

Virgil: “So, where you at?”

Suspect: “You don’t need the ‘at’ at the end of that sentence. If you’d asked, ‘Where are you?’ that would have been fine.”

Giovanni Gelati
Oct 19, 2011 Giovanni Gelati rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Virgil Flowers is one of my favorite characters and I love what he does in this , the fifth, stand alone. He is very much Virgil, but a different side of him, more introspective, a bit deeper, more thought out , and definitely a ton of fun. The backdrop to all this is something most readers can appreciate: the angst behind a huge mega store coming in and crushing a community and its businesses. Using that, John Sandford again hits all the right notes and takes us the reader on nice wild ride .Th
Jan 02, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm getting as addicted to the Virgil Flowers books as Sandford's Lucas Davenport series. This one is an excellent mystery that keeps you guessing the why and how as much as whodunit. A bomb explodes in the conference room on the 55th floor of the Pye Pinnacle, headquarters for the Pye Mart chain that's a bit higher end than Walmart and almost as prolific. Then another bomb takes out the mobile construction office for a new Pye Mart in a small Minnesota town. Davenport sends Flowers to work with ...more
Sandford shows off his arcane knowledge of grunge bands through his protagonist, that "f$#@%&g' Flowers", as he goes through his wardrobe of t-shirts while investigating the bombing of a "Pyemart" construction site and "Pyemart" headquarters. Of course, substitute that other "mart" as the target and you get the picture. A small town invaded by the big old corporation. The plot has a good twist and the characters are good fun. Worth a few hours of your time if you are a Sandford fan.
Kathy Davie
Jan 10, 2016 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fifth in the Virgil Flowers detective mystery series and revolving around that effin' Flowers over there in Minnesota. It's been six months since Bad Blood , 4.

My Take
Virgil cracked me up with his response to Pye's threats at the start. Who cares? *snicker*

A lot of us can relate to the Butternut Falls issue. Having a big box store open up in town, killing off the local businesses, providing lots of minimum-wage jobs. Throw in those environmental issues…and it's war with the most obvious protest
Dec 30, 2011 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2011
In many ways this is a perfect mystery novel. Good characters, ruthless villian, engaging plot, enough red herrings to stock a small lake and just a great read.

Great book to finish the year with or read any other time.
Lewis Weinstein
Virgil Flowers is an interesting character and Shock Wave is quite readable. Not quite believable, but intelligently written and entertaining. The Minnesota location is different and interesting.

Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Ka-boom, ka-boom. Lotta explosions in this one. Jimmy Buffett is right, there are too many half-baked fruitcakes in this world. The Cosmic Baker took 'em outta the oven way too soon.
I just love Virgil, he is not your usual cop which is part of his charm. He is always open to new ideas, does his deep thinking in unusual ways, and seems to have uncanny luck with women.

This time around some of the new ideas that Virgil uses to work the case causes him to get into some hot water. When they first start talking about it I thought it was a crock of crap, but as things progressed it seemed to work.

I love how Virgil brings his boat and fishing stuff when working on a case, it seems
Dec 23, 2011 Kevintipple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Virgil Flowers returns in SHOCK WAVE and the read is a good one. This is the fifth novel of the series and this time he is chasing a bomber. Virgil is based in Mankato, Minnesota and therefore routinely covers the southern part of the state for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He also goes whether his boss, Lucas Davenport, sends him. Virgil has quite the reputation, not just with the ladies, and always gets the job done.

The latest bombing was of a construction trailer located at t
Two corporate bombings make the authorities call in top investigator, Virgil Flowers, to find the bomber.

There is animosity toward PyeMart, a Wallmart type of corporation. Many people in Butternut Falls, Minnesota, are bitter about the corporation. Some feel that the corporation will hurt their businesses and others that it will hurt the environment by adding pollutants to the water.

As the story unfolds, we see that Virgil is a nonchalant investigator. He's humorous and brings his own love of fi
Alasandra Alawine
As always Virgil entertains.

Someone is trying to prevent a PyeMart from being built in Butternut Falls, the key is finding out how they snuck a bomb into the highly secure PyeMart headquarters.

Virgil is also investigating the bribing of local officials who changed the zoning code allowing the PyeMart to be built. When he discovers one of the officials who took a bribe is cheating on his wife, Virgil uses the info to get her to betray her husband. The cheating hubby then agrees to wear a wire so
Jun 05, 2014 Ethan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The citizens of Butternut Falls, Minnesota are not happy. The construction of a new PyeMart, a large retail superstore akin to WalMart, threatens the small businesses that inhabit the town and the pristine river that runs adjacent to the site. Despite the undisputed protest by the locals, the city council approves the building permit, and the battle seems all but lost. But someone has other plans. A bomb goes off at the PyeMart offices, killing several employees and coming precariously close to ...more
Nov 06, 2011 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great book! John Sandford delivers another winner starring Virgil Flowers. When several bombs explode and kill people working for the giant box store Pyemart, Davenport sends Virgil to Butternut Falls to figure out who the bomber is before anyone else dies. Virgil is on vacation and really doesn't want to get involved in a lengthy investigation, but heads out to Butternut Falls towing his fishing boat. It turns out there are many suspects, as both the local small business owners and trout ...more
Oct 02, 2011 Jerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We are big fans of Sandford, having read every single one of his Kidd, Lucas Davenport, and Virgil Flowers novels. These latter stories are similar to, but usually less violent than, the "Prey" novels, as Virgil is inclined to let the "regular" cops do most of the dirty work while he contemplates things quietly and often draws clever conclusions from just talking to people.

"Shock Wave" is aptly named, as it involves a plot about a very busy bomber who has it in for "Pye-Mart", obviously a Walmar
Dotti Elrick
Jan 18, 2012 Dotti Elrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Virgil Flowers fifth novel. I love Virgil. He is so untypical of most of the detectives you read about. He's easy going, laid back and looks nothing like a cop. Long blond hair, jeans and old indie band shirts, along with his trademark cowboy boots is what you will find him wearing not only working crime scenes but that's what he'll be wearing in front of the cameras for a press conferences. And most of the time he's pulling his fishing boat behind his state vehicle. Virgil thinks best w ...more
Feb 26, 2014 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-modern
c2011. Mr Sandford has continued to pull me into this series about Virgil. The humour is great and I didn't guess the 'perp' until the detective did. I fell for all the ref herrings. I am left wondering if I would enjoy the books as much as I do if I had not listened to the audible version. The narrator, Eric Conger, is brilliant and I just have a horrible feeling that the humour would actually pass me by if I was merely reading a hard copy. The setting is great and it is wonderful to get such a ...more
Bill Garrison
Oct 21, 2011 Bill Garrison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Sandford's SHOCK WAVE features BCA detective Virgil Flowers and is the fifth book in the series. In this book, Sanford tackles what seems to be a minor conflict, but can be life or death to small towns in America. Flowers must to figure out who is setting off bombs in the town of Butternut Falls to keep the discount store PyeMart from moving into town. This novel is a bit of a change of pace from the last Flowers novel, in which Flowers tackled a massive child abuse ring.

PyeMart is a natio
I read this on a rainy day when I should have been doing chores around the house.
I really like Sanford and am liking this f###ing Flowers more and more. This is his fifth solo outing since being introduced as Davenport's protege in the Prey series. Like his boss, Virgil is slightly eccentric and brilliant, but with fewer hard edges, less of a temper, and a stronger moral compass.
Virgil is drinking beer and watching bikini clad women play volleyball, when Davenport calls him in to investigate a
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John Sandford was born John Camp on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended the public schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. He then spent four years at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor's degree in American Studies in 1966. In 1966, he married Susan Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, a fellow student at the University of Iowa. He was in th ...more
More about John Sandford...

Other Books in the Series

Virgil Flowers (9 books)
  • Dark of the Moon (Virgil Flowers, #1)
  • Heat Lightning (Virgil Flowers, #2)
  • Rough Country (Virgil Flowers, #3)
  • Bad Blood (Virgil Flowers, #4)
  • Mad River (Virgil Flowers, #6)
  • Storm Front  (Virgil Flowers, #7)
  • Deadline (Virgil Flowers, #8)
  • Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers, #9)

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“The press conference was held in a courtroom at the new county courthouse, a space that did its best to translate justice into laminated wood.” 6 likes
“Nuts don’t come in bunches. Only grapes do.” 5 likes
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