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Storm Front (Virgil Flowers #7)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  9,792 Ratings  ·  1,011 Reviews
In Israel, a man clutching a backpack searches desperately for a boat. In Minnesota, Virgil Flowers gets a message from Lucas Davenport: You're about to get a visitor. It's an Israeli cop, and she's chasing a man who's smuggled out an extraordinary relic — an ancient inscribed stone revealing startling details about the man known as King Solomon.
"Wait a minute," laughs Vir
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 2013)
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Minnesota state investigator Virgil Flowers is working diligently on a case involving Florence ‘Ma’ Nobles and her sons selling counterfeit antique lumber. Of course, part of the reason that Virgil is working so hard is that Ma is very attractive and flirting shamelessly with him. So when a call comes in from his boss Lucas Davenport with another assignment, Virgil is more than a little miffed.

It’s no big deal, Davenport tells him. A Lutheran minister named Elijah Jones who is dying of cancer s
Sarah Darwin
Oct 20, 2013 Sarah Darwin rated it did not like it
In a way, I'm grateful to John Sandford for this truly forgettable book. For me it has just marked a watershed: the moment when I refuse ever again to read anything churned out by the dismal new world of the corporate book factory.

I've been resistant to it for a while - James Patterson was long ago scratched off my 'watch out for books by' list - but I've made exceptions for some favourite authors, John Sandford among them. I believe most if not all of the Virgil Flowers books had an inscription
Dre Mosley
Dec 21, 2014 Dre Mosley rated it it was ok
Shelves: stinkers
Add me to the list of John Sandford fans who are severely let down by this one. This, as far as I'm concerned is Sandford's first misfire.

Well, wait. . . .did he even write this one? That's questionable. I'd like to think that he didn't. I'd hate to think that Sandford has joined the James Patterson Club(you know, putting one's name on books he really didn't write?), but perhaps he has. This book certainly didn't read like a Sandford novel. As I was reading it, something felt. . .off, as if mayb
James Thane
Elijah Jones is a minister and college professor working on an archeological dig in Israel. He's also dying of cancer and about to leave behind him a wife with Alzheimer's who may wind up living for years with minimal care. Then one day, Jones's team uncovers an ancient stele--a stone with inscriptions carved into it. A preliminary examination suggests that the information on the stele, if accurate, could require a significant reinterpretation of the Bible and could also radically undermine some ...more
Nov 13, 2013 Sue rated it liked it
Well this was certainly an action packed entry in the Virgil Flowers series, almost too packed at times to the point of caricature of this type of suspense novel.

A dying archaeologist smuggles an artifact into the United States to sell it to the highest bidder. Then these bidders arrive from all corners representing a strange variety of bidders. Flowers is caught up on the middle of this horde in odd ways which grow to dangerous and, at times humorous, ways.

The story is fun and well written but
This is the seventh novel in the Virgil Flowers series. We first met him in John Sandford's Prey novels. Virgil works for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, usually patrolling the rural regions of the state. He often is towing a boat during an investigation ... just in case an opportunity to get in some fishing presents itself. He usually works alone although he sometimes makes a call to Lucas Davenport to send some reinforcements. Davenport, his co-workers in the BCA, criminals, pre ...more
Jon Kurtz
May 13, 2015 Jon Kurtz rated it really liked it
"That F#!@ing Flowers" is back again. I smile every time I read that monicker. The storyline for book #7 has Agent Virgil Flowers of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension attempting to recover an ancient Middle Eastern relic that finds its way to Minnesota. I guess that's not too hard to swallow, considering Minnesota actually does have a Museum of Mining. Okay, maybe that's a stretch. The relic is a stele (stella), AKA - a stone, which is believed to contain writing that may genealogica ...more
C.A. Newsome
Oct 12, 2013 C.A. Newsome rated it it was ok
I’m having a hard time as a reader these days. Part of it has to do with becoming an author, giving me less time to read for pleasure and making me choosier as well as more critical of the books I read. Part of it has to do with reading the same series authors since the 90s.

For many of them, their story-lines have become preposterous, or they’ve gotten lazy and they’re phoning it in. I can tell because I still reread the stories that made me fall in love with them. James Patterson has become the
Nov 09, 2015 Eric_W rated it it was amazing
Audiobook: A Lutheran minister steals a stela from a dig in Israel and returns back to his home in Mankato. He has an incurable illness and then disappears. Virgil is asked by his boss, Lucas Davenport, to liase with an Israeli antiquities investigator who has come over to get the stella back. Its importance soon becomes clear as the inscription on the stela seems to imply that King Solomon may have been an Egyptian pharaoh. So, of course, everyone wants to get his hands on the stela for politic ...more
Jason Grimes
Oct 23, 2013 Jason Grimes rated it did not like it
Extremely disappointing. The worst out of the 7 Virgil Flowers books. The author says the book was written with the help of Michele Cook, however, I believe Michele actually wrote it. While it's a constant action book, very fast paced, what is missing is the lazy humor from Virgil. Plus the plot really isn't that interesting, nor are most of the characters that keep trickling in. I love this series (esp Rough Country) but this book lacks and doesn't fit. 1 star if not less.
Marla Madison
Dec 03, 2013 Marla Madison rated it it was ok
I’ve been a Sandford fan from day one. His Prey series has been my favorite; I eagerly awaited each new release. Unfortunately, some of his later works have not been favorites, and with Storm Front, Sandford’s latest, the author has hit an all time low. If I hadn’t been a long-time fan, I’d never have finished the book.
Since The DaVinci Code became a blockbusting success, everyone’s writing books about an ancient relic that if made public, would change the world of religion, as we know it. For
Kathy Davie
Jan 14, 2017 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
Seventh in the Virgil Flowers detective mystery thriller series and revolving around a roving detective in Minnesota.

My Take
It was an unexpected start with Elijah on a kibbutz with a totally and completely unexpected ending. It took me awhile at the end to process it all. Very clever, Sandford, you sneaky bugger.

It’s convoluted with potentially catastrophic fallout if the truth comes out about this stolen artifact. Sandford certainly does raise some questions in my mind that make me want to re-r
Dec 25, 2013 judy rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Something didn't feel Virgil to me but Sandford admits he had help--and for a very good reason. He is not pulling a James Patterson (yuck--one is enough) but what he is doing is helping his former newspaper co-workers set a little more aside for retirement (lousy pay even if they still have jobs). He makes no secret of this. He's done lengthy interviews explaining that he deliberately involves them in the Virgil stories and splits the profits. Up until this one they have helped with the plot but ...more
Oct 13, 2013 Ware rated it it was amazing
"There was a storm front off to the west, and while they couldn’t yet hear the thunder, they could see the far-distant flashes of lightning; just like when he was a kid, waiting with suppressed excitement for the big winds and the storm."

Storm Front is a black comedy, a merry chase around South Minnesota for the Holy Grail, in this case the Solomon stone or stele, a piece of rock which may hold the key to a Biblical conundrum, mainly how did Solomon get so rich when his father David was a relati
Oct 10, 2013 Jacqueline rated it it was ok
I am a rabid fan of John Sandford, having read all his books, most of them multiple times. Unfortunately, I will not be rereading this latest Virgil Flowers novel, which was a huge disappointment.

Virgil, a cop who works for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (and thus, Lucas Davenport), looks like a cowboy in rock and roll band tee shirts, and has an unusual and effective way of going after the bad guys. In this book, however, it is more like a Keystone-Cops-gone-bad investigation, wi
Deb Mj
Jan 05, 2014 Deb Mj rated it did not like it
I debated between a 1 and 2 star rating on this, because I felt so guilty giving 1 star to a "that f'ing Flowers" book. But it deserves the 1. It's just so bad. The plot is convoluted and inane. It's campy, but not in an intentional way, just in a really badly written way. There is no gravitas, no crime solving, no likable characters, and no redeeming value.

I'm a firm proponent of reading serials in order, but please do yourself a favor and skip this one. It contributes nothing to the series, a
Dec 20, 2013 T rated it really liked it
Yay! A Virgil book!

Fun read, amusing at times, and the lovable rascal Virgil is the star of this one....

This time, we get an education via a stolen "stele", found on an archeological dig and spirited to the US by a dying minister who wants to auction it off. There are spies and thugs and shooting and rendezvous or few, a gal with her eye on Virgil, Virgil scoping out women, fast cars, airplanes, bugged cars.....What's not to like?

Bring us more Virgil stories, please Mr Sandford!
Jim A
Oct 13, 2013 Jim A rated it liked it
Very quick read as there really wasn't anything of substance to the novel. Definitely not my favorite Virgil Flowers novel.

Sandford's humor via the Flowers dialogue was still there, however. Virgil, talking to a woman from Israel's Antiquity Agency:

"Let's go get some bacon 'n eggs"

"Maybe not, she said. I prefer not to burn in Jewish hell. I would like a nice morning salad, with some olives."

"That'll be a Mankato first," Virgil said.

Other than the humor, there's not a lot that I can recommend a
Sep 28, 2013 Kevintipple rated it it was amazing
Virgil Flowers is on a case about fake antique lumber when his boss Lucas Davenport calls him with another assignment. An Israeli investigator is on the way and needs to talk to a professor who lives in the area. In addition to being a professor the man, Elijah Jones, is also a Lutheran minister. The investigator wants to talk to the professor who apparently stole an important artifact from a dig in Israel and smuggled it back home.

The investigator, Yael Aronov, isn’t telling Virgil everything s
Oct 21, 2013 Will rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Severe fans of John Sandford
'Storm Front' was another disappointment from John Sandford. I'm a faithful reader of Sandford, but he obviously peaked out with the Lucas Davenport Prey series. In my humble opinion, the storyline is loose and the characters incorporated haphazardly. The book was not a page turner, as I'd come to expect, and was loosely disjointed in my perspective. Now I'm a real John Sandford fan, and his early works were magnificent, but his last three--with the exception of 'The Affair'-- were letdowns. 'St ...more
Jul 29, 2016 Jerry rated it it was ok
Sandford is definitely on our A-list – we’ve read every novel in his Kidd, Prey, and Virgil Flowers series, of which “Storm” is the seventh in that latter set. We like the Flowers character and have enjoyed his prior stories, but honestly, this one left us tired and barely entertained. When a dying minister/professor finds a spectacular ancient engraved stone on a dig in Israel, and promptly steals it and manages to return and go into hiding in Minnesota, the hunt is on. What ensues is so many c ...more
Dec 06, 2015 Larry rated it it was amazing
Virgil Flowers gets assigned to liaise with an Israeli archeologist (and undoubted Mossad agent) to retrieve a priceless artifact that has made its way to Minnesota in the possession of a dying American theology professor-gone sort of crazy. A varied assortment of relentless self-promoters pursue the relic, which threatens to upend some key assumptions about Israeli claims to Israel. There are some genuinely dangerous people on the artifact's trail, too: Turkish smugglers and fake archeologists ...more
"Unlike The Earlier Virgil Flowers Books, This Story is NOT Blooming"

I believe that the Virgil Flowers series is really losing its flair, after a few beginning books that were above average, this last book by Sanford who writes above average stories was not very good. The book is not a crime novel but has evolved into an ancient artifact hunt & its nowhere near an Indiana Jones type hunt more of an Easter egg hunt.

I thought Sanford was doing a good job initially with the character spinoff f
Sep 20, 2015 Donna rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
This was a book-challenge read. I've read the first book in this series(Virgil Flowers) by John Sanford and it did not get a favorable review. So many of my pet peeves were added in such abundance for that one and shaken vigorously.

So it is with that hesitation I walked into this one, which is the 7th one in the series. And as it happens, when I'm expecting the worst, I end up being pleasantly surprised. Some of my old pet peeves were still represented in this one, but I enjoyed and appreciated
Jan 24, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it
Virgil is more fun than Lucas Davenport. As in any John Sandford novel, the dialogue is terrific. Sandford seems to capture men's conversation —it sound real, overheard. In this book Virgil is trying to stop a local scam artist selling aged wood to builders in the east, when he is reassigned to a weird case involving a missing artifact from a dig in Israel. Virgil tries to keep his work on the scam simmering on a back burner while he deals with Israeli Mossad agents, archeologists, television st ...more
Jun 10, 2016 Jenn rated it liked it
So far, this is my least favourite Sandford book. Which is easy to tell as it took me over two months to read. It's not because of the writing as lord knows I love John Sandford. It was the topic. I really didn't care about a stelle and the Israelis who wanted it. But I did care about the antics of Flowers which is why I kept going.
Jul 25, 2016 Marian rated it really liked it
This book was a good ole fun read:)A few people are after a stolen relic that has been stolen from Israel and then the fun begins.I enjoyed it from start to finish:)Im thinking about it,but looks like a 4 star read from me..
Chris Conley
Aug 20, 2016 Chris Conley rated it it was amazing
To put it plainly, I love Virgil Flowers.
Rex Fuller
An American archeologist digs up a stone in Israel, a stele to be exact. It bears Egyptian hieroglyphics and ancient Hebrew text suggesting that Solomon was not the father of the Israelis which impinges on the modern day state of Israel’s claim to the territory it holds. The American smuggles the rock back to Minnesota in a way that is pretty obvious to track. Virgil Flowers enters the picture at the behest of Israeli authorities and begins trying to find the stele before it is sold in an auctio ...more
Oct 24, 2013 Doug rated it liked it
The first red flag was an acknowledgment at the front of the book stating that Sandford had written Storm Front with the help of Michele Cook. I thought OMG, isn't this kind of like it started when Patterson and Cussler quit writing their own stuff. It didn't take long thereafter to determine that this was written tongue in cheek. Not the Virgil Flowers that I'm used to. It's almost like Sandford decided to become the Carl Hiaasen or Tim Dorsey of Minnesota. It wasn't a bad story and contained a ...more
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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 (10 books)
  • Dark of the Moon (Virgil Flowers, #1)
  • Heat Lightning (Virgil Flowers, #2)
  • Rough Country (Virgil Flowers, #3)
  • Bad Blood (Virgil Flowers, #4)
  • Shock Wave (Virgil Flowers, #5)
  • Mad River (Virgil Flowers, #6)
  • Deadline (Virgil Flowers, #8)
  • Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers, #9)
  • Deep Freeze (Virgil Flowers, #10)

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“Yael chipped in: “He is trying to sell this artifact he stole. The people he is trying to sell it to are extremely dangerous. People who might kill him, if they need to, to get the stone.” Virgil added, “Hezbollah, among others.” Yael added, “And Texans.” 1 likes
“A diplomatic passport for a Tal Zahavi, with a current photo of Yael-1. The same birth date as in the other passport. The interior must have had fifty entry stamps for European and South American countries, plus the U.S., Japan, and South Korea. The woman traveled a lot.” 1 likes
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