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Storm Front (Virgil Flowers #7)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  5,430 ratings  ·  735 reviews
In Israel, Rev Elijah Jones, dying of cancer, steals a $5M stele from a dig. Photos of the hieroglyphs bring King Solomon into disrepute. In Minnesota, investigator Virgil Flowers mediates between two Yael Aronovs with credentials for artifacts, and one Arab Awad guarding his testicles from Turks. Awad's training flight turns into a good time to bring guns.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Putnam Adult (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
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
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
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
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
C.A. Newsome
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
Marla Madison
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
Jason Grimes
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.
"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
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
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
Jim A
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
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
"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
Oct 21, 2013 Will rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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!
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
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
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
Virgil Flowers is on the case of a stolen artifact from an archaeological dig in Israel that ends up in Southern Minnesota. If that plot outline sounds as thin a Blue Point oyster, it doesn't really matter since how Virgil interacts with all the players involved will make you smile. See, Virgil Flowers is a different sort of detective; he'd really rather go fishing and chase women than battle bad guys. He often forgets his gun in his truck on those occasions when he might need it and sincerely t ...more
Yup, think I'm done with Mr. Sandford. This one felt like he was trying to see how crappy a book he could pass off. The entire premise of a stolen artifact that challenges the existence of ancient Israel (view spoiler), the smuggling run to Mankato by a guy on his deathbed, the preposterous crowd trying to buy or steal it...the entire plot is just a piece of crap. 2 Stars for an occasional amusing line. After 7 Flowers and 20+ Davenport stories, Sandford is now uninsp ...more
Deb Mj
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
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..
John Riherd
While flying this past week, I read Sandford's (and partner Michele Cook's) book, "Storm Front." I have been known to sit in an airport to finish the last 70 or 80 pages of a book. It took me a couple of days to finish those pages of this book.

I really like the character, Virgil Flowers. I like his laid back, Hawaiian shirt persona, his day to day desire not to carry, much less use, his weapon. I like how he ratchets up the meanness as necessary. I like the way he enjoys the folks he meets on th
Virgil Flowers, the deceptively laid-back Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent in southern Minnesota finds himself thrust into an archaeological theft reaching from Israel to Mankato. A Lutheran minister gone bad, a lovely lady scamming old lumber, publicity-seeking adventurers, Hezbollah emissaries, and even the odd Mossad operative figure in the story. Virgil finds himself frustrated at every turn, but responds with his usual down-to-earth doggedness. I love this series.
Andrew Smith
This book reminded me of the Spencer Tracy film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. It's full of wacky characters chasing around trying to get their hands on a pot of money (or in this case an ancient stone they're hoping to turn into a pot of money or gain fame and fortune from). It's fun and funny, and in this respect it's very different from any other book I've read by Sandford. True, he has always shown he has a sense of humour in that his characters are all wiseasses who throw out some good on ...more
A Mankato professor, dying of cancer, steals a stele (an inscribed piece of stone) from an archaeological dig in Israel and smuggles it into the U.S. It supposedly contains evidence that may undermine Israel's sovereign claims, and Professor Elijah Jones seems to selling it to the highest bidder, which include fortune seekers, Arab terrorists, and Turkish thugs. Meanwhile, the Mossad is also seeking the stele. Virgil Flowers is pulled away from investigating a lumber scam by Ma Nobles and her so ...more
I was a bit scared by the amount of negative reviews this book had. Because of that, when I started reading it, I was prepared for the worst. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe it's because I'm not a long-standing fan of Sandford, have only read his previous Virgil Flowers novels, and all of them in a relatively short period of time, so I didn't have to spend years waiting for the next one, but it was very good.

Now, it's true, this novel is a bit different from the other Virgil Flo
One of my favorites starring That Fu*king Flowers.

What I liked: The humor was front and center in Storm Front but the story was intriguing enough to keep me reading. Mr. Sandford seemed to give Virgil more life than in previous works. Virgil is at the top of his game with his insights and sneakiness in solving the Solomon Stone case. I loved all the by play and the mystery in Storm Front. I especially loved every instance Virgil poked at Davenport. I'm wondering if we'll see more of Ma or if Vir
Darcia Helle
John Sandford has been one of my favorite authors for many years and, while I still prefer Lucas Davenport (Prey Series), Virgil Flowers is coming in at a close second. This one reads well as a stand-alone, so it's not necessary to have read the previous books in this series.

The plot here is fascinating. While we know right away who committed the crime, there is a lot of mystery and suspense surrounding the how and why. The subtleties within the plot give us a lot to think about.

As with all Sand
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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
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