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Heat Lightning (Virgil Flowers, #2)
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Heat Lightning (Virgil Flowers #2)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  11,854 ratings  ·  540 reviews
A killer is leaving a puzzling calling card in the mouths of his victims. And in the middle of a steamy Minnesota summer, Virgil Flowers of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension finds himself embroiled in an investigation with no easy answers?and no easy way out.
ebook, 400 pages
Published September 23rd 2008 by Berkley Books (first published 2008)
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Jun 23, 2014 Kemper rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: John Sandford fans. Crime/thriller fans.
"When the going gets tough, try to unload it on that fuckin' Flowers."

This philosophy is put into practice when several men are murdered and the bodies are left prominently displayed on various veteran’s memorials with lemons in their mouths. With Minneapolis about to host the Republican National Convention it’s a bad time for a bloody murder spree. Since Lucas Davenport is wrapped up with all the convention planning, he puts Virgil Flowers on the case. Virgil finds connections that indicate the
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Of course, four stars in the brain candy category is not the same as four stars in the great literature category, but I really enjoyed the ride while reading this book.
This is the second in Sandford's new Virgil Flowers series, and I liked it more than the first one, Dark of the Moon. Good plot with lots of little kinks and curves, and Sandford's trademark guy humor. Also many familiar characters carried over from the Lucas Davenport series, so I felt I was hangin' with my old friends.
I especi
I enjoyed this a lot, but as a guilty pleasure I can’t quite stretch it to 4 stars. Our hero with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Virgil Flowers, is wonderfully likeable, genuinely happiest when he can fish or write about fishing, is prone to fall in love a lot, loves dancing, and always wears a t-shirts featuring old rock bands. He harnesses his charm and affability to solve his cases by drawing clues out of conversations. Here is case is a growing set of serial murders of elderl ...more
Here is yet another example of a foot-flavored experience, meaning: after years of scoffing at every Sandford book that I saw on the shelf ("good grief, how many ways can you use the word 'Prey' in a title?"), I got curious. Oh wait, peeps at Mulholland Books think he's entertaining? Maybe he's actually pretty good...

The kicker was coming across a nice copy of the second Virgil Flowers book on one of those tables that you see on the sidewalks of New York. Even better, this was the day before a l
This is the second book by John Sandford to feature Virgil (f***ing) Flowers, a state investigator that works for super cop Lucas Davenport. Davenport is the cop featured in Sandford's very real, character driven, Prey series. Lucas does show up in these books, but he is a minor character.

Heat Lightning was a little too predictable and uneventful than the first Virgil Flowers book Dark of the Moon but still very entertaining. I guess what I have always liked about Sandford's Prey series, and i
I really like the Virgil ("Fucking Flowers") Flowers series. I've read several of the Lucas Davenport books by Sandford and find the Flowers books to have more humor and interest. They are also perfect for listening to while putting up snow fence. I have about 800 feet of snow fence to put up along my lane. For those who don't know what that involves, it means driving fence posts into the ground with a post driver weighing about 20 lbs, unloading rolls of wooden snow fence and then attaching the ...more
Phil Wheeler
This is an entertaining book but there is one scene in the book that is unintentionally hilariously funny. I am not being critical of the book as a whole but this is too funny not to mention. The author spends a great deal of time during the story trying to convince you that our hero Virgil Flowers is this macho cool guy which is fine because most mystery writers do that. It is just part of the genre. Sanford makes a big deal out of the fact Virgil wears an earring, has long blond hair, is a tou ...more
How does John Sandford crank out so many books (is this his second or third this year?) and stay so consistently good? Lucas "Prey" Davenport is cool, but I'm loving this new Virgil Flowers series, too. A cop with surfer hair, obscure rock t-shirts, and a sideline writing fishing articles? Awesome. This book had a little to much DRIVING AROUND for my taste -- I find chase scenes in books really dull -- but the plot was intriguing and twisty.
Someone is killing Vietnam War Veterans. Each time, the deceased man is left at a veteran's memorial with a lemon in his mouth. After two of these murders, it is clear to Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator, Lucas Davenport, that there is a connection. Unable to devote his own skills, (Davenport is featured in Sandford's "Prey" series), he calls in the only man who can clean up the mess. It is time to call in the man he hired to solve "the hard stuff".

Enter Virgil Flowers, the
Utterly forgettable. And I mean that. Sincerely. Apparently I read this book in 2009 and didn't remember a damn thing about it so I mistakenly re-read it over the recent Christmas holiday. Here is the sum total of what I got from both reads:

1. The Vietnam War...something-something about American greed
2. Guys were murdered many years post-war
3. Virgil Flowers drove all around Minnesota looking for the killers
4. Minnesota is quite damn large so Flowers drove around in almost every damn chapter
5. L
I do love Virgil - he's growing me more everytime I read him. Like Robert Parker, Sandford has created a new character (like Parker's Jesse Stone) but put him in a familiar setting and with familiar back-up characters. In Virgil's case, he's using Lucas Davenport's office so he's got Sandy the assistant, Carol the secretary, and several of Lucas' other secondary people at hand. Very well done!
Susan Turchick
Love all of John Sanford's Minnesota based books...Virgil Flowers is just a fun character. I am not reading great literature, but I enjoy it nonetheless. Off to purchase #3 in the series. Love the guy humor...just enough crassness without being over the top.
David S.
Okay, I've only given "Heat Lightning" 2-1/2 stars because after getting through "Dark of the Moon" I was expecting a much better pace, story, and little nuances now that the reader has become familiar with the main protaganist. But alas....nope.

Virgil Flowers is called in on a case after a couple of people have been assassinated (after interogation) and have had lemons stuck in their mouths. Nothing seems to be in common with them, but of course everything does have a reason.

Ends up coming dow
Ross Scott
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heat Lightning, the second book in the Virgil Flowers series, opens with a murder of a Viet Nam veteran on Third Street in Stillwater and the victim is found propped up at the nearby War Memorial with a lemon in his mouth. My first reaction was "Oh John! Why did you have to bring such distaste to my town?" The story however is pretty interesting as it dates back to an unfortunate event in Da Nang during the Viet Nam War. It turns into quite a chase following the expected chain of victims as Flow ...more
Rugg Ruggedo
Virgil Trucks is my new discovery. I know I am so far behind the rest of the world on this one,but it doesnt make it any less fun or feel any less like my personal find.
I picked up the first Flowers book on a recommendation of a friend who thought since my wardrobe is mainly made up of t-shirts,sports,comics, and music, then I would probably like reading about the guy who,pretty much, wears only vintage rock t-shirts. I couldnt fault that logic, so I went out and bought the series. I never read
Randy Daugherty
Virgil Flowers is enjoying an evening romp with one of his exes, he is enjoying himself well , that is until Lucas Davenport calls, damn his timing. A body has been found, a lemon stuffed into his mouth, just like the body they found the week before, and now Lucas is giving them to Virgil, a writer , outdoors man, and a damn good cop. His cowboy boots and good old boy air, along with his ever retro band t-shirts makes him an oddity but who cares, Virgil gets the job done.
Vietnam, the end of the
Stuart Langridge

Summoned by Lucas Davenport to investigate a pair of murders in which the victims are found with lemons in their mouths, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers struggles to find a connection that could prevent additional killings.
Summoned by Lucas Davenport to investigate a pair of murders in which the victims are found with lemons in their mouths, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers struggles to find a connection t

Oct 07, 2008 Jeffrey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cop and thriller fans
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2008
Virgil Flowers, the main character of John Sandford's latest non prey book is some king od detective and this novel about the killing of various men in Minnesota is a pure adrenelan rush, with enough action to satisfy any fan.

The only quibble I have is the fact that Lucas Davenport, Sandford's other major character has to be involved, but its a minor point.

A great read.
Couldn't give this one much more than a "meh." The MC, Virgil Flowers (kind of a wimpy name for what I thought was a wimpy character) was an interesting guy with interesting quirks, namely his insatiable appetite for the opposite sex and fishing. However his skills for solving crimes might have been less of a talent. The first 2/3s of the book were painfully slow. While there were lots of killings, some rather brutal, most of the action was running around northern MN, fishing and sleeping in mot ...more
This is the second book in the series involving Virgil Flowers, a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension officer. In this book you learn more about Virgil’s love life and more about the outdoorsman he is. The book centers around torture murder victims that are found with lemons stuffed in their mouths and left near Vietnam War memorials. Virgil (of course) investigates the murders. He finds a trail leading to a gruesome crime committed in Vietnam back in 1975, when things were falling apart t ...more
I usually look forward to a John Sandford novel, but this one droned on and on with gratuitous violence at the onset. I like the Virgil Flowers character almost as much as the Lucas Davenport character, and this one started out with great potential, but he lost me early on. I didn't finish this one.
having worn out his principle series hero, lucas davenport, this is the second of sandford's book to feature virgil flowers (with a cameo by davenport). the first was not all that successful. this one is much better.

i'll read the next one when it comes out.
Very entertaining, better than the first one. Virgil really starts inhabiting the pages, his little quirks are funny and endearing. I like comparing him with Davenport and finding all the similarities and differences between them.
Deana G
Heat Lightning

The mystery novel Heat Lightning by John Sandford; starts out slowly with the ever endearing but tough Virgil Flowers. Flower's laid back but persistent demeanor, takes you on a roller coaster ride in his search for elusive criminals. Initially, I was losing interest in the story, however, I changed after a few chapters and once again I was wrapped up in the Who did it? What happens next? excitement. I encourage you to continue reading as the plot does thicken and when you think yo
Jun 13, 2014 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all who like Crime
Shelves: together-reads
Second in the Virgil Flowers series, again John Sandford builds an intriguing story around the life of a colorful character. Virgil is a 30 something and though he has been around the block a few times, he is constantly surprised by the actions of those he ends up investigating. He is pretty good a reading the criminal mind and that is what makes him the legend at BCA, Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

I like Virgil. He just real. Some would be put off by the "colorful" language in th
Flowers, the small town BCA detective finds himself mixed up in some international brewhaha in this one. It's a Sandford novel, so it has everything you expect with fine execution. A great weekend read.
David Gee
I read - and very much admired - the first half-dozen of John Sandford's 'Prey' novels, featuring Minneapolis detective Lucas Davenport. Heat Lightning is the second in a new series starring Virgil Flowers, one of the homicide detectives working for Davenport. It's a grim and harrowing case.

Two bodies have been found on veterans' memorials in two towns in Minnesota, both shot with the same gun and each with a lemon in his mouth. Then there's a third killing, and a fourth. What links the victims
David Rheem Jarrett
Very enjoyable read, written in John Sandford's inimitable style, with Virgil Flowers, a somewhat less forbidding character than his boss, Lucas Davenport, as the protagonist. I have long been a fan of Sandford's "Prey" series, starring Davenport, and was not impressed with the first book I read featuring Flowers, but this one changed my mind. The plot was original -- got a little muddy in the middle -- but Sandford tied everything together nicely as the end approached. I would not hesitate to r ...more
Pierced Librarian
Oct 07, 2014 Pierced Librarian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes cute cops and murder
Recommended to Pierced Librarian by: ME!
Shelves: fiction
Virgil Flowers has always been a little goosey when it comes to following the letter of the law. He has the tiniest habit of sleeping with women who are intimately intertwined in the crimes he investigates.

He sometimes may break into homes and rifle around without a warrant and he has been know to kind of lie. Somehow I have always been super ok with it, but this book was different. I wasn't so keen on how ok he was with some of the shit going down.

Especially the last chapter or so with Mai.

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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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Other Books in the Series

Virgil Flowers (8 books)
  • Dark of the Moon (Virgil Flowers, #1)
  • Rough Country (Virgil Flowers, #3)
  • Bad Blood (Virgil Flowers, #4)
  • Shock Wave (Virgil Flowers, #5)
  • Mad River (Virgil Flowers, #6)
  • Storm Front  (Virgil Flowers, #7)
  • Deadline (Virgil Flowers, #8)
Rules of Prey (Lucas Davenport, #1) Winter Prey (Lucas Davenport, #5) Buried Prey (Lucas Davenport, #21) Chosen Prey (Lucas Davenport, #12) Bad Blood (Virgil Flowers, #4)

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“the points of view of a lot of people I’d opposed at the start. That the Vietnam War was a waste” 0 likes
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