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Dark of the Moon (Virgil Flowers, #1)
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Dark of the Moon (Virgil Flowers #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,098 Ratings  ·  866 Reviews
Virgil Flowers — tall, lean, late thirties, three times divorced, hair way too long for a cop's — had kicked around a while before joining the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. First it was the army and the military police, then the police in St. Paul, and finally Lucas Davenport had brought him into the BCA, promising him, "We'll only give you the hard stuff."
He'
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Hardcover, 373 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Putnam Adult (first published 2004)
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Best Detective/Mystery Series
221st out of 1,379 books — 1,660 voters
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Best Police Procedurals - Mystery Fiction
129th out of 744 books — 435 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kemper
Even a super cop like Lucas Davenport can’t solve every murder in Minnesota so John Sandford helped him out by doing this spin-off to the Prey series.

Virgil Flowers is not your typical law enforcement officer with a thriving side career as an outdoor writer for hunting and fishing magazines. He frequently tows his boat around the state as he works his cases, and he usually forgets his gun under the seat of his truck. He also has a taste for rock band t-shirts and enough charm with the ladies to
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James Thane
Jun 24, 2012 James Thane rated it really liked it
Dark of the Moon is the book that introduces Virgil Flowers, the second major series character to be created by John Sandford. Virgil is an investigator for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is run by Lucas Davenport, Sandford's better-known protagonist.

Virgil is pretty laid-back for a cop. His wears his hair long and his standard uniform is a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt sporting the name of some (often) obscure rock band. When he needs to dress it up for a special occasion,
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Jonathan Janz
Aug 04, 2015 Jonathan Janz rated it it was amazing
Incredible. Virgil Flowers is so real I feel like I know him.

Sandford is truly a craftsman from whom all writers can learn.

Loved the book. Love Sandford. Love Virgil.

Back to writing...
Michael
I liked this serial killer thriller because of its rural Minnesota setting and for its introduction of likeable detective Virgil Flowers. Refreshingly, he has no demons in his past, no addictions, no backstabbing boss, no cynical outlook. He’s just a good hearted guy from a small town who is so talented at problem solving and drawing people out that he was tapped by Lucas Davenport to handle tough cases by the statewide Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. His father was a minister, so he has a fair ...more
Cindy
Oct 23, 2008 Cindy rated it it was ok
I reserved, inadvertently, the large-print version of this book. I never read large-print versions of books. I return them to the library and re-reserve the normal-print version of books. Although I could read them without my reading glasses, I find large print books esthetically unappealing. They are arguably utilitarian but visually unattractive. I usually would prefer to wait for the normal-print version.

I did make it through this book, however--a first. I didn't notice it was the large-prin
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Chanda
Mar 15, 2010 Chanda rated it it was ok
I didn't like this book and I won't read any more of his. The mystery had potential but this guy needs a wife or a girlfriend or a Playboy- something. If the main character isn't having sex he's talking about sex or thinking about sex. Every female character in the story is either described as having sex with him or one of the other major players in the story (and of course those women are rated in order of their physical attributes- mostly centered on asses)and if she's not sleeping with one of ...more
Katherine
Nov 01, 2014 Katherine rated it really liked it
The first Virgil Flowers book - great introduction to Virgil, also known as "that f___ing flowers". In this story, Flowers heads for the high prairie near the North Dakota border to investigate a murder that turns into a series of murders and some complicated family issues. Good read.
Tracy
May 17, 2009 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
After reading as many Lucas Davenport novels as I can get my hands on, it was a no-brainer that I'd be interesting in reading about "That F***in' Flowers", a character that is at least mentioned (in that way) in each Davenport story I've read.

Virgil Flowers is not near the sleaze-ball that I thought he was from the other novels. It's not that I can recall him doing anything sleazy in the other stories, but that's the picture I had (probably something to do with "That F***in' Flowers", eh?). He a
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Yvonne Anderson
Aug 23, 2013 Yvonne Anderson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Never have I thrown a book across the room on its completion!! I adore this genre and it was the first I'd read of this author. I really really didn't enjoy this particular novel.
The story was bitty for me, the writing was brilliant (don't get me wrong), I just didn't connect or care about any if the characters at all. I didn't care who killed who or why, I skim read the last few chapters just so I could finish the thing.
Why didn't I put it down when I wasn't into it in the beginning? Because I
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Debbie
May 25, 2011 Debbie rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
i am not a sandford fan but read a good review of this title introducing a new series based on detective Virgil Flowers..couldn't get into it...when Virgil sees a pretty woman and comments to someone about her ass and "cupcakes" I had to quit. I mean really ...'cupcakes'? What kind of grown up talks like that? I am not interested in a character that hasn't grown up past the age of 13.... But then, maybe that's how the author talks about women as well - so who knows. There are lots of good myster ...more
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
You will get quickly immersed in this book! I picked it up without knowing in the was the first book in the series; so I am glad I still have many more Virgil Flowers cases to follow him up on.

Virgil Flowers is an BCA agent who falls upon a small town by the name of Bluestem where mysterious murders have occurred. Virgil gets more than he bargained for in trying to figure out who committed these heinous acts. Every town has it's own dark secrets that some townspeople want hidden forever & Bl
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Darcy
Jun 18, 2009 Darcy rated it really liked it
I love the Prey series by Sandford, so was looking forward to this book, and it didn't disappoint. Virgil is a fun hero, that seems like a guy that you know. It was interesting watching him slowly peel away the layers of the story, and face up to the fact that his friends were involved. I also loved the intereaction between Virgil and Lucas, those were some of the funnest scenes. Great new series!!
Daniel
Jun 09, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Dark of the Moon" was a quick and enjoyable read. I dug Virgil Flowers' approach to the investigation, though he did paint a target on himself bright enough for a more competent killer to end the story at novella length. Flowers being the hero, though, that risk was never really there.

The prose in "Dark" is easy on the palate and rolls to a midwest beat. Some of the humor is far from politically correct, which is probably done on purpose to make liberal readers enjoy the twinge of guilt that fo
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Carolynn
Dec 13, 2015 Carolynn rated it really liked it
dsWow! I just finished my first Virgil Flowers novel. I had heard the name mentioned in discussions of mystery writing, but I never got around to reading any of his stories until this one. As far as it being the first goes, there isn't much to put it in the "first story" category as far as setup goes. It just starts.

I read this as an ebook, so it's set up a little differently than a regular book, with much shorter pages. This story ran 834 pages, I believe. The regular hardcover edition probably
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Donna
Dec 07, 2014 Donna rated it it was ok
I didn't like this one. So much of it bothered me. It was cheesy and dated and not in a good way. It might be awhile before I can pick up another Sanford novel if I can even recover enough to do that. So many of the things I detest in books, he included here. I can usually take any of my dislikes in moderation, but this seemed never ending. I don't think this stood a snowballs chance of getting a favorable review.

Problem #1: EVERY woman, and I mean every single one of them, in this book was desc
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Alison
Feb 02, 2013 Alison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
A good, trashy thriller. Not normally my cup of tea, but it worked perfectly while jogging. Virgil Flowers is a sensitive, vaguely hipster, intelligent asshole of a protagonist, and the plot hopped along nicely. The conceit of introducing us to the murderer in the first chapter, but then having to figure out who he was amongst many options, was clever, though it fell apart later on as it became obvious who it was (or at least wasn't) to the reader before it did to Virgil. Still, it had good twis ...more
Diamond Cowboy
Dec 31, 2015 Diamond Cowboy rated it it was amazing
This book was a very good detective novle. It concerns a roge detective Virgil Flowers who does his own investigation his own way and overturns a meth lab which had been operating in high volume right under the noses of the police for upwords of twenty. There was also a small matter of five murders of elderly people in Blue Steam MN for him to contend with. I recommend this book to all. Enjoy and Be Blessed.
Diamond
Sandi
Virgil Flowers, from the Minnesota BCA and works for Lucas Davenport, is sent to a small town where everyone knows everyone but law enforcement is baffled by a brutal murder of elderly couple. Virgil is kind of different but smart and competent. The plotting was good with lots of twists and turns though the narration of the audio by Eric Conger was only just adequate.
Dan Biermeier
Mar 08, 2016 Dan Biermeier rated it it was amazing
As much as I like Lucas Davenport, I may like that 'F**king Flowers' better. I liked this book a lot and look forward to the rest of the series.
Marleen
Jul 11, 2015 Marleen rated it really liked it
I just love Detective Virgil Flowers!! What a great lead character! He's got a great and likeable personality. It's very refreshing after the somewhat dark & hard-edged Prey series to find the same quality of writing but with a new (more upbeat) lead detective. I enjoyed reading this book because it remained suspenseful & entertaining.
I can't wait to read the Virgil Flowers books nr 2 & 3.
Grace Tenkay
Nov 11, 2015 Grace Tenkay rated it liked it
It was a pretty good mystery. The main character, Virgil, is pretty entertaining. I felt like it kind of dragged towards the end.
Dr. Gary
Jan 23, 2016 Dr. Gary rated it it was amazing
Much of what makes Sandford Sandford was in Dark of the Moon. For those that enjoy Sandford's wit, pace, dialogue and mid-level deductive ability needed books, this one is a hoot. Virgil Flowers, the cop protagonist, who was scattered here and there in the Prey series, appears here in his first solo. The description of the plains areas in Minnesota and into South Dakota is spot on, having spent some time there, as is his description of the small towns that suddenly appear and then recede with eq ...more
Cora
Dec 02, 2014 Cora rated it liked it
This was good but there were times I had trouble following it. Overall, a decent mystery and I do plan on reading the next book in this series.
Janet
Apr 05, 2014 Janet rated it really liked it
Good book ... kept me guessing to the end ... many unexpected twists ... nice to read a Minnesota book.
Kathy Davie
Oct 29, 2015 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it
First in the Virgil Flowers series, a spin-off from Lucas Davenport, and revolving around that f**kin' Flowers. I think Dark of the Moon begins somewhere around Hidden Prey , 15, or Broken Prey , 16.

My Take
Dark of the Moon involves a cold case, and those election machinations don't help in this case.

I do like Sandford's protagonist, a cop who writes about hunting and fishing with a fascination for women. He is an intriguing man who prefers blue jeans and rock band T-shirts (hoping to tick off
...more
Sue
Oct 26, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it
The first novel in the Virgil Flowers series, author Sandford has created a spinoff from the Lucas Davenport-Prey series. An enjoyable and suspenseful investigative story with intelligent characters spanning all the typical small town folks such as former sheriff, undertaker, businessmen, newspaper guy, farmer (she) etc. Sandford is a master at creating multiple characters that could have murder motives keeping the reader on his/her toes. Always an adventure with Sandford stories, never a moment ...more
Ethan
Apr 01, 2012 Ethan rated it really liked it
As a fan of mystery/thriller novels, I am always looking for great new series to read. Despite numerous recommendations, I have never read a novel by John Sandford. To date, he has published 21 novels in his popular "Prey" series, but I decided to begin with his more recent series, featuring Virgil Flowers.

Flowers is not your run of the mill detective. He keeps his blonde hair at a surfer length, wears "band" t-shirts, and has a kind of bad boy reputation. Despite these quirks, Virgil Flowers kn
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Robert Volte
Nov 14, 2012 Robert Volte rated it really liked it
One of the things I love about John Sandford's writing is how his characters evolve from story to story. It's like you can see how he's worked out issues with where he needs to take the series right in front of you. It's also fun to see how much he loves some of these people he makes up. For example, when he introduced the character Weather in Winter Prey, you could almost feel the conflict Sandford was feeling. She was different from the other women Lucas had relationships with. This could be t ...more
Martin
Nov 07, 2012 Martin rated it really liked it
I just finished John Sandford's first Virgil Flowers novel, Dark of the Moon. Flowers, a long-haired rebel cop in cowboy boots and punk rock t-shirts, is a member of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. On assignment to investigate a pair of murders in the small town of Bluestem, his arrival coincides with a massive fire that takes the life of a rich town eccentric named Judd. Multiple murders in a small town don't point toward coincidence, and as Flowers investigates the victims' ties ...more
RachelW
Sep 16, 2015 RachelW rated it liked it
I've read some of the later "Virgil Flowers" books and enjoyed them, so I decided to go back and catch this first book of his series. It was pretty good, but this series definitely improved over time; unlike Lucas Davenport's "Prey" series, who I have found less interesting since his marriage a few books ago.
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Stillwater Free L...: Dark of the Moon by John Sandford 1 7 Jun 20, 2014 03:05PM  
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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)
  • 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)
  • Storm Front  (Virgil Flowers, #7)
  • Deadline (Virgil Flowers, #8)
  • Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers, #9)

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“They were the rumors that might follow any rich man who stayed to himself, Virgil thought, and who at the same time was thoroughly hated.” 0 likes
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