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

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  11,951 ratings  ·  674 reviews
Three murders in just as many weeks in the quiet rural town of Bluestream is unheard of. It's also no coincidence. And it's not over: Detective Virgil Flowers is about to be pulled into the middle of a killer's violent personal vendetta.
Hardcover, 373 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Putnam Adult (first published 2004)
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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...more
James Thane
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,...more
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
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...more
"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...more
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
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
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
Robert Volte
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
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
As a long-time fan of Sandford's Lucas Davenport, I was unsure how I would feel about picking up a spin-off series involving a character that had been marginally introduced in the Prey series. Often I find myself disappointed because the protagonists are too similar and it feels like I am reading a second rate story. This was not the case with Virgil Flowers. He is a dynamic stand alone character and his unique personality quirks make him entertaining throughout the book. The case that he is inv...more
Debbie Maskus
I enjoy exploring other areas when I am reading, and the State of Minnesota is a state I have visited while reading a bakery mystery series. The Virgil Flowers series is more intense and better written than the other Minnesota series. This story has many twists and turns while Virgil attempts to solve the murders of 5 elderly people and to find the Man in the Moon. I like the character description and the setting description, but sometimes felt too at a loss as to what was happening. The ease of...more
Good book ... kept me guessing to the end ... many unexpected twists ... nice to read a Minnesota book.
Bethie Eaton
Apr 07, 2008 Bethie Eaton rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of the Prey series by the same author
This book is pretty decent. Not as fast a read as the "Prey books". Lucas Davenport makes a few appearances in this one, but Detective Virgil Flowers with the BCS is the primary character. This one finds trouble wherever he goes. The story takes place in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. It all begins with a murder and a fire to cover than murder. As the story progresses, more murders occur. I'll leave the review with that. I'm afraid I might give something away if I say more. If...more
Paula Dembeck
This is the first book in the Virgil Flowers series.
I was led to check it out by the Lucas Davenport Prey series. The cryptic references to Flowers as a detective in the last Davenport books I read had me thinking this would be an interesting series to follow. It is a good read, but did not grab me like the first Davenport book when I was anxious to move on to the next edition in that series. After the buildup to Flowers by his colleagues in the BCA, I thought this fellow would be a stronger c...more
Stuart Langridge

Tall, lean, thirty-something and three times divorced Virgil Flowers kicked around for a while before joining the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He did a stint in the Army as an MP, and then on the police force in St. Paul when Lucas Davenport brought him into BCA with a promise that they'd only give him the hard stuff. He'd been doing the hard stuff now for three years - but he'd never had a case quite like this one. In the small, congenial town of Bluestem, a house way up o

Rugg Ruggedo
This one was recommended to me by a friend who noticed I mostly wear comic book of rock band t-shirts and thought I might relate to Virgil Flowers. I'm pretty sure are only connection is our wardrobe,but he leads an interesting life that look to be something I will keep an eye on.
Virgil is heading out to a small mid-western town to look into a murder of a couple who were sitting at home when someone stopped by and killed them. On his arrival he drove up on another murder in progress in the form...more
Louie Flann
The main character is Virgil Flowers, a criminal investigator who roams rural Minnesota in his pickup, trailing his fishing boat behind. "I'll see if the fish are biting while waiting for a break in the case," he tells his boss. However, in this story, he leaves his boat behind and spends his off hours wooing the sheriff's sister.

Not only the convoluted plots but also Sandford's wit force me to read all of his stories. E.g. "Virgil had grown up in Marshall, Minnesota, sixty miles north of Blue...more
Markham Correct
I so wanted to love this. I've read a couple of the Prey novels, albeit a long time ago, and really enjoyed them. Dark of The Moon though, I've got to admit, I found pretty ordinary. Actually, if I'm being completely honest, pretty less than ordinary. I understand Sandford used a co-author with this one, and I wonder if that shows?

Virgil didn't work for me at all. It wasn't just his obsession with sizing up every woman he sees as 'hot or not', it was the constant repetition all the way through:...more
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!!
This is an entertaining detective murder mystery set in Southwestern Minnesota. A serial killer is murdering elderly residents in Bluestem, MN, and Agent Virgil Flowers of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) must figure out who is doing it, and stop him/her before more lives are lost. The plot is generally cohesive, with few inconsistencies and loose ends. The reader is kept in suspense until near the end of the story. Editing is spotty, with missing spaces between words being th...more
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.
I enjoyed reading this book. The pace of the book worked really well. This was the first book of John Sandford's that I have read and I will be reading more for sure.

Virgil Flowers is a likeable character that is not the "norm" for this type of book. The other characters in the book work really well also.

The plot of the book worked for me. There were no huge holes that you had to work around in your mind. I was engaged from the time I started the book until I finished which is somewhat of a rar...more
Not my kind of book
Wanda Gibbons
A killer's vendetta----the second Sandford book I have read and really enjoyed.That "F***ing Flowers" is a star. Virgil flowers is a thrice divorced investigator for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He gets around with his boat. He is very insightful and takes note of much. He goes to a small town in Minnesota where there has been three murders with the possibility of them all connected. More murders happen. The red herring is the preacher who is really a high level drug dealer using his vis...more
Enjoyable introduction to BCA agent Virgil Flowers, at least his own book as he was introduced in some of Mr Sandford's Prey series books, which will be on my list of to be read soon. I enjoy the pacing and story lines where one minute you know that you know who the killer is, only to be thrown for a loop and have it someone completely different. To me, that's the sign of a good mystery, police procedural type of story. My only complaint would have been the occasional use of some "F-bombs" but t...more

May 2012 B&N

I enjoyed the first of this series. I liked the main character. I would read more in the series and by the author.
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Stillwater Free L...: Dark of the Moon by John Sandford 1 2 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...
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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