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Bad Blood

(Virgil Flowers #4)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  23,197 ratings  ·  1,096 reviews
Two bodies in two days. One is murder. The other is suicide. Virgil Flowers never imagined that discovering the connection would lead him into the perverse history of the Minnesota farm community, and almost unimaginable darkness.
Paperback, 420 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Berkley (first published September 21st 2010)
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There’s not enough ‘W’s in the world to convey the ‘EWWWWWWWWWW!!’ factor of this book.

In Homestead, Minnesota, a young man just out of high school with a bright future brutally murders a farmer and tries to make it look like an accident. However, his crime is discovered, and he’s found dead in his cell before he can explain why he did it. The boy's death looks fishy, and the chief suspect is a deputy that the new female sheriff just defeated in an election for the job so that’s a political shi
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: Is it possible to review a John Sandford book featuring Virgil Flowers without referring to his Marshall, Minnesota-based investigator as “that f***ing Flowers”? No, it’s not.

Moving right along, then, Bad Blood is the fourth installment in the series that features the blond, truck-driving, boat-hauling, son of a Lutheran minister who works for the Minnesota BCA. When Virgil shows up in the town of Homestead to handle the case of a suspicious death
James Thane
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Bobby Tripp, a popular high school athlete, brutally kills a farmer late one night at a grain mill in rural Minnesota, there seems to be no logical explanation for the crime. Bobby fails in his attempt to disguise the murder as an accident and is arrested. Shortly thereafter, he is found hanging in his cell, an apparent suicide.

Lee Coakley, an attractive divorcee who is also the local sheriff, appeals for help from Virgil Flowers of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Coakley wan
Karen Hall
Apr 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Somebody recently asked, “If you could have dinner with any character from fiction, who would it be?” My immediate answer: Virgil Flowers. John Sandford has written a lot of books, and I’ve read most of them. I followed Lucas Davenport religiously through the Prey books, read the standalone novels, and didn’t much care for the Kidd novels. But Virgil Flowers is my guy.

Virgil knows how to get to the bottom of things, and in Bad Blood, the bottom is not only complicated, it’s a long way down. A so
May 18, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awful
This book makes me wish for a no stars option.

Normally I enjoy this series both for the pace and the plotting. Not this time. The sexual abuse of women and children is ugly, and perhaps Sandford was trying to make that point. I couldn't help thinking that his depiction of sexual abuse of women and children for the purpose of entertainment (and let's not forget profit) was just as ugly. And it was made worse because I was listening to an audiobook and I couldn't skip over the more graphic sectio
Giovanni Gelati
Sep 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Right off the bat I want to say that I am a huge fan of John Sandford. I have devoured all 20 of his Prey novels and each of the Virgil Flowers spinoffs. There are three other Virgil Flower novels: Dark of the Moon, Heat Lightening, Rough Country and now Bad Blood. Do you have to read them in order? No. Do you need to read them, yes. They rock. I find it incredibly hard to put any of his novels down once I get on a roll. The book just doesn’t want to leave my hand or my mind. Okay, I guess you h
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
The further adventures of "that fuckin' Flowers." This one takes awhile to heat up, but once they start going after the bad guys it gets pretty exciting. The big showdown and final outcome is sort of like a combination of the Ruby Ridge fiasco and the raid on the FLDS Yearning for Zion compound.
I give Bad Blood 2.5 stars for story, but I rounded up to 3 stars because Sandford writes so well. This one wasn't as much fun as the third installment. The subject matter is very disturbing, all the mor
Mal Warwick
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Any aspiring mystery and thriller writer would do well to study John Sandford's Virgil Flowers novels. The ten books Sandford has written to date (as of March 2018) display several of the characteristics that make them all candidates for the bestseller lists. Bad Blood, the fourth novel in the series, shows them all:

** Like so many other thrillers Sandford has written (there are 28 in his other series, the Prey novels), Bad Blood's plot revolves around a topic that has recently surfaced in the n
Another worthy addition to the series, but again the plot was pretty far out & really nasty. It starts with one murder & winds up in a real mess. Some great thinking by Flowers as he navigates the twists & turns.

There were some interesting questions posed. More interesting were some that weren't really. Just how important is public education? It's often put down due to quality, but there is a social element that is too often ignored. Home schooling is pretty big around here, especial
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
Dropping a star only because I was uncomfortable with the central plot line - child abuse - and the author's portrayal of it. Sometimes I felt he sailed very close to the edge in his descriptions of what was going on in a vice ring for what was a novel as opposed to a factual account. Some of the words he puts in children's mouths, not to mention the situations he imagines them in, made me squirm a bit. Still, he's not the first to do it and I'm sure he'd argue his story needs to ring true if it ...more
Though the crimes in this book were particularly unpleasant, Virgil is a great character and I always enjoy his investigative methods. As always with this series, the plot was compelling and the rural Minnesota setting well described. Listened to the audio version which was narrated by Eric Conger who has really improved since the first book and now adds to the experience.
Kathy Davie
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Fourth in the Virgil Flowers detective mystery thriller series and revolving around that effin' Flowers, lol. Bad Blood takes place in October in Minnesota.

In 2011, Bad Blood won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Hard Cover Novel. And I completely understand why. I'd give it a "7" if I could.

My Take
Holy cats! H-0-L-Y cats!! This one will have your jaw dropping below the floor! The drama and tension will keep your heart racing as well as your eyes and fingers as they turn pages as fast as possible.
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A small Minnesota town is shocked when local high school football star, Bobby Tripp, is arrested for the brutal murder of farmer Jacob Flood. Immediately, this opening scene, in which we read the details of Tripp killing Flood, strays from John Sandford's usual practice of hiding the identity of the killer. Knowing Tripp's identity, I was certain that this would be a story that was much different from any of the previous installments in this series. Sure enough, Tripp is found the next day, dead ...more
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent addition to the Virgil Flowers series, a series I prefer to the Lucas Davenport books which often devolve into psychobabble with Weather and Ellen.

The case begins with the baseball bat head-bashing murder of a local farmer delivering soybeans to the local mill. The killer is a well-liked football star and his actions puzzle the community, but not as much as the string of killings that follow. BCA detective Flowers is asked to help with the investigation by the local newly elected sh
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I generally like John Sandford's Lucas Davenport books better than his Virgil Flowers books, but this book was a pleasant surprise. Maybe "pleasant" is the wrong word since Flowers is investigating a pseudo-religious cult that engages in child sexual abuse. The plot moves along very quickly, sometimes too quickly. Sometimes it's hard to keep it all straight. There are a lot of characters and suspects to keep track of. But it all comes to a satisfying conclusion.
Maybe it's just me, but it felt li
Marty Fried
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, mystery
Well, this one was a strange one; it began getting pretty dark toward the end, with lots of bad things happening. This shouldn't be too surprising considering religious extremists were involved. A lot of this is not something you'd expect from religious people, but as someone says in the story, you can interpret the Bible in many ways, and read almost anything you want into it.

Fortunately, there was a lot of very humorous dialog that helps mitigate this dark behavior somewhat, and that's the rea
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers

This is my first John Sandford and it certainly won't be my last. Virgil Flowers - what a fantastic character - is called in to help with a strange case. A young man murders a farmer and then commits suicide in the police cell after he's arrested. But the female sheriff isn't convinced it's suicide and so calls in Flowers. It's quickly established that the young man was murdered by the deputy who was on duty but then the deputy is murdered!

The resulting investigation
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book by John Sandford. As much as the Prey series is still my favourite, Flowers is a rogue unto himself. He's a one man army who occasionally gets a few of the crew to help him out. This storyline was a bit on the raunchy side. Cults, incest and kiddie porn are strife in this small town and Flowers will do whatever is needed to save the wee ones, and the cult members, from their terrible fates.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cults and incest...what more can I say? Despite the disturbing nature of the story and the excessive violence, it was a well written story.
Another solid book showcasing how good that #*% Flowers really is at his job during a tense investigation
Wayland Smith
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of writers try really hard to come up with a character that carry a series and still be a good read a few books in. John Sandford has done it three times. Virgil Flowers, spun off from the Lucas Davenport Prey series, is a great character and great cop in his own right, and very different from Lucas.

Virgil gets called in when an open and shut murder case takes a turn for the weird after the confessed killer is found hanging in their cell. Guilt would make sense, but a few things don't qui
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OverDrive Audio 2016 narrated by Eric Conger
Conger's narration seems to be closer to what you would hear in the region compared to Ferrone's 'Big City' speech used in the Davenport Prey series.
Story was interesting in how the case played out even though there wasn't much mystery.

A thought that I had during the listening. **With all the crime that Sandford writes about in this Midwest area, and if it really happens with such regularity, he should consider this folk idiom before he casts his const
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Virgil gets caught up in a cult calling itself a Church, and has to call Davenport for backup assistance, in this thriller.
Paris        (kerbytejas)
The storyline was a bit slow and repetitive.
Brandi ;)

I would have given this book a full 5 stars bc in so many ways it was absolutely amazing. John Sandford is an incredible story teller and as always I was sucked in from page 1. However, this book dealt with a topic that was hard to read, regardless of how fabulous the writing. Child abuse. Sexual child abuse. As much as I love reading about the bastards that abuse get what they deserve, I still find it hard to read about them
Oct 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another F*ckin' Flowers book. He might be topping Davenport as my favorite character...might.

Spoilers ahead:

We start this one off with a young adult murdering another adult. It's all very vague, there's no background or particular reason why this young man, Tripp, committed the murder. While Tripp is in jail, he is murdered. His death is made to look like a suicide by Crocker, one of the cops in charge of the station that night. Then Crocker is murdered, made to look like a suicide.

This trail of
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this audiobook. Virgil Flowers is an investigator for the Minnesota state police. He works in the more remote areas under the supervision of John Sandford's main protagonist, Lucas Davenport (of the more famous "Prey" series). I happen to like Virgil a lot more than I like Lucas, so I prefer this series. In this book Virgil is called upon to look into the murder of a local farmer. A young man has been arrested for the crime, but he is murdered while in custody. Virgil looks for the ...more
Oct 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Virgil Flowers works for Lucas Davenport, mostly in rural and small town Minnesota. He is interesting and earns his frequently mentioned nickname in every case, though I like Davenport's smart gunfighter cop better. This case resonates like a couple of Donald Harstad's Iowa cop novels in that the downside of rural America can be pretty low. The contrast between appearance and reality can be jarring, especially in this novel. A religious sect is at the heart of the novel, which opens with four mu ...more
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this one before, but it's been a little while. Still, I remembered how it ended and who done it. Great book though. If you haven't read John Sandford or read any of the Virgil Flowers series, this isn't a bad one to start with. But do yourself a favor and read them from the beginning. All great books!
Faye Bierbower
Perhaps this was not the best John Sanford novel ... but just as addicting anyway. It was pre-ordered on Dave's kindle, and delivery was on the 24th. I found it that day, stole it, and finished reading it before he even knew it was delivered. bwahaha!
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See also John Camp

John Sandford was born John Roswell 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 Univer

Other books in the series

Virgil Flowers (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Dark of the Moon (Virgil Flowers, #1)
  • Heat Lightning (Virgil Flowers, #2)
  • Rough Country (Virgil Flowers, #3)
  • Shock Wave (Virgil Flowers, #5)
  • Mad River (Virgil Flowers, #6)
  • Storm Front  (Virgil Flowers, #7)
  • Deadline (Virgil Flowers, #8)
  • Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers, #9)
  • Deep Freeze (Virgil Flowers, #10)
  • Holy Ghost (Virgil Flowers, #11)
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