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Storm Front

(Virgil Flowers #7)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  15,766 ratings  ·  1,302 reviews
In Israel, a man clutching a backpack searches desperately for a boat.

No more than a few days later, Virgil Flowers in Minnesota gets a message from Lucas Davenport, "You're about to get a visitor." It's an Israeli cop, and she's chasing a man who smuggled out an extraordinary relic — an ancient inscribed stone which may revel startling details about the man known as King
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 2013)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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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.

Davenport tells him that it's no big deal. A Lutheran minister named Elijah Jones who is dying of cancer
Sarah Darwin
Oct 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: stinkers
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
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this story and this is the first "Virgil Flowers" novel I have thoroughly enjoyed. I found this well written and interesting start to finish. 10 of 10 stars ...more
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
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller, dnf
Did not finish. I discovered I really liked the Virgil Flowers character and the humour. However the plot did not hold my attention.
Nov 08, 2013 rated it liked it
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
C.A. Newsome
Oct 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
This is the seventh novel in the Virgil Flowers series. We first met him in John Sandford's Prey novels. Virgil works for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, usually patrolling the rural regions of the state. He often is towing a boat during an investigation ... just in case an opportunity to get in some fishing presents itself. He usually works alone although he sometimes makes a call to Lucas Davenport to send some reinforcements. Davenport, his co-workers in the BCA, criminals, pre ...more
Jon Kurtz
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
"That F#!@ing Flowers" is back again. I smile every time I read that monicker. The storyline for book #7 has Agent Virgil Flowers of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension attempting to recover an ancient Middle Eastern relic that finds its way to Minnesota. I guess that's not too hard to swallow, considering Minnesota actually does have a Museum of Mining. Okay, maybe that's a stretch. The relic is a stele (stella), AKA - a stone, which is believed to contain writing that may genealogica ...more
Jason Grimes
Oct 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook: A Lutheran minister steals a stela from a dig in Israel and returns back to his home in Mankato. He has an incurable illness and then disappears. Virgil is asked by his boss, Lucas Davenport, to liase with an Israeli antiquities investigator who has come over to get the stella back. Its importance soon becomes clear as the inscription on the stela seems to imply that King Solomon may have been an Egyptian pharaoh. So, of course, everyone wants to get his hands on the stela for politic ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of a DaVinci Code mystery for Virgil that was a lot of fun because of the characters. There are some bad guys, but most are doing bad things for either good reasons or at least fairly innocuous ones. Shrake & Jenkins have their typical minor roles, but exemplify both why the series should be read in order & how well written Sandford's characters are. They're the muscle guys, well known for their large, scary appearance & ready saps which they never seem to use. While cast as dumb goons, one ...more
Jack Heath
3 Stars. A fun romp, after all it's Virgil Flowers we're talking about, but it's not up to some others in the series. When it comes to Flowers, a five is often the pleasant result. This one's different. The story is not rooted in rural and small town Minnesota, but Israel and the Middle East. It does take place out on the prairie, especially around Virgil's hometown of Mankato, and occasionally in the twin cites. But many of the visiting characters and their politics are middle eastern, Hezbolla ...more
Kathy Davie
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
Seventh in the Virgil Flowers detective mystery thriller series and revolving around a roving detective in Minnesota.

My Take
It was an unexpected start with Elijah on a kibbutz with a totally and completely unexpected ending. It took me awhile at the end to process it all. Very clever, Sandford, you sneaky bugger.

It’s convoluted with potentially catastrophic fallout if the truth comes out about this stolen artifact. Sandford certainly does raise some questions in my mind that make me want to re-r
Dec 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
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
Deb Mj
Oct 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Alondra Miller
3.5 Stars

It was okay... review to follow
Marla Madison
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Nick Davies
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Fairly crap. The plus points were that it was pretty readable, a mainly straightforward cop/political thriller with a bit of humour which I got through within two or three days without giving it up as too much of a struggle to bother with continuing reading.

But no, not really my thing. The style was just moments of the protagonist racing around doing 'action' (with little real sense of peril because you knew you were only partway through the book and there must be a twist right ahead to keep the
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
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!
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book had all the bells & whistles, action, mystery and humor! Virgil is working a fraud case, and gets called to escort an agent to see a professor about a stole archeological stone, he figures this will take a day maybe two tops. Not the case of course, and others start showing up from all over the Middle East.
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short reviews of wonderful Virgil, sorry.

5 Stars.

Brilliant and complex, full of heart, and very, very funny. The plot is truly Byzantine, right up to the last page. Awesome!

The first meeting between Virgil, Yale and Awad is hilarious. Well done, Sandford.

Great comedy throughout. Awesome!
Dec 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Gotta’ love that __ Flowers!
Mary MacKintosh
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Virgil is more fun than Lucas Davenport. As in any John Sandford novel, the dialogue is terrific. Sandford seems to capture men's conversation —it sounds real, overheard. In this book Virgil is trying to stop a local scam artist selling aged wood to builders in the east, when he is reassigned to a weird case involving a missing artifact from a dig in Israel. Virgil tries to keep his work on the wood scam simmering on a back burner while he deals with Israeli Mossad agents, archeologists, televis ...more
Jim A
Oct 12, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Marty Fried
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, mystery
I liked this one for the same reason at least one reviewer didn't like it - it wasn't very serious. I thought the story was interesting enough to carry the humor and there were lots of surprises; the biggest was the plot of the story. This wasn't a typical Virgil Flowers case. All in all, I enjoyed it as much as any of the series, which is a lot. I'm not sure if the ending really made sense or whether I missed something, but it didn't really matter that much. It's easy to miss something in this ...more
Oct 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very bad and very boring. Even Sandford benefits financially by fulfilling his yearly production contract while being his usual political self and bashing Republicans and FOXNEWS.
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Now that was different!

What a ride.

Great read!
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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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 13 books)
  • Dark of the Moon (Virgil Flowers, #1)
  • 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)
  • Deadline (Virgil Flowers, #8)
  • Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers, #9)
  • Deep Freeze (Virgil Flowers, #10)
  • Holy Ghost (Virgil Flowers #11)

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Secrets between siblings, grandparents with grievances, parents with problems. If you're looking for serious drama, check out these new...
24 likes · 3 comments
“Yael chipped in: “He is trying to sell this artifact he stole. The people he is trying to sell it to are extremely dangerous. People who might kill him, if they need to, to get the stone.” Virgil added, “Hezbollah, among others.” Yael added, “And Texans.” 1 likes
“A diplomatic passport for a Tal Zahavi, with a current photo of Yael-1. The same birth date as in the other passport. The interior must have had fifty entry stamps for European and South American countries, plus the U.S., Japan, and South Korea. The woman traveled a lot.” 1 likes
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