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Rough Country (Virgil Flowers #3)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  14,752 Ratings  ·  770 Reviews
It's a joy to announce that John Sandford is still doing everything right, [ wrote the Cleveland Plain Dealer about the second adventure of Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers. [Virgil acts like the best series protagonists[becoming someone we just enjoy spending time with.[
Virgil's always been known for having a somewhat active, er, soc
ebook, 400 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Berkley Books (first published 2009)
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"That f------g Flowers."

Virgil Flowers, the Minnesota state cop and spin-off character from Sandford's Lucas Davenport series, returns to solve another mystery and get a little fishing done.

A lesbian is murdered while kayaking on a lake at an upscale Minnesota restort that caters exclusively to women. That's a political hot potato getting tossed from hand to hand until it's thrown at Virgil who gets his vacation at a nearby fishing tournament interrupted by Davenport to put him on the case. But
Andrew Smith
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To start with, I didn't like the Virgil Flowers books. I've read all of the Lucas Davenport 'Prey' series and loved them. I'd appreciated the character of Flowers, as he appeared in the Davenport books, but I just couldn't see how any series not focused on Davenport could be as good. This was initially confirmed when I tried, and failed to finish, the first Flowers book. But then, in a weak moment and persuaded by another Sanford fan, I tried a later book from the series... it was good. I've now ...more
Hurray for this satisfying detective tale set in northern Minnesota. Virgil Flowers, a charming investigator with the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, gets called away from a fishing trip to solve a sniping murder of a tourist woman staying at a rustic lodge on a lake near Grand Rapids.

In chatting up women guests and staff at the lodge, he learns the setting is used largely as a lesbian retreat. The murdered woman worked in PR and promotions and showed some interest in helping a local f
Kathy Davie
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller

Third in the Virgil Flowers thriller subseries and revolving around a roving detective with a penchant for band T-shirts and writing fishing and hunting articles. (This series is an off-shoot from Sandford's Lucas Davenport and doesn't rely upon it.)

My Take
It's an intriguing start as McDill thinks of her scientist dad's explanation on the difference between full moons on the horizon and overhead. It's true enough that you can sell the image easier than you can sell the truth.

I'm thinking that th

Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Heh heh, Virgil is sent to solve a murder in what amounts to ZZ Top's Planet of Women. He's a guy who usually gets the girl pretty handily. But here all the women want each other, not him. Poor Virg!:D
John Sandford writes several series. I think I enjoy the Flowers’ books the best. Davenport is too self-absorbed and the Kidd books, because of their reliance on technology, become dated rapidly. Virgil Flowers, one of Davenport’s BCA investigators, known for pulling his fishing boat all over Minnesota, has just the right mix of savoir-faire, investigative skill, sarcasm, dedication, and common sense.

This is the 3rd in the series and involves a resort solely for women, a man who loves his daught
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable read, typical Flowers. I thought that it was a bit too long...just wandered a bit in the middle. Could have been 50 pages shorter and not have lost much.

Perfect last couple of pages.
James Thane
Virgil Flowers returns for the third time in John Sandford's Rough Country. As the book opens, Virgil is vacationing on a fishing trip in the woods of northern Minnesota, but unfortunately, he's not out of cell phone range. In the middle of a morning on the lake, Virgil gets a call from his boss, Lucas Davenport, who assigns him to investigate the murder of Erica McDill, an executive from the Twin Cities who's been shot to death while vacationing at a nearby lodge that takes only female guests.

Rough Country, 2 stars. I think Mr. Sandford found an off-market “Most Popular Baby Names” because his characters sport monikers like: Zoe, Signy, Virgil, Berni, Slibe. Not exactly common. This story revolves around a killing at an exclusive retreat for women in the Minnesota woods, a place where the women can indulge in AC or DC relationships (or AC/DC at the same time). Poor Virgil is called off his favorite pastime, fishing, to go solve the murder. The immediate murder (and another murder in ...more
Larry Darter
May 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A third title I picked up last week. The introduction was interesting, the genre is a favorite, and the price is right. I had the smallest bit of trouble getting into the book at the beginning but the pace picked up noticeably after the first two chapters and then I couldn't put it down. I have been looking for a new author to replace one of my favorites who unfortunately has passed away and John Sandford may just fit the bill.

Rough Country is the third novel in Sandford's Virgil Flower series.
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is safe to say with this installment that I am into this series. I like Flowers' style of investigating and I really enjoy Sandford's depictions of locale and local personalities. I don't know how true to type the latter are, but they are consistent and they bring a spectrum of human emotions and motivations that resonates with me.

You know what I like: how effortless the whole works comes across. I've never been to these places, nor have I ever met these people, but Sandford puts me there li
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love it when the author is in love with his new character. It shows in the way he writes Virgil Flowers and frankly, I love Flowers too. Love the way he thinks about God, love the way he interacts with people, love the way he thinks about writing and life and has band tee shirts.

Couple that with the way Sandford writes, the way he makes people interesting right off the bat even if we only see them for two pages, the way he can make describing how someone gets up in the morning and gets ready f
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that I feel Sandford really hit his stride with the Flowers books. The other books were too Prey-ish, but in this book Flowers is really able to show off his different detecting style. His womanizing ways are thwarted on this job, as the ladies at the resort aren't the type to succumb to his charms. But he got some fishing in around solving the crime, so he was happy.
Didn't like this one as much as the first two, but the same as the two later ones in the series that I listened to before the first three. Plot is thinner - I knew where it was going early on - and resolves some major plot points in a cursory fashion. I still enjoyed it, but will be looking for library copies of the rest in the series.
Ilsa Bick
I want to make one thing clear: This review is not an extended moan about how I wish Mr. Sandford would write more Lucas Davenport books. He hasn't abandoned Lucas--for which I'm grateful--but in his push to establish another series, I think Mr. Sandford would do well to take a step back and re-read one of the interviews he did early on about his PREY series: how he wrote the book in a kind of trance and really was at pains to make Lucas a real, fleshed-out character.

Regardless of reading trends
Wayne Wilson
Dec 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun book, a little lighter than the Prey series and Lucas Davenport only shows up in phone conversations with our main protagonist Virgil Flowers. Virgil is a fun somewhat new main character for Sandford and I like the direction the author is going with him. Virgil is described as looking like a surfer, which seems to make him appealing to the fairer sex and he is the sort of guy that just the right woman would tame.

The book opens with a business woman sitting in a canoe on a lake in
Apr 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm on a roll this week, having read books by some of my favorite leisure-time authors. I think Rough Country is a perfect book to knock out on the beach or on spring break, although I did neither, rather read it at home. I like all of Sandford's "Prey" books, and there are a lot of them, maybe twenty. But he's really a good author; I think his characters are likable and much more human than other authors' made-up shit, hence remarkably MORE entertaining than most. And Rough Country is the perfe ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, i quit. I tried to finish this book, just on principle, but i cant it's SO fu@king STUPID! The dialogue is idiotic, the plot is sort of passable as far as i can tell (cant stand to finish it, remember?) but the sexist, bullshit cliche, inaccurate portrayal of gay women makes me want to stab the author in the face. Ok, I'm done ranting. I've got to go throw this shit in the fire-pit.
Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Originally read this Summer 2011. I love that damn flowers and the series is pretty good. Nothing life changing, but no stick in the mud either. I really like this series and will keep reading these, just like the Prey series.

Note: 9/25/12..Received/Won this paperback on GoodReads giveaways!! Woot-Woot!
ISBN: 978-0-425-23734-2
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoy the Virgil Flowers character, as well as his stories. Rough Country is no exception. My only minor complaint are the numerous innocent victims. I wish there were fewer and I wish there was payback. 9 of 10 stars
A Virgil Flowers book is part humor, part police procedural, part outdoorsy or off the beaten path settings and part quirky characters; this is book three and the combination works well.
Great little who done it, fun to readd and has you guessing. Main character is a hoot, great sense of humor.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Sandford is a great story teller. This book is told by Virgil Flowers ( number 3 ) in a series with Flowers as the investigator. It takes place in a Minnesota resort town.

Flowers thinks while fishing to solve the crimes. Rough language and a lot of mechanical names but a great story.
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My fave of the series (so far). I cannot remember ever laughing so much while reading a murder mystery! Virgil is so funny & a little out of his element in this book & it makes every page just great to read. A really fun read.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Sandford's irreverent protagonist, Virgil Flowers, makes for an enjoyable centerpiece to a murder mystery. No Harry Bosch, this one. Kind of a laid back dude (he loves "The Big Lebowsky" and definitely abides), who will skirt rules when need be, sleep with suspects and/or witnesses when attractive enough, and generally get the job done in the end.
Although this episode in the series might actually be closer to a 3.5 star story, there is something to be said for Sandford's command of setting
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is what the series is built on. Great characters, humorous observations and enough intrigue to hold your attention.
May 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A small resort town in northern Minnesota gets a shock when one of its guests, Erica McDill, is shot in the head during a kayaking outing. McDill is a prominent advertising executive, from the Twin Cities, whose death precedes a large transition in her company that would make her the largest stockholder.

Virgil Flowers is fishing with a friend when he receives a call from his boss, Lucas Davenport. With that, his vacation comes to an end and he makes his way to the scene of McDill's murder. You s
Scott Rhee
I have this annoying tendency to start long-running mystery series in the middle. I'll pick a book randomly at the library because the plot synopsis on the back cover sounds interesting, only to start reading and discover that it's the ninth book in the series. Granted, most mysteries don't always require the reader to start with book #1, but there are often events that happen and characters that come and go that are referenced which, if you aren't familiar with them, may be somewhat confusing t ...more
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detective Virgil Flowers has been called to the lake country of Minnesota. Unfortunately, it's not to indulge in his love, fishing, but to investigate a murder. One of the fancier resorts in the area has reported a guest missing who went out in a kayak the evening before to watch the eagles and never returned. She is found shot and killed and the case is beyond the resources of the local police.

Virgil starts his investigation and finds lots of suspects. The resort is a female only one, and it t
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just got it but the first two in the Virgil Flowers series were terrific so...


"That f**king Flowers" didn't disappoint. Excellent, eccentric, elaborate plotline that starts with Flowers finally taking some time off (which means that his boat was hooked behind his own truck rather than his state vehicle) to enter a musky fishing tournement. Sorry, Virgil. Inconsiderate people keep getting killed in the damnedest ways and his boss, Lucas Davenport, always has a way to contact him.

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See also John Camp

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
More about John Sandford...

Other Books in the Series

Virgil Flowers (10 books)
  • Dark of the Moon (Virgil Flowers, #1)
  • Heat Lightning (Virgil Flowers, #2)
  • 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)
  • Deep Freeze (Virgil Flowers, #10)
“Oh yeah, I heard you got born again.' she said. 'Which you needed since they fucked up the first time.” 71 likes
“So she made no secret about being gay?"
"Why should she?" the little old lady asked. "Nobody would care but a bunch of stuffy old men.”
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