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Dark Of The Moon

(Virgil Flowers #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  27,228 ratings  ·  1,202 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.
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Berkley Books (first published 2004)
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3.97  · 
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 ·  27,228 ratings  ·  1,202 reviews

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James Thane
Mar 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
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. He has 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
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typically, John Sanford is one of my favorite authors. With this story, it helps to be familiar with Virgil Flowers as I found more palatable after getting to know the character. Fortunately, there are better Flowers stories ahead. 4 of 10 stars

This re-read from 10 years ago of the Virgil Flowers character. 1st read was 2-stars, the re-read, 3-stars and as previously stated, "there are better Flowers stories ahead." 6 of 10 stars
Jonathan Janz
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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...
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 admit I was worried that no man could compete with Lucas Davenport and I was right but Virgil is close and also different enough that I didn’t have any issues with confusing the characters. I love the “Prey” series and was looking for another dark mystery to start. Dark of the Moon didn’t disappoint and I adore Virgil. Maybe I just have a thing for Minnesota detectives.

I was very happy at how fast the mystery took off in this book and also how there was very little down time from Virgil inves
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Rex Fuller
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finding myself in need of a lazy pleasure read, I remembered the couple of Virgil Flowers books by John Sandford that I had read before. I much prefer Virgil to Lucas Davenport, the protagonist of Sandford's "Prey" series. Virg is humbler, much more of an ourtdoorsman, likely to be a couple of jumps ahead of you without you knowing, and just plain easier to get along with. So, I decided to give this one, the first of the Flowers books, a try. Maybe read the lot of them in order. After finishing ...more
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Flowers is an excellent character. I really appreciated the hard-nosed realism that he displays in a tough situation. It's a small town & pretty obvious early on that everyone knows everyone else & their business. That includes the killer(s). There's a lot of dirty laundry & hard feelings. Some of it is old & some may be new. The list of suspects is long & hits close to home. A very tough job & he handled it admirably. No superman, just a canny one.

Guns were very well don
May 21, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Freda Malone
Virgil Flowers, BCA and an over-all laid back kind of guy who wears quirky musical T-shirts as his uniform. Set in the back woods of small town Bluestem in the Minnesota hills, Flowers meets with the Sheriff to solve a string of murders so complex that even he himself has a hard time connecting the dots. In any small town, everyone knows everyone else's business, almost and Flowers sticks his nose deep in it.

Judd Sr. has died horribly in a house fire and his estate is up for grabs as we find ou
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audio narrated by Eric Conger
Conger speaks with the clarity that I know of that region.
Although previously introduced in the 'Prey' series, we get the first solo Virgil Flowers.
I like him and so do most people he comes in contact with. He is similar to Davenport in that he is a "hound dog" and analytically smart. But he just isn't as macho and violent as his boss. While Davenport avoided marriage until his late thirties, it was said about Flowers "that boy was hitched so often that his face got
I will be re-reading at some time.
Mal Warwick
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Virgil Flowers is a horndog who feels compelled to chase every pretty woman under the age of 50. Though his own faith rejects Jesus, he's "the son of a Presbyterian minister and a professor of engineering, who saw in God the Great Engineer and believed as devoutly as her husband." He's been married and divorced three times, but "he didn't want to be a four-time loser, so he stopped getting married." He's also a university graduate with a degree in environmental science, an outdoorsman, a publish ...more
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fictional-crime
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
Yvonne Anderson
Aug 23, 2013 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
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!!
Mar 27, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I do not understand the appeal of John Sandford. Several of my friends enjoy his books so I gave this one a shot based off of a recommendation. The characters were uninteresting, unpleasant, and annoying. The story line was the same thing. I kept reading the book hoping it would get good, but it didn't. There was no beginning, no climax, no good just dragged on for 200+ pages. I would never read another book by this author!
Dec 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 started reading this, it's the first in a new series, but i didn't like anyone in it. the main characters are so good ol boy ish, the way they talk and everything, ew. i couldn't. this may be good for some people but not me. I didn't even get a quarter way through. sorry.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was almost painfully slow ..... and then I did not believe the ending justified the pace of the book. While it did pick up in the final chapters, by then I was not very interested. Ugh.
Johnny Williams
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just about when I said enough of Sandford-- he is probably done-- and up jumps his Virgil flowers series that I just found. Well I finished all of the "Prey" series and found book number 1. in the Flowers series.
I oved it.. Sandford created this character or introduced him in the prey series but now we get to know him from book one. This series is narrated just as if you were on the scene as Flowers moves and thinks his way through solving the murder.. He leaves nothing out in the way of details
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Author John Sandford's newest detective series beginning with 2007's, "Dark Of The Moon", features a new protagonist who works for Minnesota's BCA named Virgil Flowers. As a senior investigator for Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Flowers has a diverse background. Virgil has a degree in ecological science with a minor in creative writing . Virgil also has a craving for chasing women. Married and divorced several times Virgil is pretty sure he's meant to be free and single. Most of al ...more
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 23, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
May 16, 2009 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
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't care too much for this book. I had a hard time following the narrative style and thought the story line was flawed. The sex dialog was awkward, unnecessary and some of it was just weird (like the sister getting completely turned on by spying on her brother having sex). I get that Virgil Flowers is a really laid back and a really not "by the book" kind of cop, but getting personally involved with persons of interest in an active serial murder case sounds like a very bad idea. I see from ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: btl-book-club
Assigned reading for BTPL bookclub - gave up 50 pages in.

The author is no wordsmith. The content is rough (ie unnecessary description of a character's bowel movement) and bad language isn't filtered. Extended commentary by characters on a woman's "ass". Felt demeaning and unenlightened. It read like it had been written by a neanderthal man. Lots of small words and short sentences. Crass language. More annoying than offensive. Just really poorly written!

Gruesome opening - descriptive murder. Her
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Has anyone read this author? 8 43 Jan 20, 2019 03:34PM  
Play Book Tag: Dark of the Moon / John Sandford - 3.5*** 1 12 Nov 01, 2018 07:25PM  

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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 12 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)
  • Deep Freeze (Virgil Flowers, #10)
  • Holy Ghost (Virgil Flowers, #11)
“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.” 2 likes
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