Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
Class reunions: a time for memories - good, bad, and, as Virgil Flowers is about to find out, deadly - in the thrilling new novel in the number one New York Times -bestselling series
Virgil knows the town of Trippton, Minnesota, a little too well. A few years back, he investigated the corrupt - and as it turned out, homicidal - local school board, and now the town's back in view with more alarming news: A woman's been found dead, frozen in a block of ice. There's a possibility that it might be connected to a high school class of twenty years ago that has a mid-winter reunion coming up, and so, wrapping his coat a little tighter, Virgil begins to dig into twenty years' worth of traumas, feuds, and bad blood. In the process, one thing becomes increasingly clear to him. It's true what they say: High school is murder.
Class reunions: a time for memories--good, bad, and, as Virgil Flowers is about to find out, deadly. Virgil knows the town of Trippton, Minnesota, a little too well. A few years back, he investigated the corrupt - and as it turned out, homicidal - local school board, and now the town's back in view with more alarming news: A woman's been found dead, frozen in a block of ice. There's a possibility that it might be connected to a high school class of twenty years ago that has a mid-winter reunion coming up, and so, wrapping his coat a little tighter, Virgil begins to dig into twenty years' worth of traumas, feuds, and bad blood. In the process, one thing becomes increasingly clear to him. It's true what they say: high school is murder.
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Publishers Weekly Review
Actor Conger shines as Sandford's protagonist Virgil Flowers, a lawman with a strong sense of humor. The agent of Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Appre-hension doesn't just have the gift of gab, he sees past the gruesome aspects of his investigations to their absurd elements and reacts accordingly. In Virgil's 10th outing, he is sent to the unfriendly town of Trippton, where the corpse of the town's wealthiest woman (who has been murdered) has been plucked from the nearby Mississippi River. Meanwhile, the governor gives Virgil an additional assignment: locate and arrest a woman who's been manufacturing obscene Barbie dolls. But workers in the impoverished town have become dependent on the sexy dolls' sales and prove to be as dangerous as the murderer. Reader Conger has a crisp, resonant voice, and he smoothly conveys Virgil's air of bemusement and the sarcastic edge that appears when he's forced to deal with deceitful suspects and his merrily duplicitous boss, John Duncan. He plays the self-absorbed murderer, identified early on, as weak and depressed, and the others in the town of Trippton, such as Virgil's gruff good-natured pal Johnson Johnson, with specificity. All the characters are as carefully vocalized by Conger as they are developed by Sandford in this satisfying audiobook. A Putnam hardcover. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Gina Hemming, the best-looking girl in Trippton, Minnesota's Class of '92, is rich and arrogant, thanks both to her beauty but also to inheriting the local bank from her father. On a cold January night, she gathers a group of classmates at her home to plan their twenty-fifth high-school anniversary. Among the attendees is David Brinkmann, the class clown. David had carried a torch for Gina since the summer after sixth grade. Now that he and Gina were both divorced . . . well, that plan went to hell in no time. Gina is found dead floating in the river, and Virgil Flowers from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assigned the case. Virgil has worked another case in Trippton and reconnects with his old pal Johnson Johnson (not a typo), who becomes Virgil's unofficial assistant. There's also a parallel plot in which some unknown citizens are turning Ken and Barbie dolls into sex toys. The tenth Flowers novel is a knowing portrait of small-town life layered into a very well plotted mystery. Virgil understands that, in small towns, no one ever outgrows high school, and he uses that knowledge to unravel both mysteries by dissecting the relationships and economic realities in the town. One of the very best novels in a superior series.--Lukowsky, Wes Copyright 2017 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
Virgil Flowers, of Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, works an altogether unremarkable murder and a surprisingly inventive case on the side.The night before Gina Hemming is fished from a frozen river, someone bashes her in the head with a champagne bottle shortly after a meeting of the committee to organize her 25th high school reunion. Since Gina holds the power of the purse over virtually everyone in Tripptonshe inherited the town's bank on her father's deathand the bruises on her body suggest habitual SM play, there are lots of suspects, from Lucy and Elroy Cheever, whose business loan application she was about to deny, to heavy-equipment operator Corbel Cain, her sometime lover, to Fred Fitzgerald, who recently purchased a whip from Bernie's Books, Candles 'n More. But none of them murdered Gina; the opening chapter shows lovelorn exterminator David Birkmann, who's been carrying a torch for her since their school days, killing her when she indicates in the most direct way possible that she doesn't return his interest. The investigation is every bit as routine as it sounds, and it's nice for Virgil that Sandford has thrown in an unrelated complication: the arrival of LA gumshoe Margaret Griffin, who's gotten the Minnesota governor's support in serving a federal cease and desist order against Virgil's classmate Jesse McGovern, who's been doing a brisk mail-order business hawking her X-rated creations, Barbie O and Boner Ken. On second thoughtsince the Barbie knockoffs get Virgil beaten up by four oversized females and his truck burned to the groundit may be less nice for Virgil than for his fan base. As so often in Sandford's small-town adventures (Escape Clause, 2016, etc.), the greatest pleasures here are incidental: clipped conversations, quietly loopy humor, locals mouthing off to and about each other. Pull up a seat, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.