Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Salon: Shock Wave by John Sandford

I can’t believe another week has flown by and it’s time for us to gather around our computers for Sunday Salon sharing our thoughts on books we’ve read (or listened to).

Fall has made a big appearance here with our temperatures dipping from the 80s to the low 60s and 50s during the day and getting very close to that 32 degree mark at night. After a cup of good coffee in the morning, it’s time to reach for the hot chocolate for that afternoon break. I have a lively audio book to share with you today that will be an interesting listen (or read) for this time of year. 

SHOCK WAVE by John Sandford

9781611760156Taken from the headlines and bumped up several notches, author John Sandford tackles a situation that could potentially involve any small town in America.

SHOCK WAVE deals with the Minnesota river town of Butternut Falls where the chain store PyeMart is planning to build. The only problem, not everyone is in favor of the store moving in taking over the local economy. At first there’s an explosion at Pye’s headquarters killing his executive assistant and narrowly missing him. Next bombs start going off in Butternut Falls with more casualties. 

Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Agent Virgil Flowers is called in to help find the bomber. As Virgil begins to uncover more information, he’s the target of a bomb. There’s talk of the mayor and several city council members taking bribes to make way for the PyeMart store. Virgil has to find out if it’s one of the local merchants, an environmentalist or someone who just enjoys killing causing all the destruction.

Sandford has created a likeable protagonist in Virgil Flowers. He takes his job seriously, but has fun along the way. His laid-back ways makes it easier for him to work with the suspects. And there’s a long list of suspects when the investigators get the citizens’ help using social media techniques to identify the bomber.

There are lots of twists and turns throughout the story. It also give a good look at how investigators work. It shows that some things take time and hard work, while other happen by luck. There are red herrings that will be very believable. There’s action, suspense, and a good dose of humor.

Narrator Eric Conger does a wonderful job bringing the characters to life. He includes their yawns, laughs, tears, and even fears. His mannerisms will have you believing you are in the middle of the conversations. Listeners may be a little startled at first by the musical interlude at the end of each disc. It’s very appropriate for the scene, but a bit of a surprise when you’re not expecting it.

SHOCK WAVE is an intriguing 5th installment in the Virgil Flowers series, but is a stand alone novel. This is a fun story that will keep you guessing until the moment you smack your forehead and say, ‘Of course!’

Author John Sandford’s website is

Shock Wave by John Sandford, A Virgil Flowers Novel, Read by Eric Conger, Penguin Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1611760156, Unabridged, 8 Discs, Listening Time: 9 Hours

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

What are your thoughts on a storyline like this? Can you see where a major chain store could be both wanted and despised in a small town? What have you read (listened to) this week or currently reading? Thanks so much for stopping by. Y’all are the best! Have a great Sunday.


  1. Mason - This sounds like a very interesting premise! People really do get shaken when they think their jobs and businesses, etc. are at risk, so it's very believable that this might be the premise for a mystery. And I like it that the pace and suspense is flavoured with some humour. Thanks for a fine review :-).

  2. I've been a big fan of Sandford's "Prey" series, featuring Lucas Davenport, and your review now has me interested in Virgil Flowers. He's great at creating characters that hold up through a series.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.