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Deadline
Cover of Deadline
Deadline
Virgil Flowers Series, Book 8
Borrow Borrow
The thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times–bestselling series.

In Southeast Minnesota, down on the Mississippi, a school board meeting is coming to an end. The board chairman announces that the rest of the meeting will be closed, due to personnel issues. "Issues" is correct. The proposal up for a vote before them is whether to authorize the killing of a local reporter. The vote is four to one in favor.
Meanwhile, not far away, Virgil Flowers is helping out a friend by looking into a dognapping, which seems to be turning into something much bigger and uglier—a team of dognappers supplying medical labs—when he gets a call from Lucas Davenport. A murdered body has been found—and the victim is a local reporter. . . .
The thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times–bestselling series.

In Southeast Minnesota, down on the Mississippi, a school board meeting is coming to an end. The board chairman announces that the rest of the meeting will be closed, due to personnel issues. "Issues" is correct. The proposal up for a vote before them is whether to authorize the killing of a local reporter. The vote is four to one in favor.
Meanwhile, not far away, Virgil Flowers is helping out a friend by looking into a dognapping, which seems to be turning into something much bigger and uglier—a team of dognappers supplying medical labs—when he gets a call from Lucas Davenport. A murdered body has been found—and the victim is a local reporter. . . .
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  • From the cover 1

    Dark, moonless night, in the dog days of early August.
    A funky warm drizzle kept the world quiet and wet and close.

    D. Wayne Sharf slid across Winky Butterfield’s pasture like a
    greased weasel headed for a chicken house. He carried two heavy
    nylon leashes with choke-chain collars, two nylon muzzles with
    Velcro straps, and a center-cut pork chop.
    The target was Butterfield’s kennel, a chain-link enclosure in the
    backyard, where Butterfield kept his two black Labs, one young,
    one older. The pork chop would be used to make friends.

    D. Wayne was wearing camo, head to foot, which was no change:
    he always wore camo, head to foot. So did his children.
    His ex-wife, Truly, whom he still occasionally visited, wore various
    pieces of camo, depending on daily fashion demands—more at
    Walmart, less at Target. She also had eight pairs of camo under
    pants, size 4XL and 5XL, which she wore on a rotating basis: two
    each of Mossy Oak, Realtree, Legend, and God’s Country, which
    prompted D. Wayne to tell her one night, as he peeled them off,
    “This really is God’s country, know what I’m sayin’, honeybunch?”

    His new, alternative honeybunch wore black cotton, which she

    called “panties,” and which didn’t do much for D. Wayne. Just some
    thing hot about camo.

    A few thousand cells in the back of his brain were sifting through
    all of that as D. Wayne crossed a split-rail fence into Butterfield’s
    yard, and one of the dogs, the young one, barked twice. There were
    no lights in the house, and none came on. D. Wayne paused in his
    approach, watching, then slipped the pork chop out of its plastic
    bag. He sat for a couple of minutes, giving the dogs a chance to smell
    the meat; while he waited, his own odor caught up with him, a combination
    of sweat and whiskey-blend Copenhagen. If Butterfield
    had the nose of a deer or a wolf, he would have been worried.

    But Butterfield didn’t, and D. Wayne started moving again. He
    got to the kennel, where the dogs were waiting, slobbering like
    hounds . . . because they were hounds. He turned on the hunter’s
    red, low-illumination LED lights mounted in his hat brim, ripped
    the pork chop in half, held the pieces three feet apart, and pushed
    them through the chain link. The dogs were all over the meat: and
    while they were choking it down, he flipped the latch on the kennel
    gate and duckwalked inside.

    “Here you go, boys, good boys,” he muttered. The dogs came
    over to lick his face and look for more pork chop, the young dog
    prancing around him, and he slipped the choke collars over their
    heads, one at a time. The young one took the muzzle okay—the
    muzzle was meant to prevent barking, not biting—but the older
    one resisted, growled, and then barked, twice, three times. A light
    came on in the back of the Butterfield house.

    D. Wayne said, “Uh-oh,” dropped the big dog’s muzzle, and
    dragged the two dogs out of the kennel toward the fence. Again,
    the younger one came without much resistance at first, but the
    older one dug in. Another light came on, this one by the Butterfield
    side door, and D. Wayne said, “Shit,” and he picked up the bigger
    dog, two arms under its belly, and yanking the other one along on
    the leash, cleared the fence and headed across the pasture at an
    awkward trot.

    The side door opened on Butterfield’s house, and D. Wayne,
    having forgotten about the red LEDs on his hat brim, made the mistake
    of looking back. Butterfield...
About the Author-
  • John Sandford is the author of twenty-four Prey novels; the Virgil Flowers novels, most recently Storm Front; and six other books. He lives in New Mexico.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 11, 2014
    In Thriller Award–winner Sandford’s stellar eighth Virgil Flowers novel (after 2013’s Storm Front), the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent, who works for Lucas Davenport, the hero of the author’s other major series, helps friend Johnson Johnson with a little problem that keeps growing in the Mississippi River town of Trippton. Johnson’s neighbors are concerned about a series of dognappings by hillbillies who live up by inaccessible Orly’s Creek. Roy Zorn, a “small-time motorcycle hood,” might also be manufacturing some meth up that way. If Virgil can’t solve the dog problem, dog lovers may shift to open warfare. Meanwhile, the members of the Buchanan County Consolidated School Board, fearing they’ll all go to prison, vote unanimously to kill reporter Clancy Conley, who “inadvertently discovered that the school board was stealing the school system blind.” Virgil doesn’t get much help from Sheriff Jeff Purdy, but 12-year-old McKinley Ruff and high school janitor Will Bacon provide critical assistance as panicky board members escalate the violence. Sandford is an accomplished and amusing storyteller, and he nails both the rural characters and terrain as well as he has skewered urban life in past installments. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM.

  • AudioFile Magazine Eric Conger's voice is perfect for Virgil Flowers, the Bureau of Crime Apprehension agent who goes from one crime to another in rural Minnesota. Conger's raspy baritone is evocative of the crimes that are at the heart of this police procedural as Flowers attempts to secure justice for his friends, whose dogs have gone missing. There's a lot of dialogue, and listeners may struggle to keep the various speakers clear as Conger give the male characters little differentiation. Multiple gruff voices make it challenging to keep up with who is saying what in a complicated chain of events. M.F. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
  • Praise for Deadline

    "Another brainy thriller from a prolific author, 'Deadline' fulfills readers' expectations of Sandford's fiction: tense, smart and character-driven." — Richmond Times Dispatch

    ...
    Praise for Deadline

    "Another brainy thriller from a prolific author, 'Deadline' fulfills readers' expectations of Sandford's fiction: tense, smart and character-driven." — Richmond Times Dispatch

    "Rich characters [and] the descriptions of small-town life, politics and corruption and the concurrent trails of action make for a fast and entertaining read."—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    "Sandford's best Flowers book to date. . . . There is a lot of drama and mayhem in this story and readers of traditional Sandford books will be satisfied for sure. Still if you like a little humor in your plots, this book will more than sate that desire. This book is the most fun I have had reading in a long time."—Huffington Post

    "There's a lot going on in Deadline . . . The biggest joys of this series are Flowers himself (his boss is Lucas Davenport from the Sandford's Prey novels), the cast of eccentric supporting characters and the humorous dialogue."Shelf Awareness

    "Sandford keeps one last surprise up his sleeve for the denouement of the dognapping case, and it's a doozy. Exhilaratingly professional work by both Virgil and his creator that breaks no new ground but will keep the fans happy and add to their number."—Kirkus Reviews

    "Stellar . . . Sandford is an accomplished and amusing storyteller, and he nails both the rural characters and terrain as well as he has skewered urban life in past installments."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    "Sanford balances straight-talking Virgil Flowers' often hilariously folksy tone and Trippton's dark core of methamphetamine manufacturers and sociopaths; the result is pure reading pleasure for thriller fans."—Booklist

    Praise for Storm Front

    "John Sandford has the Midas touch. [Storm Front is] exciting, complex and funny all the way through. Virgil is a unique character [and] the beauty of Sandford's writing is that the narrative of the book is told in perfect harmony with Flowers' personality . . . Entertaining reading all the way." —The Huffington Post


    From the Hardcover edition.
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Virgil Flowers Series, Book 8
John Sandford
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