Tuesday, October 18, 2016

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Escape Clause

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 Iowa. He was in the U.S. Army from 1966-68, worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian from 1968-1970, and went back to the University of Iowa from 1970-1971, where he received a master's degree in journalism. He was a reporter for The Miami Herald from 1971-78, and then a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press from 1978-1990; in 1980, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis. From 1990 to the present he has written thriller novels. He's also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art. He is the principal financial backer of a major archeological project in the Jordan Valley of Israel, with a website at www.rehov.org In addition to archaeology, he is deeply interested in art (painting) and photography. He both hunts and fishes. He has two children, Roswell and Emily, and one grandson, Benjamin. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007, and is greatly missed.

Escape Clause
Virgil Flowers Book #9

Whenever you hear the sky rumble, that usually means a storm. In Virgil Flowers’ case, make that two. The exceptional new thriller from the writer whose books are “pure reading pleasure” (Booklist)

The first storm comes from, of all places, the Minnesota zoo. Two large, and very rare, Amur tigers have vanished from their cage, and authorities are worried sick that they’ve been stolen for their body parts. Traditional Chinese medicine prizes those parts for home remedies, and people will do extreme things to get what they need. Some of them are a great deal more extreme than others -- as Virgil is about to find out. 

Then there’s the homefront. Virgil’s relationship wi th his girlfriend Frankie has been getting kind of serious, but when Frankie’s sister Sparkle moves in for the summer, the situation gets a lot more complicated. For one thing, her research into migrant workers is about to bring her up against some very violent people who emphatically do not want to be researched. For anothershe thinks Virgil’s kind of cute.

“You mess around with Sparkle,” Frankie told Virgil, “you could get yourself stabbed.”
“She carries a knife?”
“No, but I do.” 

Forget a storm – this one’s a tornado.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Scholastic Siren - Sara:
Book 9 in the Virgil Flowers series can be read as a stand-alone, the mystery is inclusive, but I think you would miss getting to know all the characters. 

Virgil works for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) which is basically the state version of the FBI. They deal with some very strange cases, none stranger than this. 

Virgil gets a call in the middle of the night about a kidnapping, the victims, two rare tigers missing from the zoo. Personally, Virgil’s life is a little wonky, too, Frankie’s sister moves in with her for the summer causing all manner of upset. 

As always, the story is cohesive and the mystery wraps up in one book, rather violently. 

This series is not for the faint of heart. If you are an animal lover, like I am, this book has a serious rough spot rather early on, once you get past it, it is worth continuing. 

Escape Clause

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