Sunday, October 20, 2019

BLOODY GENIUS a Tangled New Crime Tale by John Sandford

Bloody Genius by John Sandford is the latest offbeat crime novel in the series that features Minnesota State Police detective Virgil Flowers. Virgil is a laid back rural type, who sometimes pulls his boat behind his truck on the way to crime scenes, in case he gets time to do some fishing.

His latest case is strictly an urban affair in the Twin Cities. A university professor is sneaking into the library at night when he is unexpectedly attacked by someone and murdered. Virgil Flowers is left with a handful of puzzling questions. Why was the professor hiding there at night at the library in the first place? Who would want to kill him? Did it have anything to do with his lucrative scientific research? Or was it the result of a bitter academic feud with another professor?

The novel follows Flowers through a tangled trail of false leads, red herring clues, and multiple possible suspects. It takes Virgil a while to realize that someone is leading him on a chase of planted distractions away from the actual murderer.

Bloody Genius is filled with a few too many plot twists and minor characters to follow and the eventual uncovering of an unlikely culprit with an equally unlikely motive for the murder. This one isn't John Sandford's best effort, but the novel is entertaining with a running stream of quirky humor and the laconic character of Virgil Flowers himself.

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