I just finished John Sandford’s latest, Bad Blood, featuring “that f___in’ Flowers. It centers on an odd church group in rural Minnesota calling itself the WOS, or the World of Spirit, as opposed to the World of Law (representing virtually everything outside their church group). They believe that it’s the group’s right, its duty, to home teach all the children in all the school subjects, but also to home teach them about sexuality, as in group sex, incestuous sex, oral and anal sex. It’s a fairly disgusting concept and one that Virgil Flowers and the sheriff, Lee Coakley, spend the whole novel trying to expose.
All the while I was reading it, I had this itch somewhere at the back of my brain that I had, within the last two or three years, read a novel based on the same concept, not a religious group but a familial group, and I’d have sworn that it was one of Sandford’s Prey books. But why would Sandford have used the same plot device in two separate books? He wouldn’t have. So, where else would I have read it? I guess it will remain one of those itches that never gets scratched.
Despite the rather unsavory plot, Virgil Flowers is once again in rare form and for those who are fans of John Sandford this is a must read. One of many bits worth sharing: Early in the novel, Virgil is having breakfast at a local coffee shop. He’s talking to the owner, Bill Jacobs, about evidence found at one of the murder sites. That led to Jacobs’ comment, “I’m so goddamn horny the crack of dawn ain’t safe.” Now, that’s funny.