HOLY GHOST  by John Sandford

HOLY GHOST

BUY NOW FROM
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A drolly fraudulent plan to reverse the fortunes of a declining Minnesota town hits a snag in the form of a much more serious spate of felonies.

Wheatfield mayor Wardell Holland, who lost a foot in Afghanistan, sees no reason why he shouldn’t take intellectually and sexually precocious teenager John Jacob Skinner’s advice about having Janet Fischer, Skinner’s frequent bedmate, masquerade as the Blessed Virgin at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. The apparently miraculous sightings of the faithful will put Wheatfield back on the map, increase tourism, and juice the local economy, all without hurting a soul. But then a series of shootings outside the church indicate that although souls may be getting saved, bodies are having a tougher time. Iowa visitor Harvey Coates isn’t seriously injured, but Betty Rice, a second visitor, is wounded seriously enough to warrant a call to Virgil Flowers, of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (Deep Freeze, 2017, etc.). Leaving his pregnant girlfriend, Frankie Nobles, back in Mankato, Virgil drives the hour to Wheatfield and finds—nothing: no obvious suspects, no motive, no forensic evidence, not even a good place to get lunch. Looking for clues about the likely weapon, he stumbles on the rotting corpse of Glen Andorra, a farmer whose shooting range drew many local marksmen, and the mystery darkens. Andorra was almost certainly killed by someone who wanted the use of his .223 rifle for some long-distance target practice, but who and why? When the shooter scores a fatal shot on retired health care aide Marge Osborne, Virgil, immediately assuming she’s been the real target from the beginning, narrows his focus, still to no avail. Why would anyone kill such an inoffensive old lady? It must be all about money—but where’s the money?

It would be nice if the payoff were more closely linked to the amusing setup, but the detection, though often tediously routine, carries all the authenticity you’d expect from a pro like Sandford.

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-7352-1732-4
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2018




OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for WHAT IF IT'S US
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for KILLING COMMENDATORE
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for SWING
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for DRY
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Kirkus Interview
John Sandford
author of SATURN RUN
October 6, 2015

Saturn Run, John Sandford’s new novel, is quite a departure for the bestselling thriller writer, who sets aside his Lucas Davenport crime franchise (Gathering Prey, 2015, etc.) and partners with photographer and sci-fi buff Ctein to leave Earth’s gravitational field for the rings of Saturn. The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate; spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out. The race is on. “James Bond meets Tom Swift, with the last word reserved not for extraterrestrial encounters but for international piracy, state secrets, and a spot of satisfyingly underhanded political pressure,” our reviewer writes. View video >

MORE BY JOHN SANDFORD

MysteryTWISTED PREY by John Sandford
by John Sandford
MysteryDEEP FREEZE by John Sandford
by John Sandford
FictionSATURN RUN by John Sandford
by John Sandford

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionBOMBER'S LAW by George V. Higgins
by George V. Higgins
FictionEVERY DEAD THING by John Connolly
by John Connolly