STORM FRONT by John Sandford

STORM FRONT

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Virgil Flowers (Mad River, 2012, etc.) chases after a biblical relic that turns every person whose path it crosses into a criminal.  

Lutheran minister Elijah Jones has lived a long time without stepping over the line. But the inscribed stele that turns up on the Israeli archaeological dig on which he’s a volunteer is too much of a temptation for even a dying man like Jones to resist. Sneaking off with the priceless relic, he high-tails it home to Mankato for the express purpose, it would seem, of presenting Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension with a new challenge. And quite a challenge it is, because what’s engraved on the stele is so controversial that it’s avidly sought by Yael Aronov, of the Israeli Antiquities Authority; Mossad killer Tal Zahavi; Turkish torturer Timur Kaya; TV archaeologist Tag Bauer; professor John Rogers Sewicky, who teaches ancient mysteries classes at the University of Texas; Lebanese college student Faraj Awad, who may or may not be a liaison for Hezbollah; assorted Beltway types who decline to identify their government agencies; and several lesser fry, from Elijah’s daughter Ellen Case to counterfeit lumber merchant Florence “Ma” Nobles, who are both presumably just out for the money. The wholesale pursuit of the relic by everyone in the Central time zone carries serious comic potential, but Sandford, unlike Elijah, sticks to the straight and narrow as he conscientiously follows everyone who’s embarked on this treasure hunt. The effect is to muffle Virgil and his senior colleague Lucas Davenport (Silken Prey, 2013, etc.) without creating anyone equally engaging to take their places.          

Quite a departure for Virgil and Lucas, but this is not a case that plays to their considerable strengths.

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-399-15930-5
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2013




OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for ADNAN'S STORY
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for ANOTHER BROOKLYN
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for THREE SISTERS, THREE QUEENS
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for FAMILY TREE
VERDICT:
BORROW 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

MysteryESCAPE CLAUSE by John Sandford
by John Sandford
FictionEXTREME PREY by John Sandford
by John Sandford
FictionSATURN RUN by John Sandford
by John Sandford

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionTHE TESTAMENT by Eric Van Lustbader
by Eric Van Lustbader
FictionTHE DA VINCI CODE by Dan Brown
by Dan Brown
FictionTHE STONEHENGE LEGACY by Sam Christer
by Sam Christer