Deep Freeze by John Sandford
Penguin Random House: 10/17/17
eBook review copy; 400 pages
Virgil Flowers Series #10
Deep Freeze by John Sandford is the very highly recommended tenth investigation by Minnesota Bureau of
Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers.
The body of banker Gina Hemmings was found in the river, by the
outflow from the sewage plant. The murder happened in her house after an
evening meeting of the committee to organize their 25th high school
class reunion. We know from the opening the whole backstory of her
murder and that she was hit in the head by a champagne bottle. This
murder results in Virgil being called back early from his vacation and
sent back to Trippton, Minnesota to investigate. Now Virgil has to look
into small town gossip along with a host of suspects.
If murder isn't enough on Virgil's agenda, the governor has asked him to
help PI Margaret Griffin, who is representing the toy company Mattel,
to serve a federal cease and desist
order to Jesse McGovern. Apparently Jesse is providing needed jobs to
many locals in an underground workshop where Barbie and Ken dolls are
turned into x-rated versions. Locals are playing dumb and denying
knowing Jesse or anything about the dolls when questioned by Griffin. It
is thought that Virgil can find Jesse and help get the papers served.
This side investigation seems to get Virgil into more trouble than the
Much of the enjoyment in Deep Freeze is found in the character of
Virgil Flowers and his intuitive deductions, quick wit, and the
humorous dialogue and interactions with the locals. It is to Sandford's
credit that he can write such a compelling novel with the focus on a
character who is solving the case, in spite of the fact that he reveals
who the killer is from the first chapter. This novel just flew along and
held my attention from start to finish.
Sandford also does an excellent job describing the setting and capturing
the life and people in small town Minnesota. Virgil wades through a
plethora of gossip and meets with numerous small town characters as he
pieces together what happened to Hemmings and tries to find out the
location of Jesse McGovern. Additionally, he provides along the way some
insights into life that aren't just related to his novel. There are
several times he has Virgil make an observation that is so true to life
that you want to yell a loud, "Yes! That is so true."
My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.