Saturday, June 1, 2024

Rough Country by John Sandford - Book Review

 A Virgil Flowers Novel

Image of a Minnesota Lake
John Sandford is the author of the Prey Series starring Lucas Davenport. He has written 32 books in this series since 1989.

In 2007, Sandford introduced his readers to a new character, Virgil Flowers. To date, he has written 12 novels starring Virgil. This is my review of Book #3 in the series ~ Rough Country

Review of the Main Character, Virgil Flowers

Virgil is a tall, lean cop in his late thirties, three times divorced, hair too long for a cop. He is very casual in his attire, usually wearing jeans, a band T-shirt from one of his favorite Indy bands, and cowboy boots.  He was a cop with the St. Paul, MN police for several years and was enticed by Lucas Davenport to join the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension with the promise that “we’ll only give you the hard stuff.” The reason Lucas wanted him was because, despite his casual dress and unusual style of investigating, Virgil has a very high ‘solve’ rate when it comes to crimes.

In Rough Country, Virgil encounters a ‘hard case’ that is like none he has had before. 

Synopsis of Rough Country

As Rough Country begins, Virgil is on vacation competing in a fishing tournament in northern Minnesota. Lucas Davenport (his nominal boss) calls him to investigate a murder in a nearby resort where a woman has been shot. No one else is available and Virgil is nearby, so he has to go, despite preferring fishing to investigating. 

The biggest problem with the investigation is that there are too  many suspects and they all seem to have secrets. Is the murderer among the woman’s work force at an ad agency in Minneapolis she is soon to take over and where she plans to fire several people? Or is it her live-in lover whom she was about to break up with? Then there are several people in the town near where this peaceful wooded resort on a Minnesota lake is located who have their own agendas and would benefit from the elimination of this woman. A suspenseful mystery that will keep you guessing as the story unfolds. 


I have been enjoying all John Sandford books for many years (and own them all). I really like Lucas Davenport in the Prey Series, but I have to admit that Virgil Flowers has moved to the top of my favorites list. He is a delightful character and the humor sprinkled among the suspense is such fun to read. Murder and mayhem and humor makes for a very enjoyable read. 

*Book Review of Rough Country is written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Oh I so agree that murder and mayhem mixed with a little bit of humor keeps me turning the pages. I have not read any of this series yet, but will move them up my growing list! Thanks Pat as always for a great review that makes me want to pick up yet another book!

    1. Glad you have some more ideas for good books to put on your reading list, Olivia. Thanks for your visit to my Virgil Flowers novel book review.

  2. Virgil sounds like a terrific character. Although thrillers aren’t my preferred genre, I’m really tempted to try the Prey series after reading your many glowing reviews. I think it may be time to try one and see whether the violence is within my tolerance.

    1. Virgil IS a terrific character. Thanks, Margaret.

  3. This sounds great. Thanks

    1. Thanks for your visit to my Virgil Flowers novel book review. I know you like John Sandford, Mary Beth.

  4. Wow, 32 books in a series! That's impressive. Sounds like a real page-turner as well!

    1. The 32 books in the series is just for the Prey series, Barbara. Then we have 12 more books in the Virgil Flowers series, plus a few more John Sandford is branching out in. :) Thanks for your visit.

  5. The mixture of mystery and humor sounds like a series anyone would enjoy!

    1. I get such a kick out of the humor John Sandford weaves into his mystery stories, Mouse. Thanks for your visit to my Virgil Flowers novel book review.


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