John Sandford’s latest book, Storm Front, is a “fun thriller.” It is a Virgil Flowers novel, which always has a lighter plot than the Davenport series, but this one can be classified as more of a satire. The multiple storylines emphasize deceit and poke fun at those novels that use religious artifacts for covers of ancient global conspiracies.
The book begins with an archeological dig in Israel that turns up a stele, an inscribed piece of stone, that can have a supposed profound effect on the history of the Middle East. Elijah Jones, a college professor who is dying, steals it to sell on the black market. This is where the plot takes off, becoming a cat and mouse chase to see who will end up with the stone. Virgil must deal with the bumbling ways of mercenary Turks, Mossad agents, Hezbollah terrorists, and Texas reality show hosts. There is also a sub-plot that involves a woman who is selling fake antique lumber. Sandford is able to weave these two plots together in a suspenseful way with many twists and turns.
Sandford told blackfive.net, “It was not intended to be a hardcore thriller. I wanted to write about a bunch of foreign rednecks that are running around trying to find an object of power. I had a good time writing this thriller where no one actually gets killed. I hope my readers appreciate the skepticism of the story. Since there are so many arguments today over politics and religion I wanted to show the problem with the combination of politicians and crazies. I decided to start it with an archeological dig because it was a serious hobby for me. I would go to Israel for six weeks every summer for a dig.”
He also gave a heads-up about his next book, which is a 180-degree turn from Storm Front. It will be a throw back to the earlier Davenport books whose antagonist is a violent crazy killer. The plot involves women who disappear from Minnesota once a year. No one knows their whereabouts until two high school sweethearts go to a “lover’s lane” field where they encounter a really bad smell. After mentioning it to a policeman an investigation is started where twenty skulls are found.
John Sandford writes two series of books. The Davenport series is more serious and gripping while the Flowers series includes more humor surrounding the mystery. He noted that Storm Front “was not intended to be a hardcore thriller. I think it is more realistic than a lot of the novels surrounding religious conspiracy. The main plot has people running around chasing after a sacred object. Flowers questions if it has mystical powers, but soon realizes it is just a rock.” Storm Front is a novel that includes an exciting plot, a lot of satire, and a good cat and mouse chase.