Holy Ghost

Holy Ghost

by John Sandford

Overview: Pinion, Minnesota: a metropolis of all of seven hundred souls, for which the word "moribund" might have been invented. Nothing ever happened there and nothing ever would--until the mayor of sorts (campaign slogan: "I'll Do What I Can") and a buddy come up with a scheme to put Pinion on the map. They'd heard of a place where a floating image of the Virgin Mary had turned the whole town into a shrine, attracting thousands of pilgrims. And all those pilgrims needed food, shelter, all kinds of crazy things, right? They'd all get rich! What could go wrong? When the dead body shows up, they find out, and that's only the beginning of their troubles--and Virgil Flowers'--as they are all about to discover all too soon.

Deanna Boe (02/09/19): I am so thankful that Sandford is back writing about Virgil Flowers. I was so disappointed in his last novel about Lucas Davenport; the character he wrote about that first caught my attention. The last book with Davenport was TWISTED PREY. I was afraid that Sandford had gone by the wayside of so many of my other favorite authors who seem to take the easy way out to make a book longer by describing their clothes, settings, and whatever else that really doesn’t enhance the plot but does make it longer. In short, TWISTED PREY, wasn’t up to Sanford’s usual style; plus he shouldn’t have made Davenport a U.S. Marshall.

Virgil Flowers (or as he is often referred to as “f***ing” Flowers) is his usual casual and likeable self in this novel, HOLY GHOST. Virgil is summoned to see if two people, who were shot in this town of 600, were actually supposed to have been murdered, not just wounded. When a 3rd person is shot and actually killed the whole plot takes on a different perspective. All of this is tied up with the fact that recently there was a “vision” of the Virgin Mary in the Catholic Church. What a difference this vision made for this small community! Tourists are pouring into this small town to see for themselves. Would the Virgin Mary appear again? New businesses were all of a sudden booming, houses selling, and life appeared to be returning to their community so no one wanted anyone to be shot and thus “kill off” their new prosperity. Sandford always adds interesting characters to his stories. In this case it is the new mayor (whose slogan just happened to be: “I’ll Do What I Can”) and his teen-age sidekick. There are enough other characters to keep you guessing as to who really is the murderer. In short, this is an easy to read murder mystery with people you enjoy reading about.
Rating: ***

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