Valyruh’s #CBR5 Review #102: Storm Front by John Sandford

This is the latest of Sandford’s series centered around Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.  While the majority of the series is based on the adventures of Lucas Davenport, self-made video entrepreneur, millionaire, and cop supreme with the Bureau, this novel’s hero is the straight-talking Virgil Flowers, an unmarried 30s-something friend and co-worker of Davenport’s whose cowboy boots and long hair makes him look like a redneck but whose finely-tuned intellect and keen cop sense keep rising to the surface to help him catch the bad guys.

In Storm Front, however, it’s not obvious who the bad guys are. An apparently priceless Israeli relic which could turn biblical history—and thus history—on its head, has been snatched from a dig site and smuggled into the US, to Minnesota in fact, where it is made available to the highest bidder. The thief is a highly-respected minister and professor of archaeology named Elijah Jones, who is weeks away from death from colon cancer. Flowers gets paired with a tough Israeli female investigator who appears more Mossad than archaeologist, to track down the thief and get the stone back to Israel. But he wasn’t counting on shootings, kidnappings, false identities, Hezbollah thugs, dangerous killers, and a curvaceous scam artist named Ma Noble to all converge on the scene and muddy the waters.

Sandford’s writing is delightfully humorous and irreverent in all the right places and his characters are colorful, even if his plot is rather silly. Storm Front was a quick and rather forgettable, but a fun one.