by John Sandford
"While competing in a fishing tournament in a remote area of northern Minnesota, [Virgil Flowers] gets a call from Lucas Davenport to investigate a murder at a nearby resort, where a woman has been shot while kayaking. . . . [A]s he begins investigating, he finds a web of connections between the people at the resort, the victim, and some local women, notably a talented country singer. The more he digs, the more he discovers the arrows of suspicion that point in many directions, encompassing a multitude of motivations: jealousy, blackmail, greed, anger, fear." (From Amazon.com)
I understand that this is terribly judgemental of me, but it bothers me that an male author who has created notoriously womanizing characters for his two series (Lucas Davenport, Virgil Flowers), has decided to write a book for one of them that features a whole bunch of lesbians, complete with bi-sexual swingers and cat fights in the bar. There is something icky about the feel of it, the undercurrent of crude "guy fantasy" and cartoonish stereotyping, and it severely tainted my enjoyment of the book. Don't get me wrong. I've got no problem with the topic, just the ridiculous and seemingly gratuitous way it was presented.
That little rant aside, once Sandford gets done attempting to shock the reader with his "edginess" and starts doing what he does best, writing an actual mystery, Rough Country turns out to be pretty good. The second half of the book is much more enjoyable than the first. If you've never read Sandford before, I would not start here, but for fans of his it will hold you over until the next one.
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!