I was a bit scared by the amount of negative reviews this book had. Because of that, when I started reading it, I was prepared for the worst. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe it's because I'm not a long-standing fan of Sandford, have only read his previous Virgil Flowers novels, and all of them in a relatively short period of time, so I didn't have to spend years waiting for the next one, but it was very
Now, it's true, this novel is a bit different from the other Virgil Flowers books. And I understand the other people's disappointment; they were expecting something different. But different doesn't mean bad... In this case, I honestly think this was an improvement. The characters are much more fleshed out, the plot is a bit of a stretch, but it's much better rounded. The only thing I really missed was the small-town community atmosphere. (Which is a bit of a surprise to me. That was one of the things I thought I was not
going to like when I started on the series.)
It lost a bit of pace towards the end, especially on the last two chapters; maybe it would have been better to just make an epilogue and give the information in a more straightforward way. But it still kept my attention from beginning to end, and although the last part was a bit predictable, it was a nice touch.
What I definitely did not miss was the incidental misogyny. The books is not caricaturelly "politically correct" by any means, it simply does not have "women are objects" as a starting point. I have to say, it was so
refreshing not to constantly overlook this kind of thing, and not having to read blatant proselytism as an alternative. This book gets the fifth star just for that.