32 Books in 32 Days – Day Twelve: Rough Country

Each day leading up to the April 17 announcement of the 22nd Annual Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today, we feature


Genre Fiction Finalist,
Rough Country
John Sandford

While competing in a fishing tournament in a remote area of Minnesota, Virgil Flowers of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is called on to investigate a murder at a nearby resort. The resort is for women only to relax, exercise, recover from plastic surgery, and commune with nature – but Flowers soon discovers an undercurrent of jealousy, blackmail, greed, anger and fear, and that this isn’t the first murder.


John Sandford began his career as a journalist as a crime reporter for The Miami Herald, then as a general reporter, columnist, and features writer for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch. In 1986, he won the Pulitzer Prize for “Life on the Land: An American Farm Family,” a five-part series examining the farm crisis in southwest Minnesota. He began writing fiction in the mid-1980s, and is the author of nineteen Prey novels and eight other books including two Virgil Flowers novels. Although he is no longer a full-time journalist, Camp occasionally contributes articles and book reviews to various publications. He is also a passionate archaeologist and has worked at a number of digs, mainly in Israel.


“Is there any thriller novelist presently writing who has been as consistently effective as John Sandford? In addition to terrific writing, Sandford’s latest Virgil Flowers mystery, Rough Country demonstrates a balance of fine plotting, characterization, and description. Add to this some well-handled humor, and a rhythm that is well suited to reading aloud.” – Minnesota Book Awards Judge

“Best-selling author Sandford seems to be having more fun these days with Flowers than Davenport, the protagonist in the long-running Prey series. And why not? Each of Flowers’ cases reveals more quirks, more depth, and a wicked sense of the absurd, as well as an investigator who can be as analytical as Nero Wolfe and as tough as everybody’s favorite Boston badass, Spenser. Great entertainment.” – Wes Lukowsky, Booklist


Award winners will be announced at the 22nd Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 17, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in downtown Saint Paul. The opening reception begins at 6:30 p.m.; followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 and are available by clicking here or calling 651-222-3242.

Have you read Rough Country? What are your thoughts? Did you vote for the Readers’ Choice Award? We welcome your comments!

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