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Bloody Genius

A Virgil Flowers Novel, Book 12
Written by: John Sandford
Narrated by: Eric Conger
Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Virgil Flowers will have to watch his back - and his mouth - as he investigates a college culture war turned deadly in another one of Sandford's "madly entertaining Virgil Flowers mysteries" (New York Times Book Review).

At the local state university, two feuding departments have faced off on the battleground of science and medicine. Each carries their views to extremes that may seem absurd, but highly educated people of sound mind and good intentions can reasonably disagree, right? 

Then a renowned and confrontational scholar winds up dead, and Virgil Flowers is brought in to investigate...and as he probes the recent ideological unrest, he soon comes to realize he's dealing with people who, on this one particular issue, are functionally crazy. Among this group of wildly impassioned, diametrically opposed zealots lurks a killer, and it will be up to Virgil to sort the murderer from the mere maniacs. 

©2019 John Sandford (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“Compulsively readable... Readers who like a bit of unrepentant wiseass in their sleuths will find Flowers fits the bill. Sandford makes blending humor and mystery look easy.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Flowers remains one of the great modern fictional detectives, and Sandford, as always, supplies amazing secondary characters, sharp dialogue, and plots that confound and amaze. A near-perfect crime novel.” (Booklist, starred) 

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Might be time to retire Virgil

Virgie is losing his edge. . Needs to go home, work the farm, take care of the babies and finish his novel. He might even revive Sandford and Burke. He is a poet after all.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great as usual.

Every book in this series is great This is one of the better ones to listen to.

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  • shelley
  • 2019-10-01

Virgil calls in some old friends...

A Minneapolis medical research professor is murdered in a University library. Virgil Flowers is called in to help when the local police hit a brick wall in their investigation. Initially resistant and not quite getting Virgil’s sense of humor, he tells the Chief of Police that he’s not interested in taking any credit when the case is solved, which at first he thinks will take a day. After all how many enemies could one professor make? In this guy’s case many. He has two ex wives and a current wife. He has money, he’s involved with prostitutes, drugs, a daughter who butted heads with him, blackmail and more. There are so many red herrings that throughout the story you change your mind about the killer at least five or more times. I didn’t see who it was until the person was actually revealed and then said Oh Yeah, of course because the clues are there all along.
Eric Conger does an excellent job narrating.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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51 of 56 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • cheryl nicholson
  • 2019-10-07

Just ok.

Just ok. I've read all the Sanford books through the years and I've enjoyed the Virgil character. This book was disappointing. Not terrible, not a page Turner either. Just ok.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Booklover Bob
  • 2019-10-05

Disappointing addition to a great series

Found the plot uninteresting with unmemorable characters. While book just felt flat to me...whereas previous Flowers books I have enjoyed immensely.
For me it lacked the underlying wit and repartee between Flowers and those around him. This book reminded me of seeing a concert with a performer that usually highly entertains but puts on only a pedestrian performance.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-10-15

Not Sanford's best work by a long shot

Starts weird, and basically goes nowhere. Very limited suspense. usually love most of Sanford's books, but this one is a miss.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonathan
  • 2019-10-07

Ummmm... Are you there John Sanford?

As with the Davenport thrillers, I anxiously await the new Flowers installment immediately upon finishing the last. Ive been counting down the days for this one for the past month. Yuck. Where is the Virgil we all know and love? This character is not “him”. As another reviewer observed, *all* the characters are flat. The book jumps all over the place, which would have been fine if they would have followed up on any of the directions it turned. Yes, he discovers the culprit, but you’re left hanging on the several other plot lines he opens in the process, including stumbling across another murderer and his reaction is to say “meh, it’s not the one I’m personally pursuing, so screw it.” That is not Virgil’s style. And where is Johnson Johnson? Also, (***spoiler alert**) ——- is Frankie going to be pregnant for 2 years? Highly annoyed that it wasn’t included in this book... they announced it a year ago in last years Flowers novel, and “checked in” on the situation during April’s release of the Davenport installment, soooo... What gives? Anticlimactic, flat, missing the old Virgil - the depth of relationships he always develops with the characters around him, his nightly thoughts of God and “what it all means and why”, and .. well.. he’s cranky. Will the real John Sandford please stand up? Oh, and bring the real Virgil back upon your return.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • sandy ryland
  • 2019-11-28

One of his best.

Love Virgil Flowers. One of John Sanford’s best characters. Great story.
Interesting intertwined casts of multi characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • rxfish
  • 2019-10-12

Not up to snuff

this book is not as good as some past novels. As time goes by it seems Sanford uses more and more profanity. Even though it seems to be a sign of the times and I am far from a prude, it does not do much to add to the story. It seems authors in general are putting out too many books to make a buck, rather than the quality of some of their previous works.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 2019-10-07

Love Virgil Flowers......but not this story

I always look forward to the latest Virgil Flowers book, but this one was a huge disappointment. The world of academics is confusing (and boring) enough, but then to throw in another even more challenging story line put this book over the top. I stayed with it until the end just to find out "who did it" and that was nuts.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 2019-10-02

TERRIFIC!

I could not put it down. One of Sandford's best. Can't wait until the next one.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathryn
  • 2019-10-14

Great characters but impossible language

There is so much gratuitous filthy language in this book that it is nearly impossible to hear. The characters and story line are great but the potty mouth kills it for me.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful