cover image Deep Freeze

Deep Freeze

John Sandford. Putnam, $29 (400p) ISBN 978-0-399-17606-7

Sandford’s fine 10th Virgil Flowers novel takes the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent back to the little Mississippi River town of Trippton, the setting for 2014’s Deadline. A fisherman has discovered the ice-covered body of banker Gina Hemmings in the river near the outflow from the Trippton sewage plant. Meanwhile, the governor asks Virgil to locate Jesse McGovern, who supposedly has been manufacturing obscene Barbie Dolls—“Barbie Os”—in Trippton, though no one in the town has heard of her. Identifying the killer (who is known to the reader) in the Hemming case isn’t any easier for Virgil than tracking down Jesse and stopping the production and sale of Barbie Os. Along the way to the satisfying ending, Virgil displays the rough humor and rough justice that make him such an appealing character. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Oct.)