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Deep Freeze
Cover of Deep Freeze
Deep Freeze
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Class reunions: a time for memories—good, bad, and, as Virgil Flowers is about to find out, deadly—in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series
Virgil knows the town of Trippton, Minnesota, a little too well. A few years back, he investigated the corrupt – and as it turned out, homicidal – local school board, and now the town's back in view with more alarming news: A woman's been found dead, frozen in a block of ice. There's a possibility that it might be connected to a high school class of twenty years ago that has a mid-winter reunion coming up, and so, wrapping his coat a little tighter, Virgil begins to dig into twenty years' worth of traumas, feuds, and bad blood. In the process, one thing becomes increasingly clear to him. It's true what they say: High school is murder.
Class reunions: a time for memories—good, bad, and, as Virgil Flowers is about to find out, deadly—in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series
Virgil knows the town of Trippton, Minnesota, a little too well. A few years back, he investigated the corrupt – and as it turned out, homicidal – local school board, and now the town's back in view with more alarming news: A woman's been found dead, frozen in a block of ice. There's a possibility that it might be connected to a high school class of twenty years ago that has a mid-winter reunion coming up, and so, wrapping his coat a little tighter, Virgil begins to dig into twenty years' worth of traumas, feuds, and bad blood. In the process, one thing becomes increasingly clear to him. It's true what they say: High school is murder.
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover Chapter One


    David Birkmann sat in his living room with an empty beer can in his hand and stared sadly at his bachelor's oversized television, which wasn't turned on. A light winter wind was blowing a soft, lovely snow into the storm windows. He needed to get out to plow the drive in the morning. He wasn't thinking about that, or the winter, or the storm.
    He'd gotten away with it, he thought. That didn't make him much happier.
    David – he thought of himself as David, rather than Big Dave, Daveareeno, Daveissimo, D-Man, Chips or Bug Boy– didn't consider himself a killer. Not a real killer.
    He was simply accident-prone. Always had been.
    Accidents were one reason he'd been elected as Class of '92 funniest boy, like the totally unfunny time when he hadn't gotten the corn chips out of the vending machine in the school's junk-food niche. He'd tried to shake the bag loose and the machine had tipped over on him, pinning him to the cold ceramic tiles of Trippton High School.
    Everybody who'd seen it had laughed – the fat boy pinned like a spider under a can of peas – even before they were sure he wasn't injured.
    Even George Marx, the assistant principal in charge of discipline, had laughed. He had, nevertheless, given David fifteen days of detention, plus the additional unwanted nickname of Chips, a nickname that had hung on like a bad stink for twenty-five years.
    His own father had laughed after he found out that Trippton High School wouldn't make him pay for the damage to the vending machine.
    Big Dave, Daveareeno, Daveissimo, D-Man... Bug Boy... squashed like a bug.


    The latest accident had occurred that night, though David thought it was all perfectly explainable, if you understood the history and the overall situation. He knew that the cops wouldn't buy it.
    The history:
    First, his father was the Bug Man of Trippton, the leading pest exterminator in Buchanan County. For nine months of the year, the brightly-colored Bug Man vans were seen everywhere you'd find a bug. For the other three months, in the heart of winter, even the bugs took time off.
    David had never been the most popular kid in school and because of his father's rep, had been told to bug off or bug out when he tried to hang with the popular kids, even in elementary school. That'd become a tired thirteen-year-long joke in the trek between kindergarten and twelfth grade. He'd always laughed about it, trying to ingratiate himself with the Populars.
    He wasn't laughing, now.


    Because, second, Birkmann had fallen in love with Gina Hemming in the summer after sixth grade, when the first freshet of testosterone hit. He'd loved her all through school, and for that matter, for his entire life. How, he wondered, could that love have put him here, empty beer can in his hand, a hole in his heart?
    Hemming had been one of the Populars – too smart and arrogant to be the most popular, but right up there, with her gold locket, cashmere sweaters and low-rise fashion jeans. She had a silver ring, with a pearl, in her navel. Her father owned the largest bank in Trippton, which placed her in the local aristocracy.
    She was pretty, if not the prettiest; she had a great body, if not the greatest; and was one of two National Merit Scholars in their class, selected 1992's girl most likely to succeed. People expected great things from her, but, in the way of many small-town girls, the great things hadn't quite come true.
    ...
About the Author-
  • John Sandford is the pseudonym for the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Camp. He is the author of twenty-seven Prey novels, most recently Golden Prey; four Kidd novels, ten Virgil Flowers novels, and six other books, including three YA novels co-authored with his wife Michele Cook.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 24, 2017
    Bestseller Johnson pays homage to Agatha Christie in his cleverly plotted 13th Walt Longmire novel (after 2016’s An Obvious Fact), which takes place in both the past and the present. In 1972, Walt, an Absaroka County deputy and newly returned Vietnam War vet, joins his boss, Sheriff Lucian Connelly, for the Wyoming Sheriffs’ Association annual excursion across the state aboard the steam train Western Star. In Walt’s pocket is a copy of Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. On the train, Walt attracts the attention of Kim LeClerc, the comely companion of Sheriff George McKay, who warns the deputy to stay away from her. Soon afterward, during a station stop, someone knocks Walt out just as he’s about to reboard the train. Walt hitches a ride to the next stop, where he learns that McKay has disappeared and another sheriff has been shot dead. In the present day, Walt is opposed to the release of a serial killer, who’s dying and has been imprisoned for decades, for a personal reason that will catch readers by surprise. Witty dialogue abounds; when Kim asks Walt if he killed many babies in Vietnam, he replies, “Hardly any, they’re small… Hard to hit.” And Johnson winds up the whodunit with a solution that Christie could never have imagined. 15-city author tour. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents.

  • AudioFile Magazine Virgil Flowers goes to wintry Trippton, Minnesota, to investigate the death of the town's bank president, whose body was found in the icy river. Narrator Eric Conger reprises his portrayal of Flowers, who is somehow simultaneously irascible and mellow as he puzzles through the list of possible murderers. Conger's masculine voice is a satisfying choice for Flowers, especially the detective's dry humor surrounding the subplot of a secret ring with plans to manufacture X-rated Barbie dolls. Flowers is annoyed with the California lawyer brought in by Mattel, Inc., and her lack of appreciation for the state he reveres. Snappy conversations keep the story hopping, and Sandford's style of tagging the dialogue is key in helping listeners keep the characters straight. Conger delivers a straight, enjoyable narration. N.M.C. � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine
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Deep Freeze
Deep Freeze
John Sandford
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