Better than Davenport

Dark of the Moon  - John Sandford

I do like this series better than the Sandford's long-running Davenport books, which has become a bit too redundant. This title is the first of the series. Virgil Flowers is with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (kind of a state FBI but with a totally weird name - it really exists.) He has has been sent by Davenport (head of the BCA who always makes cameo appearances in the Flowers' novels) to investigate the killing of a local physician and his wife. The murders have the feel of a revenge killing. On his way there, on the outskirts of town, he stops to watch a fire of the Judd residence. Judd had been hated by most everyone in the community and it's clear the fire is an arson; the amount of accelerants estimated to have been some 20 cans of gasoline used to get things going. That had me wondering. I've lit a pile of brush sprinkled with about a quart of gasoline and damn near singed my eyebrows when it went off. The idea of spreading gasoline around a house with pilot lights etc., and then lighting it makes me wonder how anyone could have done that and escaped injury.) As the investigation progresses, another man and his wife are killed and Virgil is scrambling to find a link between them. 

We briefly see the killings from the point-of-view of the killer, (totally unnecessary, I thought) identified only as Moon which may be a link to a Man-on-the-Moon party that had happened many years earlier or perhaps it relates to the victims all being staged to face to the east. No one knows, but one old senile woman keeps mentioning the man-on-the-moon.

Couple all of that with the DEA and a meth-lab bust, not to mention a local church devoted to a whites only message, a sheriff who wants to get re-elected, one suspect the sheriff is dating and another Virgil is sleeping with who happens to be the sheriff's sister, and you have an explosive mix.

I listened to this. Excellently read by Eric Conger.