Oh, a churchpeoplewhohomeschooldunit.
Well, it’s not as bad as all that, but you do kind of start keeping score about how many bad guys would be likely to vote Republican, don’t you? In this particular novel, the bad guys are a bunch of people in a free-lovin’ (and “free-lovin'” includes children) religious group out in the hinterlands. Some kid, a gay football star held back from college ball by an injury, kills a farmer at a grain elevator, which in turn leads to a deputy who’s in the free-lovin’ church killing him, who leads to someone killing the deputy to silence him. Virgil Flowers comes to southwest Minnesota to investigate and to romance the lady sheriff in town.
As with Sandford novels, the action jumps between the good guys and the bad guys, so you know whodunit and why very early in the book, and the real puzzle is how the cops will prove it and deal with the political fallout. Frankly, it’s a bit of a narrative cop-out, no pun intended, but it does keep the plot moving along (and the writing of the novel, I’m sure). This book hits a bang-bang climax, but that’s not the climax. Instead, like the book Painted Ladies, we end up with a later ‘climax’ where it comes down to a dysfunctional family resolution wherein the protagonist is present, but really is only a witness to something happening, which is also dissatisfying.
So it’s a disappointing book overall, but it’s paced well. So you might not mind the disappointing elements if you don’t think about them too much or if your taste varies from mine.