John Sandford published this crime thriller in 2013 and is one of his many books in this genre. It features Virgil Flowers of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension or BCA for short. He’s more like a detective for the state rather than at the local level although he was a cop in St. Paul for several years. He works out of Mankato, a small town south of the Twin Cities.
Virgil is handed an unusual case when he greets an Israeli representative from the IAA or the Israel Antiquities Authority. Her name is Yael Aronov, and she’s come to Minnesota to locate Reverend Elijah Jones, who stole a stele (pronounced stel-la) from a historical dig site in Jerusalem. Jones who lived in the area went to Israel frequently to participate in these historical digs. This was to be his last one as he was diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, Jones can’t be found. The Israelis are desperate for stele because it supposedly reveals the truth about King Solomon. The story takes a turn into confusion and chaos when a second Yael Aronov calls Flowers and shows up at the airport for the same thing. Which one is real? And where is Jones? Virgil knows he’s been back but can’t find him.
This book brought a smile to my face and kept it there. If something could go wrong, it did with hilarious and confusing results. Not only must Virgil deal with the two Israelis, the missing Jones, the Mossad, but also the potential buyers of the stele, a member of the Hezbollah, a TV celebrity, and a university professor.
I don’t see why it was called “Storm Front” since it only rained once during the book, and it didn’t help in solving the case–it only caused everyone to be wet, but okay, if that’s what the author wanted to call it. The ending was a nice twist on the entire adventure.