Sandford gets to rewrite the Lucas Davenport series when penning new stories featuring Virgil Flowers, a younger, more spritely, enigmatic cop. He's also a ladies man, allowing Sandford to interject his vibrant narrative, consistently delivering interesting and smile-producing outlooks on relationships. The Flowers series (and this is the second) allows more freedom with the central character and this is fully utilised in Heat Lightning, where both Flowers' youth and sexual appetite are both factors in how the plot develops. The crime in question is, as usual for a Sandford novel, a series of steps to capture an anonymous killer and is potentially confusing if the book is not read in a small timeframe. The finale is of high calibre, a well choreographed set-piece which is certainly entertaining. Heat Lightning is a competent crime thriller, with interesting characters as well as smart and entertaining writing, however it's potentially too complex at times and a little dry going in the middle.