The spirit of time; general trend of though or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time.
To rout, as from a place
1. While describing how Carlita Peterson's crime scene looked it painted a very vivid picture in my mind as to how she looked.
"Peterson's throat had been slashed; that had been the killing stoke. But after she'd been killed, she'd been gutted, and her empty body, slashed from throat to anus with a cutting tool, hung in the cool sill morning air." (page 274)
2. Figurative language is also used when describing how the body of Charlie Pope was found. Again, this helps paint us a picture of what the fisherman had found stuck at the bottom of the Minnesota River; Pope's decaying body.
As the story proceeds forward, the theme is now fully in motion. The theme is obviously mystery and the following of a murder case. Now that they have found the body of next victim they are needing to pick up the pace quickly. Since they have now have realized that he's being more uncontrolled with is killings they now need to find him ASAP. But after a discovery made in the Minnesota River, their entire investigation is thrown off balance when they realize that Charlie Pope has been dead for the past month or so.