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Stolen Prey Hardcover – May 15, 2012
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“If you haven’t read Sandford, you have been missing one of the great summer-read novelists of all time. Lucas Davenport, the policeman hero of the Prey novels, is a hard dude . . . but not without a sense of humor, and that makes him special. Sandford writes real-guy novels, but—judging by my wife and her sisters—real girls like him too.”
“Sandford’s ability to sustain this perfect series [. . .] must be a cause of envy to other writers, but grateful readers greet the annual appearance of Minnesota cop Lucas Davenport with joy, then plan for a sleepless, page-turning night.”
“Sandford’s talent is such that this series never grows stale, or boring, or forgettable. As author and hero age, readers can hope that the best is yet to be.”
About the Author
John Sandford is a Pulitzer Prize winner and the author of twenty-two Prey novels and eleven other works of fiction, most recently the Virgil Flowers novel Shock Wave. He lives in Minnesota.
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"Lucas's job at the BCA was mostly self-invented, and included politically sensitive cases, or cases that might attract a lot of media attention." When a pair of tweekers rob him at an ATM, breaking his wrist and damaging his ego, he embarks on a long term mission to find them. This is put on the back burner when the superintendent of the BCA calls - a case that is definitely going to be in the spotlight needs Davenport's skills. An entire family has been found murdered - slaughtered really, tortured in unimaginable ways. Lucas's investigation leads places no one saw coming - this isn't just a spree killer. It looks like a Mexican gang hit. What could this software engineer have done to bring this wrath on his family? Soon enough the DEA and a pair of Mexican Federales are also on the case. But everyone seems to have their own priorities concerning the case.....
I've always enjoyed Lucas and his irreverent flaunting of the rules. He's getting older and little mellower, but still has no problem side stepping protocol to get things done. I love the barbed banter between himself and team members Del Capslock, Jensen and Shrake, but no Davenport book is complete without Virgil Flowers. Those tweekers robbing ATM's? Flowers has been put to work on the case - which seems to be leading to stolen.....horse manure?
"Somewhere along the line, it occurred to him that he hadn't spoken to Virgil Flowers. He'd probably taken the day off, and knowing Flowers, he'd done it in a boat. The thing about Flowers was, in Lucas's humble opinion, you could send him out for a loaf of bread and he'd find an illegal bread cartel smuggling in heroin-saturated wheat from Afghanistan. Either that, or he'd be fishing in a muskie tournament, on government time. You had to keep an eye on him."
I have expressed doubts about Davenport's adopted daughter Letty in past books, but my opinion has changed. She's definitely growing on me and I think we'll see more of her in future books.
As always, Sandford has concocted a whip smart, action filled plot with lots of threads to keep your finger on. He employs a great twist that caught me unawares part way through.
I have enjoyed this series from book one and nothing has changed - I still eagerly await every new entry from one of my favourite authors - and curse myself when I finish it in a day!
I noticed two things in this novel that were different from John Sandford's previous works. One is that he no longer fleshes out the characters he continues to use in his series. New readers are advised to read his previous efforts to learn what the history of these characters are and what they bring to the story. The other aspect is the great detail that Mr. Sandford went into to describe the atrocities committed by his Mexican criminals against a husband, his wife, and their two children. While this may be timely based on the horrors we have read about currently used south of the border, it is hard to read when you take the place of the father watching his wife and children being abused and tortured--and then being dismembered himself. All of this occuring without any gain by the criminals.
With all the news reports we now receive about beheading, limbs removed, mass graves and other atrocities, this might be natural for a writer to stay current with the times we are in. I just hope that we don't become so exposed to this that it appears to be "normal".