A guilty pleasure is a source of enjoyment one might not wish to make public knowledge. Looking forward to reading early morning tweets from a particular prominent individual might be one example. Reading a new John Sanford novel, however, is not a guilty pleasure; it is simply a pleasure…a great one.
I have been reading Sanford’s novel since the beginning of his career. I began with the Prey series featuring Lucas Davenport, which started with Rules of Prey in 1989. The 28th offering, Twisted Prey, is the subject of this review. I enjoy reading novels in paper form and in Sanford’s case, I want to help him keep food on the table, so I buy his books in hardback format. So, I have a shelf of his Prey novels that go back to Winter Prey, which appeared in 1993, and not farther because Hurricane Andrew, which left my family homeless, also destroyed my library of novels. I also enjoy Sanford’s Virgil Flowers series, which now amounts to 10 entries. Virgil and Lucas sometimes show up in one another’s novels.
Sanford’s novels are written in a really compelling way. They are well-plotted and -paced and have characters that are well-drawn, the kind that one might like to sit down with for a drink or two. Lucas Davenport is an old friend, but now that he is a US Marshal he works with a duo of other marshals known as Bob and Rae. If one is old enough, the names spark a memory of the American comedy team of Bob and Ray, popular on the radio and television over a five-decade period. So, Davenport’s sidekicks will never be Rae and Bob because of their origin, even though Rae is the more interesting character.
The plot of Twisted Prey should be of interest to any reader who likes thriller novels. This plot also brings back a character from an earlier Prey novel who did not have to answer for her crimes. She is a US Senator. Some might find it difficult to believe that any of our elected officials actually might be severely psychopathic (wink, wink), but this particular senator is so bedeviled.
Now that I have finished this novel, I am wondering if there isn’t another book out there waiting to be written, tentatively entitled “Asocial Service: The Role of Sociopathy in American Politics.” My suggestion in only partially tongue-in-cheek, so if there is an interested mental health worker out there who is stimulated creatively by my suggestion, then by all means, have at it. Before that person begins writing, however, I suggest that he or she read Twisted Prey first, as I do suggest also to anyone interested in very well-written novels of suspense.