Title: Stolen Prey
Review: Even for John Sandford and the entire Prey series, this book was violent. People are killed in long torturous ways, and by people I mean families. The saddest part of the whole horrendous crime is it is based in reality. The author did not exaggerate.
The story opens up with the violent murder of a well to do family by a Mexican drug gang. Given the viciousness of the crime Lucas and his cohorts are immediately brought in to solve this case before any more victims can pile up. The most important message of this book is not to get involved in gangs, and especially do not try to cross them. These guys are not playing around when it comes to their business. They have escalated the level of violence so high in Mexico now there isn’t a soft option when it comes to a response.
In classic police procedural fashion Davenport and crew slowly begin to uncover the facts of the case and through realistic action they slowly plod there way through the clues. It is in these small steps that Sandford is a master of the genre; never taking giant leaps of logic to advance the plot. The real genius of the series is how he managed to make such a hard guy like Lucas be so likable at the same time.
The only downside is the side plot involving Virgil Flowers, one of the detectives working for Davenport (and the star of his own book series too). Davenport managed to get mugged at the ATM and he puts the f@#$ing Flowers on the case. There is always an element of gallows humor in the books and usually it’s interwoven into the main story a little better. With the graphically violent nature of the main story this plot was just too jarring and out of place. I can appreciate what the author was going for but it wasn’t working for me.
Stolen Prey was a good book, and it is a fantastic series. You can start anywhere, but if you are like me you will soon find yourself wanting to catch up with all 22 books. It is American police procedural at its best.
Quick Review: 4 stars out of 5
Why I Read It: I love crime fiction and it is based in my home state of Minnesota – what’s not to love. Plus I have kept up with entire series (this is book 22).
Where I Obtained the Book: At my local library
Synopsis: Lucas Davenport has seen many terrible murder scenes. This is one of the worst. In the small Minnesota town of Wayzata, an entire family has been killed—husband, wife, two daughters, dogs.
There’s something about the scene that pokes at Lucas’s cop instincts—it looks an awful lot like the kind of scorched-earth retribution he’s seen in drug killings sometimes. But this is a seriously upscale town, and the husband was an executive vice president at a big bank. It just doesn’t seem to fit.
Until it does. And where it leads Lucas will take him into the darkest nightmare of his life.
Author Biography: John Sandford was born John Camp on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended the public schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. He then spent four years at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor's degree in American Studies in 1966. In 1966, he married Susan Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, a fellow student at the University of Iowa. He was in the U.S. Army from 1966-68, worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian from 1968-1970, and went back to the University of Iowa from 1970-1971, where he received a master's degree in journalism. He was a reporter for The Miami Herald from 1971-78, and then a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press from 1978-1990; in 1980, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis. From 1990 to the present he has written thriller novels. He's also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art. He is the principal financial backer of a major archeological project in the Jordan Valley of Israel, with a website at www.rehov.org In addition to archaeology, he is deeply interested in art (painting) and photography. He both hunts and fishes. He has two children, Roswell and Emily, and one grandson, Benjamin. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007, and is greatly missed.