Twisted Prey (Lucas Davenport #28) by John Sandford
I have been with Sandford through 28 Prey novels and I look forward to the next as if I were at a buffet of seemingly endless opportunities to indulge and never disappointed with each trip to the food line, grabbing my clean plate, letting my eyes roam over the selections, filling that clean plate then returning to my table, never to be full, never needing Pepto, always enjoying the repast.
Thank you Mr. Sandford, it’s been a great ride. Next? (We constant readers can be so demanding.)
Those of us who know and love Lucas Davenport will have to wait about a year before the next Prey novel is released if history is any portent, but we know that the wait is worth it. (Neon Prey is scheduled for release in April, 2019.)
So too, was Twisted Prey.
We meet again Senator Taryn Grant of Minnesota who gained her senate seat in an earlier novel by planting false evidence on her opponent and causing a few deaths along the way. Now she’s up to her old tricks again and Lucas is called upon to investigate her in his capacity as a U.S. Marshal. He gets help from a couple of friends, Bob and Rae, also marshals. (Did Sandford think of Bob and Ray, the great comedy team when he named these two partners?) (Did he consciously create Rae in the image of Carla Windermere, the black, athletic FBI agent in the Stevens and Windermere series penned by Owen Laukkanen?)
This is a Prey series novel so we know it has blood and guts, duplicitous actions by both the good guys and the bad guys. We have humor, such as when Bob takes down an escaping felon as he stands on the corner with a bag of donuts eating one and saving Rae’s per her request. (Read the book to get the humor of the situation.) We also have Lucas realizing his age as demonstrated by his running and screaming for help when 3 bad guys attempt to mug him. Hey! He’s entitled to have some age; he’s been with us since 1989. Several of us have gone long in the tooth since then.
What makes this book different than all of the others? Nothing! Well, and a lot. The Prey novels are filled with much of the same; a smart, intuitive detective who grows, makes mistakes, sometimes walks very close to the line between legal and illegal (not that he’s ever stepped over it, oh no, not our hero. Cough, cough). But every novel brings us something new, whether it’s a new character such as Letty (see Naked Prey for her introduction), Weather, who cut his throat (read the book!) or so many of the characters that are denizens of the books. So, you see what I mean? Much of the same (which is a good thing) and lots of differences (which is also a good thing).
One great feature of this book is that after you’ve read the last page, you continue and find Sandford’s essay on writing. Once you read How To Write you can immediately join the ranks of those who wait for their Pulitzer nomination. . . and wait, and wait, and wait. It won’t teach you how to write and Sandford tells us that up front, but in it he shares, somewhat, the methods of his writing and, not unusual for him (or Stephen King as he points out) how he uses music.
If you like Lucas Davenport you won’t be disappointed with this book. If you aren’t familiar with Lucas but you like smart novels and smart detectives, you like action and thrills and a bit of dark humor, you need to read a Prey book. You don’t have to read them in order but doing so can enhance the reading as you go along.
". . . those who claim to know the Mind of God, who will tell you what God thinks and how He will judge and condemn others—those people are the greatest of all blasphemers." Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast