John Sandford is the pseudonym for the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Camp. He is the author of twenty-six Prey novels, most recently Extreme Prey; four Kidd novels; nine Virgil Flowers novels; three YA novels coauthored with his wife, Michele Cook; and three stand-alones, most recently Saturn Run.
Detective Lucas Davenport, happily married to Weather and father to nine-month-old Sam and guardian to 12-year-old Letty, now runs the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Office of Regional Research. With the murder of a Russian seaman in Duluth uncovering some Soviet-era spies, Lucas and Russian agent Nadya Kalin decide to conduct an investigation. More people die, and the story weaves back and forth between what appears to be a dormant and forgotten Soviet network and attempts on Lucas's and Nadya's lives. For the most part, this is an old-fashioned thriller, with plenty of action and many intriguing characters, made more entertaining with flashes of humor and an overall quick pace. Yet some listeners may find the complex story line less than satisfying. Still, Richard Ferrone's clear and well-paced reading adds to the suspenseful atmosphere. Recommended.-Denise A. Garofalo, Astor Home for Children, Rhinebeck, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Det. Lucas Davenport has battled some real demons over the past 15 Prey novels and drifted in and out of lust and love with a host of women. But now he's happily married to the lovely Weather; has a nine-month-old son, Sam; and takes care of his 12-year-old ward, Letty West. Sure, he's got a measure of the old angst, but he's growing accustomed to the good life, spending quality time alone on the couch drinking beer and watching TV golf. His new job is running the Office of Regional Research at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension where he looks into various crimes and "fixes shit" for the governor. So when a dead Russian shows up on the docks in Duluth, Lucas is assigned to shepherd the lady investigator, Nadya Kalin, being sent by the Russian government. From the very first pages, the reader knows it's teenager Carl Walther who has killed the Russian. What makes the book intriguing is the manner in which the sagacious Davenport goes about uncovering the rest of the co-conspirators-a gang of Minnesota-based Communist spies headed by Carl's grandpa, 92-year-old ex-KGB colonel Burt Walther. That Sandford makes this unlikely plot believable is a mark of his mastery of the technical aspects of the mystery form and a testament to his overall writing skills. Readers will be pleased with this relaxed version of the moody Minneapolis investigator. In past novels, the womanizing Davenport would have romanced the good-looking Russian lady, but the new Davenport is content to play the part of friend and protector and go back to his cozy family with an unstained and remarkably contented soul. (May 11) Forecast: Expect this to hit #1-Sandford's last Prey book, Naked Prey, opened at the top of the Times bestseller list and was only knocked to #2 by The Da Vinci Code. 500,000 first printing; main selection of the Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, Mystery Guild; 10-city author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"Eerily suspenseful."--Entertainment Weekly
"Vintage Sandford--a tough, intriguing story wrapped around an equally tough and intriguing cop."--Chicago Tribune
"Skillfully blends dark humor and the macabre in scenes worthy of a Coen brothers' movie...pure delight."--Orlando Sentinel
"Deft, action-packed, and slyly funny. Just when you thought the silky smooth Sandford couldn't possibly get better, he does."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"The plot unfolds sharply, holding you relentlessly until its superb denouement. Sandford's writing is as spare and direct as a Minnesota winter landscape, and his characters crackle with life...[Davenport] is the pounding heart of the novel."--The Associated Press