Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
From my personal library (read in Sony Reader format)
Rating: 4 - Really liked this
Storm Prey is number twenty in John Sanford's Prey series. Rules of Prey, published in 1989, is the first book in the series. It introduced our hero Lucas Davenport, a Minneapolis cop. Davenport is my favorite character in the mystery genre. He's intelligent, funny, sexy, fearless and perfectly smooth. Davenport is a man of appetites.
Storm Prey was published 20 years after Rules of Prey and finds Davenport promoted to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. His wife is Weather Karkinnen - the most fabulous name ever, yes? She is a plastic surgeon and saved Davenport's life a few books ago by performing an emergency tracheotomy in the middle of nowhere on a frigid Minnesota winter night.
Storm Prey begins with the robbery of a pharmacy in the hospital where Weather practices. As the robbers are making their escape from the parking garage Weather pulls in and gets a good look at them. The robbers decide to eliminate the only witness. Lucas calls in all of the old characters, Shrake, Del, Virgil Flowers, Jenkins, to protect Weather. At this point the book takes off and the suspense doesn't let up as Lucas and his merry men take off in pursuit of the bad guys.
There is a subplot involving an operation to separate conjoined twins in which Weather is a key member of the surgical team. I'm not sure why this subplot is necessary. I found it a little distracting. The author is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and obviously did his homework regarding the separation of conjoined twins. A little research of my own finds that Sandford published a book in 1989 titled Plastic Surgery: The Kindest Cut. Perhaps this is where he got his inspiration.
My favorite thing about these books, besides my crush on Davenport, is the dialogue. It is quick, funny, smart and fun to read. Sandford describes the robbers as "hard men." Spare but enough. In the context of that scene you know exactly what he means. Another hallmark of the Prey books is the bad guys. They are multi-dimensional. They have pasts and personalities and you can see the pathology of their thinking. The author spent a month at a prison in Minnesota interviewing inmates. He came to the conclusion, stated in an interview, that most criminals turn out ultimately to be mundane; nothing special, although they would dearly like to believe they are.
I highly recommend this book (and the entire Prey series) for fans of quality mysteries. And for what it's worth I would read the Prey series again and that's very rare for me.
Also, as a cool tidbit, I have included a link to a list of Lucas Davenport's favorite songs from Sandford's web site. Enjoy! http://www.johnsandford.org/prey16x1.html