“One of [the] best” (Orlando Sentinel) Lucas Davenport Novels—now with a New Introduction by the Author.
Clara Rinker is twenty-eight, beautiful, charmingly southern—and the best hit woman in the business. She just goes about her business, collects her money, and goes home. Her latest hit sounds simple: a defense attorney wants a rival eliminated. No problem—until a witness survives. Clara usually knows how to deal with loose ends: cut them off, one by one, until they're all gone. This time, there’s one loose end that’s hard to shake.
Lucas Davenport has no idea of the toll this case is about to take on him. Clara knows his weak spots. She knows how to penetrate them, and how to use them. And when a woman like Clara has the advantage, no one is safe.
For all his brooding, Minneapolis cop Lucas Davenport lacks the charisma of, say, Robert B. Parker's Spenser or James Patterson's Alex Cross. The vast popularity of the Prey novels is probably due, then, not so much to this dependable hero as to Sandford's clever plotting, sure pacing and fully rounded villains--as well as his smart prose. As if acknowledging his series' hero's unflashy demeanor, Sandford, in his 10th Prey book (after Secret Prey), allows two gleefully unrecalcitrant female antagonists to steal the show from Davenport. Clara Rinker's life as a murderer and mob hit woman begins when she is raped at age 16 and beats her assailant dead with a baseball bat. Years later, the other femme fatale, sociopathic Minneapolis defense lawyer Carmel Loan, hires Rinker to kill the wife of property attorney Hale Allen, whom Carmel desires; within days, she has Hale in bed. The storyline spools out as a cat-and-mouse among the women and Davenport, with the villainesses dominating the action, sometimes in tangential scenes. When the junkie who connected Carmel to Rinker blackmails the pair, for instance, Carmel tortures him with an electric drill as Rinker watches. The action doesn't always wash: Davenport tumbles to Carmel's involvement too easily, and Carmel's ferocious response to being framed by Davenport redefines the term "over the top." The play between the two women, who bond like sisters, is as fascinating as the courtship of venomous lizards, and the novel's background hum--comprised of various amatory rustlings, forensic and legal ploys, and maneuvers among cops, FBI agents, mobsters and the killers--is rich in authentic detail. While not the pseudonymous Sandford's best, (he is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Camp) this is a swift, satisfying entry in a series with long, muscular legs. 300,000 first printing; $300,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection; author tour. FYI: Mind Prey was adapted into a TV movie, John Sandford's Mind Prey, which aired on ABC in March .
Customer ReviewsSee All
A fast, fun crime read. Somewhat bloody, but has smart bad-guys/women. Lucas Davenport is, of course, smarter.
Best so far
This is the 10th book & the best of the Prey series
Onward to number 11