Author John Sandford has been writing the thriller crime series Prey starting in 1989 featuring Lucas Davenport as the protagonist. Lucas Davenport’s career has evolved over the past 30 years from a detective with the Minneapolis Police Department to an investigator for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), to his current role as United States marshal.
I have listened to the whole series, I did not start in 1989, but caught up to the new release about 5 years ago. I really enjoy Sandford’s writing style, which, as you would expect, has evolved over the course of 30 years. This evolution has resulted in me always getting excited for the annual release of the latest story.
From Audible: The daughter of a US Senator is monitoring her social media presence when she finds a picture of herself on a strange blog. And there are other pictures…of the children of other influential Washington politicians, walking or standing outside their schools, each identified by name. Surrounding the photos are texts of vicious political rants from a motley variety of radical groups.
It’s obviously alarming – is there an unstable extremist tracking the loved ones of powerful politicians with deadly intent? But when the FBI is called in, there isn’t much the feds can do. The anonymous photographer can’t be pinned down to one location or IP address, and more importantly, at least to the paper-processing bureaucrats, no crime has actually been committed. With nowhere else to turn, influential Senators decide to call in someone who can operate outside the FBI’s constraints: Lucas Davenport.
Did the book deliver on its promise – The story claims to involve vulnerable youth and definitely touches on issues of racial discrimination, these are definitely a main focus throughout the story. This book was a fast paced thriller, not quite what I would call a page turner as it did have some scenes that dragged, overall had a good pace that was able to hold my interest. I might be biased as I am heavily invested 29 books deep into the Prey series, but I do believe the book delivered on its promised.
What was my personal takeaway – Sandford’s writing style typically shows the reader the crime, usually a murder, then you watch the good guys chase down the bad guys. This story follow this theme and makes for a very disturbing scene early in the book. The protagonist is Lucas Davenport, a very likable maverick who is independently wealthy, and work for justice. The antagonist character is developed in such a way that by the end you have developed a genuine dislike for. Another aspect that usually shows up in these novels is some form of Collateral damage. This does happen in this story and adds to your dislike for the antagonist. The ending left me not too surprised but satisfied with the crime being resolved and almost everyone getting what they deserve. There is a twist at the end that definitely make the book worth hanging around until the end.
Did the narrator help the story – Richard Ferrone has narrated the entire series, at this point, after 30 books, I am not sure I could accept another narrator’s voice for Lucas Davenport. He does an adequate job with the various voices, although I think he has always been a little weak with female voices as I sometimes find myself losing track of female characters. When I first started this series I was kind of put off by the narration of Richard Ferrone, but enjoyed the characters and stories enough to stick with the series. Over time he has become a familiar voice and I find he definitely carries the story enough to add an entertainment value to the audiobook.
Would I recommend this book – I choose this book because I have been reading the series. I do recommend the entire series, although you don’t need to have read the entire series to enjoy any of these book on an individual bases. Sandford does a great job in each novel giving a little back story to bring new readers up to date with the introduction of longstanding characters.