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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Night Prey by John Sandford (Davenport #6)

Night Prey (Lucas Davenport, #6)Night Prey by John Sandford

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this as an audiobook.

From Publishers Weekly: In this sixth entry in his Prey series, streetwise Minneapolis deputy police chief Lucas Davenport is beleaguered by perplexing females. Charged with saving the political life of Rose Marie Roux, the ambitious police chief who has her eye on a Senate seat, he's given the assignment of tracking to ground the sex-crazed perpetrator of a series of murders of young women. Davenport's unwelcome colleague in this case is feminist Meagan Connell, an abrasive State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator who's obsessed with catching the killer before she dies of cancer. Also bedeviled by the ill-timed assignment of a new partner, a yuppie who was formerly assigned to the grade schools as ``Officer Friendly'' and who happens to be the husband of the mayor's niece, Davenport is additionally saddled with the mystifying death of an elderly woman who died rather conveniently, freeing some local hoods to profit from a real-estate scam. Juxtaposing the dark consciousness of the sex-fixated murderer against the narrative perspective of Davenport, Sandford builds a compelling counter-rhythm of suspense. The narrative is sensitively embued with Davenport's humaneness as, in awe, he watches Connell courageously fight to postpone her impending death. Yet, credibly flawed, the cop also displays a roving eye when he's momentarily distracted from his deep commitment to the lovely physician Weather Karkinnen by a beautiful and seductive TV anchor.

My thoughts: I lost patience with the antagonist - Ray Coup - about half way into the book. About two thirds of the way through, after spending a night with Coup on a rooftop as he spied on "His woman" with another man, agonizing over this horrible development and then go just totally nutzo, I started skipping the bits with Coup. Yes, he's psycho. We've established that. The rest just became filler and rather dull filler at that.

We already know Davenport's a womanizer. It should come as no surprise to anyone when he starts to make eyes at a sexy reporter after having moved in with Weather. I wasn't entirely convinced his State counterpart - Megan Connell - was plausible as a character. I don't want to reveal more as her bit is someone integral to Davenports character development in this book.

Lastly, we start out with several sub-plots in addition to the main, then they just...dropped off. Plop! Like that. I think less psycho/stalker driving around aimlessly in his car and more sub-plot carry through would have made this a stronger book.

However, lest you think this one might be a 'skipper' - I liked the ending. It was getting there that was problematic for me.

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