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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Naked Prey by John Sandford (Davenport #14)

Naked Prey (Lucas Davenport, #14)Naked Prey by John Sandford

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From Goodreads:  When twelve-year-old muskrat trapper Letty West stumbles on the naked bodies of Jane Warr and Deon Cash, deep in the snowy woods of northern Minnesota, it's more than another bizarre episode in her already unusual life, as Lucas Davenport discovers in this new outing in Sandford's popular series featuring the midwestern lawman who moonlights as a computer game designer. Lucas has a new wife, a new baby, and a new job as a political troubleshooter for his old boss Rose Marie Roux, but the blunt-spoken Davenport's instructions to hush the racially charged implications of what looks suspiciously like a lynching won't deter him from whomever left Warr and Cash twisting in the wind. The well-peopled plot, involving a hot car ring, an ex-nun who smuggles cancer drugs over the Canadian border, and the usual internecine wranglings between the FBI, the local cops, and Davenport, races to a satisfying denouement, but this time it's a little girl with a difficult past and an uncertain future who lingers in the reader's mind. Fortunately, Sandford comes up with an ending that makes it all but certain that his fans will meet her again.

This selection was reminiscent of #12, where the murderer inferred the worst from something he saw, and started killing people in an attempt to cover his tracts and to point the investigating authorities in another direction.  I know there are other books in the Davenport series that utilize the same plot devise, I'm just not recalling them at the moment.  My complaint would be, don't use this particular method so much. 

Naked Prey felt more convoluted than previous books.  Kidnapping, murder, prescription drug running, car thefts, it was almost...unbelievable.  And I think Sandford attempted to convey that in his book through Davenport and Capslock, who kept asking if it was realistic to have two major crimes happen in one small remote prairie town. However, it didn't quite jive for me.

Oddly enough, as gruesome as the murders are portrayed (hanging, bashing heads in, shooting and burning), the thing that squicked me out the most was the description of our murderer digging a bullet out of his chest.  Had me cringing the entire drive home and I'm not a squeamish person.

I also found the character of Letty annoying, but I'm not a kid person, so the whole 'nesting' thing just didn't grab me. 

Ultimately, I enjoyed this even if I was snorting in disbelief and didn't like the kid.  It was a quick read even on audiobook.

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