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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Broken Prey by John Sandford (Davenport #16)

Broken Prey (Lucas Davenport, #16)Broken Prey by John Sandford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb: The first body is of a young woman, found on a Minneapolis riverbank, her throat cut, her body scourged and put on display. Whoever did this, Lucas Davenport knows, is pushed by brain chemistry. There is something wrong with him. This isn’t a bad love affair.

The second body is found three weeks later, in a farmhouse six miles south. Same condition, same display—except this time it is a man. Nothing to link the two victims, nothing to indicate that the killings end here.

“This guy…” Lucas said. He took a deep breath, let it out as a sigh. “This guy is going to bust our chops.”

And soon he is going to do far, far worse than that…

Broken Prey has a well woven plot with fascinating complexities that had me wondering how all the threads were going to come together.  'Read' as an audiobook.

I especially applaud in the first section of the book, having the murderer 'check in' with the Star Trib reporter instead of a running an internal monologue where the reader can see what he's up to.  I'm not wild about the plot device where the reader is exposed to what the antagonist is thinking and doing and in this particular book, the antagonist is a creep.  But about 2/3 of the way through, that changed, and I have to reluctantly admit, I don't think the book would have worked as well as it did if the reader hadn't been exposed to the antagonists thoughts and actions at that point.   

We also have our first appearance of Shrake and Jenkins in the Davenport books (that I can recall) as we also see them in the Flowers series - but I need to remember to stop trying to make the two 'universes' mesh.  It was good to see Davenport struggling with the realization that not everyone around him wants to stay on with the force.  I liked the human touch of him trying to cope with the fact that yes, Slone wants out, he is tired of the grind and horrors he witnesses as a cop, and Davenport might have to let his co-worker and friend go.

This is a hard one to review because of the way the plot is woven - if I say too much, I may ruin it for someone else, though I'm probably the last person to be reading this series.  I will say our murderer was truly squicky and had me wincing more than once.  There are also several rather graphic depictions that are not for the squeamish and had me going eew!  However, unlike Mind Prey (#7), I didn't have to set this one aside.  This might be my favorite Davenport, if not number one, then number two.   

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