Phantom Prey by John Sandford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jacket Blurb: A widow comes home to
her large house in a wealthy, exclusive suburb to find blood everywhere,
no body, and her college aged daughter missing. She's always known that
her daughter ran with a bad bunch. What did she call them - Goths? Freaks
is more like it, running around with all that makeup and black
clothing, listening to that awful music, so attracted to death. And now
But the police can't find the girl, alive or dead, and
when a second Goth is found slashed to death in Minneapolis, the widow
truly panics. There's someone she knows, a surgeon named Weather
Davenport, whose husband is a big deal with the police, and she implores
Weather to get him directly involved. Lucas begins to investigate only
reluctantly; but then when a third Goth is slashed in what is now looking
like a Jackthe- Ripper series of killings, he starts working it hard.
The clues don't seem to add up, though. And then there's the young Goth
who keeps appearing and disappearing: Who is she? Where does she come
from and, more important, where does she vanish to? And why does Lucas
keep getting the sneaking suspicion that there is something else going
on here . . . something very, very bad indeed?
Davenport's starting to realize that it isn't all fun and games chasing the criminals after he is shot in an ambush outside a bar while trying to find a young missing woman. The thought that he might not be there to jump Weather's bones or watch Sam and Letty grow up, gives our detective pause for thought in an unusual insightful moment.
Outside of these intimate thoughts, this was an intriguing novel. The plot twisted and turned in interesting ways, keeping my attention fully engaged. The reader does know partway though who-done-it, but the fascination lies in how Davenport figures this one out. It is also one of those murder-mysteries where I can't say a heck of a lot lest I drop an unwanted spoiler. A sub-plot interweaves itself through the main plot providing a bit of levity in what could become a very uncomfortable storyline.
My biggest complaint with the book was the conclusion to the main storyline - felt like a total cop-out. Pun intended.
Still, this may be my favorite Davenport book. Good balance between personal insight, humor, intrigue and overall resolution.
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