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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Field of Prey by John Sandford (Davenport #24)

Field of Prey (Lucas Davenport, #24)Field of Prey by John Sandford

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  The night after the fourth of July, Layton Carlson Jr., of Red Wing, Minnesota, finally got lucky. And unlucky.

He’d picked the perfect spot to lose his virginity to his girlfriend, an abandoned farmyard in the middle of cornfields: nice, private, and quiet. The only problem was . . . something smelled bad—like, really bad. He mentioned it to a county deputy he knew, and when the cop took a look, he found a body stuffed down a cistern. And then another, and another.

By the time Lucas Davenport was called in, the police were up to fifteen bodies and counting. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, when Lucas began to investigate, he made some disturbing discoveries of his own. The victims had been killed over a great many years, one every summer, regular as clockwork. How could this have happened without anybody noticing?

Because one thing was for sure: the killer had to live close by. He was probably even someone they saw every day. . .

Read as an audiobook.  Not my favorite Davenport, in fact, I found it a bit tedious.  Were my expectations too high?  Too long of a break since I read the last one?  Not entirely sure, but I found myself skipping tracts (audiobook, remember), specifically the sections with the antagonist.  Yes, he and his partner were evil, nasty, and thoroughly despicable, but I found his actions were giving away too much of the story.  It was as if the foreshadowing was lit up in a big blinking neon sign with arrows - the subtlety was lost.

And perhaps the pointless running around got on my nerves.  Everyone frantic to figure out who-done-it, the newspapers clamoring for resolution or resignations, the driving to and from Minneapolis to southeastern Minnesota (which was beginning to feel like a constant commute and not a mystery), and the constant speculation on "what is the killer doing" that felt like it covered chapters.   I almost think Fields of Prey would have been better as a novella or novelette, trimmed of excess verbiage, driving around,  and less foreshadowing.

And I will say, there seems to be some pretty heavy foreshadowing that alludes to the series itself. 

Ultimately, the only part of the book that really grabbed my interest was the last five chapters or so, and I can't speak on those lest I give anything away. 

Recommended with small reservations.  If you've been reading the series, you'll know what I mean; new to the series, don't start here.

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