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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Extreme Prey by John Sandford (Davenport #24)

Extreme Prey (Lucas Davenport, #26)Extreme Prey by John Sandford

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  After the events in Gathering Prey, Lucas Davenport finds himself in a very unusual situation—no longer employed by the Minnesota BCA. His friend the governor is just cranking up a presidential campaign, though, and he invites Lucas to come along as part of his campaign staff. “Should be fun!” he says, and it kind of is—until they find they have a shadow: an armed man intent on killing the governor . . . and anyone who gets in the way.

Read as an audio book.

My small shout out - THANK YOU for keeping Richard Ferrone as a narrator! Love his voice and I will forever associate him as "Davenport".

A point upon which I must speak. My main issue with this latest installment - and I'll admit I'm biased - is using an Iraqi vet as the antagonist. Regional (MN, Iowa, WI) National Guard vets are having a hard enough time finding gainful employment as it is without popular media pouncing on every opportunity to show that they are all one step away from going postal. Once the deployment(s) are done, all the Yellow Ribbons have been waved, the platitudes about being veteran friendly have been said, vets aren't getting hired in the workforce. It's a real situation, it's complicated, and for the vets, its frustrating.

I'm speaking from very personal experience regarding this and it's a very two faced situation: Yay! Vets! Thank you for your service! We're not going to hire you because you've seen action and might be unbalanced. So using an Iraqi vet as an antagonist was disappointing.

Okay. That's off my chest, I can move on.
  • I liked the political tie in to an election year.
  • I liked the setting in Iowa - a very refreshing change from MN and WI. 
  • I liked that Lettie was completely out of the picture.
  • I liked how Davenport was forced to go about solving things without a badge of any kinda and had to rely on local enforcement, and his frustration in trying to do so. Granted, his way was paved by some political connections, but still, he didn't have any way to back his investigation up.
  •  I just like Davenport.

However, I didn't care for the overall plot and I really wanted to like the story. I found the plot was sluggish to start and I couldn't get into the politics of the group or individuals trying to murder the candidate. I couldn't get a feel for why the Purdy's disliked Boden so much they wanted her out of the picture. By CD #5 (out of 9) I was contemplating skipping any part with the protagonists just to move things along.

Fortunately, about CD #6 (sorry, downside of CD's is I don't remember chapters), the pace and excitement level picked up when the shooting started. As the proverbial clock ticks down to the candidate walk at the Iowa State Fair, and Lucas is frantically running around, it was a matter of how quickly he would figure the Purdy's plot out - while the reader already knows the details.

Overall, a slow to start plot that redeemed itself in the last quarter of the book with an almost frenetic game of cat and mouse in the middle of the Iowa State Fair. The sub-plot was just that, a minor thread underneath everything else and tidily wrapped up with a bow at the end. A satisfactory ending that has left lots of opportunity for future speculation.

Recommended if you've read the first 23 books in the series.

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