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Shadow Prey by Sandford, John (2006) Mass Market Paperback Mass Market Paperback – March 31, 2006
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Obviously on the side of the law, Lucas Davenport comes at them with all his brains and bravery and brawn. A female police officer, Lily Rothenburg, is sent from New York City to help the investigation and the book really heats up from there. It's not the crime action that heats up but Lily and Lucas. I guess that would be okay if you like to read about other peoples' sexual affairs in detail but I didn't like Lily. I thought she was obnoxious as a NY abrasive stereotype - she just rubbed me the wrong way. I would have preferred that the focus remain on the Indians - their culture and value system. Sandford could have channeled a bit more of Tony Hillerman and left about 80% of the sexual details out and I would have liked the book better. I always get the feeling that these guys who write about the lady killer detectives have some issues to resolve.
I do recommend "Shadow Prey".
At times the names, number of characters, and their relations to each other becomes confusing. It becomes more clear as the reader continues on. The story, in relation to the murders, builds to a very good climax; the book's ending is satisfying in more than one aspect.
Interspersed are two women Lucas is involved with. One, his regular shaky relationship, the other a married NYPD woman detective on loan to his department; an interesting relationship as well.
After having read quite a number of Lucas Davenport series books out of order, I decided to begin reading them in order. It becomes interesting to see how Mr. Sanford has developed his main character; and how well he's done it. In later books, Davenport's an OK guy. In these earlier books he's actually no-nonsense to the point he's not a very likeable character at all.
I have every intention of reading the rest of the series in order. The Lucas development has captured my attention. It's, without question, another fine work by John Sanford.
I found it interesting, knowing how the series develops as time passed, how Sandford has developed his characters, in particular Davenport, over the years. I must admit that in the first couple of novels that Davenport is not the most likeable person I have read but on the other hand he does have a certain appeal.
In this novel we have Lucas going up against a small group of Native American activists – murderous activists as chance would have it. I have to admit that at first the people this small group did away with more or less deserved it and I could not help sort of sympathizing with them. As the story develops though this more or less changes.
There is more ‘romance’ in this work than in future works which I suppose could be a good or bad thing – depending upon your taste. I don’t read all that much romance but I did not feel the author over did it in this case...it was just a bit strange and not what I expected.
In this second book in the series we do find out about Lucas’s daughter and his long time relationship with his child’s mother which was interesting because this situation is indeed referenced in many books to come.
All in all this was a good story and a tale well told. The action was good and descriptive writing excellent. I enjoyed the read from cover to cover. My wife and I will now listen to the CD version of this work on down the road.
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The book wasn't a bad read, but I personally felt it.. was of its' time (it's almost 25 years old now). As an example, the edition I read referred to Native Americans as Indians, which left me feeling slightly disconcerted (though this might me Sandford's aim, as a way of implying how the police department thought of the locals). In addition, the story isn't very computerised, meaning they were faxing photos, and waiting on forensic reports, which took an age to process.
My other grumble is that I was surprised how quickly they made connections between the murders, given their geographic distance (Arizona, Minnesota, and New York). I mean I know they were murdered in a particular way, by a particular ethnic group, but the speed with which they made the connection (prior to any claim of responsibility being made) did seem a little... odd.
This said, if you can set these aside, it's a good enough read that rattles along at a good rate, if you like simply structured, but generally readable thrillers. I am glad though that the series got more readable with age.
Excellent storyline , wonderful characters, full of pace , well worth a read.
Looking forward to the next one.
Davenport V the rest !