Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Naked Prey by John Sandford
Lucas Davenport #14


Title: Naked Prey
Series: Lucas Davenport #14
Author: John Sandford 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: June 7, 2004

Lucas Davenport finds some changes — and some nasty surprises — in store, in the chilling new novel by the number-one-bestselling author.

After thirteen years and thirteen Prey novels, John Sandford's writing is as fresh as ever. His last book, Mortal Prey, was "a model of the genre" (People) and "the cop novel of the year" (Kirkus Reviews). In the words of the Washington Post: "John Sandford does everything right."

Now, in Naked Prey, he puts Lucas Davenport through some changes. His old boss, Rose Marie Roux, has moved up to the state level and taken Lucas with her, creating a special troubleshooter job for him for the cases that are too complicated or politically touchy for others to handle. In addition, Lucas is married now, and a new father, all of which is fine with him: he doesn't mind being a family man. But he is a little worried. For every bit of peace you get, you have to pay — and he's waiting for the bill.

It comes in the form of two people found hanging from a tree in the woods of northern Minnesota. What makes the situation particularly sensitive is that the bodies are of a black man and a white woman, and they're naked. "Lynching" is the word that everybody's trying not to say — but, as Lucas begins to discover, in fact the murders are nothing like what they appear to be, and they are not the end of it. There is worse to come — much, much worse.

Filled with rich characterization and exceptional drama that are his hallmarks, this is Sandford's most suspenseful novel yet. "You know life is good when you have a new Lucas Davenport thriller to escape into," writes the Chicago Tribune, and Naked Prey proves it again.

In Naked Prey, we confirmed that Rose Marie Roux was true to her word. Lucas has a new job with a new title, he now works in the Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He reports to the governor and from the old crew, the only one remaining is Del. 

A crime has been committed. A couple, a black man and a white woman, has been found hanged and naked in northern Minnesota. Everyone is worried this is a lynching and that's why Lucas is sent there to investigate but also to begin damage control if this is really the case. 

The person who found the bodies, Letty West is a local teenager. She is smart and gives plenty of details to both Lucas and Del aiding their investigation. Lucas senses that not all is right in this small town. Between the nuns, the cars, the dump, and the bodies piling up, something dark is going on in this part of the state.

I'm not going to lie, I miss a lot of the characters from all the other books. I did like Letty and thought it was a great addition to the novel but I missed the banter between the well-known characters in this world. 

Cliffhanger: No

3.5/5 Fangs

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