Book Review of Certain Prey (Lucas Davenport, Bk 10)

Certain Prey (Lucas Davenport, Bk 10)
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In the 10th installment of his popular Prey series, John Sandford (a.k.a. John Camp) pits his popular antihero, Lucas Davenport, against a pair of cunning killers unlike any he has encountered before.

Attorney Carmel Loan is preternaturally beautiful, intelligent, and ambitious. When she becomes infatuated with fellow barrister Hale Allen, she isn't going to let a little thing like his being married get in her way. A quick meeting with an ex-client sets up the hit on Hale's wife, Barbara. The professional killer, Clara Rinker, is one of the best in the business. Smart, attractive, with a gentle Southern drawl, no one would suspect her of being a top Mafia hit man... er, hit person. When she takes the Allen assignment, she figures it will be easy money for a day's work. But things go wrong from the beginning. Loan's ex-client made a tape of the meeting, and is shaking her down for money. Worse, the shooting of a witness--a cop--brings deputy inspector Lucas Davenport into the case. Somehow Davenport has not only linked Loan to the killing, but seems to have a lead on Rinker as well. Carmel and Clara team up to clean up the loose ends, which includes getting Davenport off their back by whatever means necessary.

Like all of Sandford's books, Certain Prey is a fast and furious ride. Fans of previous Prey books will find Davenport a little older, a little more wary, but no less sharp-witted and determined. Though parts of the plot may stretch the limits of credulity and the dialogue falls a little flat in places, this is still a wonderfully crafted thriller, possibly one of the best of 1999. Certain Prey cements Sandford's standing among such luminaries as James Lee Burke, Lawrence Block, and Thomas Harris.