Book Review of Wicked Prey (Lucas Davenport, Bk 19)

Wicked Prey (Lucas Davenport, Bk 19)
reviewed on + 669 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4


Sandford's latest romp through murder and mayhem finds his BCA (Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) detective Lucas Davenport on the outs with the department for doing his job too well. It's August 2008 in St. Paul and the Republicans are in town to nominate John McCain for president. Davenport had lobbied hard for extra manpower on the streets and as payback he's been sidelined.

Which leaves him free to deal with gate crashers like the neo-Nazi who's disappeared into the city with a .50 caliber sniper rifle. Or the cop-killing hold-up gang looking for one more big score to retire on. Or his ward - soon to be adopted daughter - Letty, who is 14 and growing up to be just like her adopted Dad, smart and devious.

Letty has gotten wind of a paraplegic, meth-addicted, psychopathic pimp's plot to revenge himself on Davenport through her. He blames Davenport for all the ills in his misbegotten life. Rather than bother her busy Dad with it, Letty decides to take on Randy Whitcomb herself, befriending Whitcomb's stable of prostitutes - consisting of one sad-sack teenage runaway.

Sandford switches viewpoints among this motley crew, keeping the reader a couple steps ahead of Davenport. The main focus is on the Brutus Cohn gang's robbery plans. Master planner Rosie Cruz, a secretive, detail oriented, careful soul, has targeted lobbyists, flush with illegal cash to hand out to campaign workers. Four or five of those then a big, complex finale and they go their separate ways. They get rich; no one gets hurt.

Sandford puts Davenport and his men through their paces and nobody gets it quite right. As the body count rises and Davenport gets closer and the gang grows more brutal and desperate, Letty flits in and out of the downtown crowds, getting herself in a little deeper than she planned.

A fast-paced story, big setting, witty dialogue and engaging characters make this another of the satisfying thrillers that Sandford fans have come to expect after 26 books, including 18 previous "Prey" novels.