Michael Connelly has his Harry Bosch; Jeffery Deaver his Lincoln Rhyme; James Patterson his Alex Cross and John Sandford his Lucas Davenport. All of these writers are at the top of anyone's great novelist list, but they are always better when they are writing stories about their most renowned characters. Sandford has been writing stories about Lucas Davenport for years and as strange and unlikely as it may seem, his books focused on this man just get better and better. I find that amazing and so should you.
EXTREME PREY is Sandford's twenty-sixth Lucas Davenport story. This time out Lucas leaves Minnesota behind and ventures into Iowa looking for a potential assassin. He has been contacted by the Governor of Minnesota who is making a run for the Presidency. Out on the campaign trail he has gotten reports of words being spoken that could be interpreted as threats about another candidate for President named Michaela Bowden. She is favored to win the nomination and the Minnesota governor hopes she will ask him to be her running mate.
Davenport is enlisted to investigate and see if there is any validity to these vague threats. Following the leads he comes upon a band of fanatics who think violence is the only means to get their point across to America. Thus it becomes a race against time for Davenport and the security forces he enlists. It is going to take all of his investigative skills and personal know how to prevent a huge American tragedy.
In telling this story Sandford keeps the pedal to the metal as he moves Davenport from place to place meeting one act of violence after another. The plot races and the reader hangs on for dear life. There isn't a slow paragraph in the entire story and that, my friends, is skilled writing.
Davenport, as created by Sandford, is an intellectual who is also independently wealthy. He likes the finer things of life such as custom made clothes and expensive high powered automobiles. But even with these refined tastes, down deep Lucas is a good ole boy. He fits right in with any group he encounters whatever the economic strata may be. He can eat out in the finest restaurants or be just as happy with a open faced roast beef sandwich served with french fries and coleslaw at the local diner ( a personal favorite of mine).
Since Davenport is basically a common man who can afford expensive tastes, the readers identify with him as do most of the characters in the books written about hm. He is a good guy who enjoys catching bad guys, and is a family man who loves his wife and kids. So what's not to like!
This latest Davenport adventure is a fresh look at the man and the investigator. When the book opens he is retired, and at the book's end there are some new employment opportunities for him. This indicates there are many more Davenport stories to come, and for all the millions of Sandford/Davenport fans that is good news indeed.
EXTREME PREY is published by G. P. Putnam. It contains 416 pages and sells for $29.00.
Jackie K Cooper