I've been an ardent fan of John Sandford's 'Prey' series and his recurring character - Lucas Davenport - for almost 20 years. When I was asked to take part in a unique tour leading up to the May 18th release of the twentieth book in the series, I jumped at the chance. This tour is unique in that 20 bloggers have been each asked to read one book from the series and answer the same set of questions about Lucas. It's been great to follow the evolution of this character.Penquin.com has the entire tour list on one page for you - check it out and follow the tour.
Title and series number of the book you read:
Wicked Prey is the 19th book in the series.
Year published: 2009
Tell us about Lucas Davenport:What is Lucas doing when he first appears in the book? Set up the scene.
Lucas's name appears before he does in Wicked Prey. A nasty local pimp is cursing Davenport - he blames Lucas for his being wheelchair bound. But Lucas isn't the one who pulled the trigger.
When we first meet Lucas in Wicked Prey, he is driving back to the Twin Cities after spending the weekend at his lake cabin with his wife. En route he receives a call about a possible problem - a sharpshooter with extremist ideas from out of state has been seen target shooting, practicing a specific distance over and over again.
Give us a sense of time and place.It is late August 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Republican National Convention is to run September 1-4 in St. Paul, making the sharpshooter a prime concern as McCain and Palin will be there. Lucas’s occupation or professional role?
Lucas is the Chief Investigator for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). He also handles special 'requests' and sensitive issues for the Governor's office.
Lucas’s personal status (single, dating, married)
Lucas is married to Weather Karkinnen, a surgeon. They have a 2 year old son named Sam. They are also guardians to 14 year old Letty and are hoping to adopt her. Letty came into Davenport's life in Naked Prey, in which she was the sole witness to a double hanging in her small town.
Lucas Davenport is a known clothes-horse; did you notice any special fashion references?
"He was, in fact, a clotheshorse, this morning wearing a light checked sport coat over an icy-blue long-sleeved dress shirt, black summer weight woolen slacks hand-knit by an Italian virgin, and square-toed English-made loafers."
When trying to dress down to go undercover, his jeans are rejected by the other cops.
"You're way too neat. What do you do? Do you dry-clean your jeans?
The housekeeper irons them, sometimes, Lucas admitted."
Let’s talk about the mystery:
Avoiding spoilers, what was the crime/case being solved?
There are two story lines running simultaneously in Wicked Prey that collide into each other. The Republican convention is in town. The afore mentioned sniper is a worry, but so are reports of lobbyists and their 'expense' money being targeted by a well informed gang. The pimp with a grudge against Davenport decides to get back at Lucas - through young Letty.
Does the title of your book relate to the crime?
Wicked. The pimp and the leader of the gang are indeed wicked - acting and killing without thought, except for their own well being and gratification.
Who was your favorite supporting character, good or evil?
I have a fondness for the supporting characters in the BCA. Del Capstock is one of my perennial favourites. He's quick witted but a bit of a slob. His undercover assignments are always fun. He's awaiting the birth of his child in this book. But my favourite supporting character (who actually has 3 books of his own) is Virgil Flowers. Or as he is known - that f****n' Flowers. He garners only one mention this time - he's too far away to make it back in time for a bust.
I'm torn on Letty. I have enjoyed her pluckiness and self sufficiency in past novels. This time out, she's darker and a little too manipulative for me. We'll see what she's like in Storm Prey.
What was your favorite scene or quote?
Okay, as a Canadian, this was my favourite quote! It had me laughing out loud.
"The way I see it, they were ready for us, they had a whole exit plan all figured out. She's probably in Canada by now. Why Canada? Well, Canada's full of criminals, so it's a good place to hide out, Lucas explained."
Finally, how do you envision Lucas Davenport? If he were to be portrayed in a movie, what celebrity would play him?
"Lucas Davenport was a tall, tough, dark-haired man,, heavily tanned at the end of the Minnesota summer. The tan emphasized his blue eyes, his hawkish nose, and his facial scars: a long thin one down through his eyebrow, like a piece of white fishing line, another circular one on his throat with a vertical line though it." Hugh Jackman all the way!
Sandford is one of my favourite authors. The writing is always crisp, the characters appealing and the cases intriguing. I've enjoyed every one of his books and cannot wait for Storm Prey! So if you'd like to get in on the action, have I got a deal for you. You have the chance to win a copy of Wicked Prey AND an advance reading copy of Storm Prey! Yes, one winner will win both!! Open to both US and Canada, no po boxes please. You must be a follower to enter this special giveaway! Ends Friday June 18th at 6 pm EST.
( Join Bermudaonion on Tuesday May 18th for the last stop on the tour. She's reviewing the new book Storm Prey)