Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Buried Prey - John Sandford

John Sandford is the author of a series I've followed for many, many years. His latest book in the Lucas Davenport series is Buried Prey. (Released today)

Davenport has been a cop in the Minneapolis area for many years, working his way up the ladder. He currently works for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA, often troubleshooting for the governor. But a case from the past is literally unearthed and Davenport is forced to confront the unthinkable. Was the wrong man convicted of the murder of two young girls? Has the real killer been preying on children for the last 25 years?

The disappearance of the Jones girls in 1985 marked the beginning of Lucas's career as a detective.
"In the first year as a cop, working patrol and then, briefly, as a dope guy, he'd felt that he was learning things at a ferocious rate: about the street, life, death, sex, love, hate, fear, stupidity, jealousy and accident, and all the other things that brought citizens in contact with the cops. Then the learning tailed off. Now investigating, the feeling was back. He was crude and he knew it, but it was interesting and he'd get better at it."
The first part of the book is set in 1985 and we get to see a young Davenport. It was so much fun to watch Lucas begin what we know is a long and colourful career. One of my favourite supporting characters has always been Del Capslock. In Buried Prey we are privy to the first pairing up of Lucas and Del. Their witty banter has continued to this day. The tone is set for what we know of Lucas today as well - his way with women, his obsession with clothes and his 'outside the box' methods.
"Lucas, on the other hand, was a poor leader. He simply wasn't interested in what he considered the time-wasting elements of operating in a bureaucracy. He was intuitive, harshly judgmental, and would occasionally wander into illegalities in the pursuit of what he saw as justice. In doing that, he preferred to work with one or two close friends who knew how to keep their mouths shut, didn't mind the occasional perjury in a good cause, and knew when to blow him off, if he got too manic and started shouting; and would shout back. Lucas's cops were outsiders, for the most part. The strange cops."
The case itself is excellent. Is the homeless man they're chasing innocent or are they being pointed in the wrong direction deliberately? And by whom? Cops? Part two of the book brings us to present day. Davenport is again working with his old team Capslock, Jenkins and Shrake. I always watch for the reference to Virgil Flowers  - that f*****g Flowers - one of my favourite characters, who now has his own series. Lucas's personal life always provides a great second story line, but I'm still not sold on Letty -Davenport's adoped daughter.

Sandford has a winner with Buried Prey. The plot is excellent, the writing tight, the action non stop and best of all, I get to see a side of a character I've enjoyed for almost 20 years. Highly recommended.

Read an excerpt of Buried Prey


bermudaonion said...

I LOVE the Lucas Davenport books, so I'm glad to see this one's another winner!

Luanne said...

Ksthy - it was great to see a 'young' Lucas in action. You'll love it for sure~

jjbrak said...

Did you read storm prey before you read buried prey? I have a question about Marcy sherrill but I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

O'Dell Isaac II said...

I don't think you'd be spoiling anything. There's an inconsistency between the two books. In Storm Prey, Marcy is married with a small child. In Buried Prey, later in the series, she is unmarried and would like to have a kid. I'm sure Mr. Sandford has taken his fair share of flak for that...