In my current "revisit authors I've burned out on" phase, I picked up the latest Prey novel by John Sandford... Silken Prey. I used to love the Lucas Davenport series in the earlier installments, but the last few stories had left me with a "meh" feeling. I'm not sure if it's my time away or what, but Silken Prey worked well this time around. The plot had a "that could probably happen" aspect to it, and I burned through the pages quickly to see how it all played out.
Trying to analyze the "why" behind my enjoyment, I think it was the realization of how it's extremely easy to "convict" someone of a crime in the court of public opinion regardless of whether they did the crime or not. The story here revolves around a hotly contested political race between the incumbent and a challenger with nearly unlimited financial resources. With only a few days left before the voting, images involving children are "found" on the incumbent's computer. Regardless of whether they were his or planted, his small lead in the polls plummets, and he can do nothing to clear his name. Davenport is called on to find some answers *now*, but trying to find proof of who might have been responsible for a smear job isn't easy. It's even harder when the trail starts to lead back to the challenger, but her psychotic personality sees the investigation as an attempt to discredit her. Davenport has to balance a lot of high-powered personalities and pressures to not only find the truth, but prove it... all without having his team fall prey to what might be trained killers who would have no problem treating them all as "loose ends".
There are a couple of side threads in the story that don't seem to go anywhere, but they provide some minor tie-in towards the end. They involve minor characters from previous novels, so perhaps it pushes their individual stories a bit for some future story line. The end didn't finish up quite as cleanly as I would have expected, but then again, few things in life do.
Silken Prey is one of Sandford's better Davenport novels, and it's worth reading. I think I still like his series with Virgil Flowers more, but Silken Prey has me more interested in future installments with Davenport.
Politics is seen by many as a life and death situation. In the latest in the Lucas Davenport series from author John Sandford, Silken Prey: A Novel, it is literally true as a political operative by the name of Tubbs is dead. Tubbs occasionally was a fixer, sometimes a bagman, and sometimes he did dirty tricks projects. Now he is missing and presumed dead by Lucas Davenport. Not that Lucas knows about Tubbs initially when gets the call from Governor Henderson. Nine days out … more
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
“Dirty political tricksters give Lucas Davenport his most satisfying case in years . . . Sandford keeps every stage of the investigation clear, compelling and suspenseful while peeling back layer after layer of a world in which “everybody was hot, everybody was rich."”—Kirkus (starred review)
“Sandford’s Davenport novels are always very good, and this is the best one in a long time. It’s suspenseful, witty, and wise in the ways of modern politics. And the conclusion is darkly unforgettable. A superb thriller.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Sandford expertly ratchets up the suspense and delivers some nifty surprises.”—Publishers Weekly
Praise for STOLEN PREY
“Sandford at his brilliant best.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer
“The climax will have you holding your breath—and the book’s very last line will leave you hoping for more.”—St. Louis Post–Dispatch
“The twenty-second Prey novel is the usual Sandford mix of tight plotting, gallows humor, and explosive action.”—Booklist
“Sandford smoothly blends action and suspense with a soupcon of humor.”—Publishers Weekly
“The master is at it yet again…Pure Sandford, the action never stops, and just when you think you’ve got it all figured out…surprise! You’re not even close.”—Suspense...