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Friday, November 30, 2007

Naked Prey


***½ Naked Prey by John Sandford. Suspense.









This is a new-to-me author. I noticed several people on the JDRobb list enjoyed his books, so when I saw this one while filling up my cart at Half.com, I decided to give him a try.

Unfortunately, it's in the middle of a series about Lucas Davenport who, if I understood correctly, is a sort of cop/troubleshooter for the governor. Here, two bodies are discovered hanging in a tree: a black man and a white woman, and Davenport is sent to investigate, and to keep it from being called a lynching (which is wasn't).

The problem is, the murders are just the tip of the iceberg, and the investigation of the murders sparks a whole lot of other, only tangentially related events, involving kidnapping, prescription drug smuggling, auto theft, arson, and more murder.

I did enjoy the convoluted way one thing led to another, but at one point it got to be a little too much: everyone in this small town is involved in some sort of crime, and it just stretched credulity too far.

Also, this kind of series depends heavily on the personality of the main character, and maybe it's because I started in the middle of the series, but Davenport just didn't grab me. I didn't get much of a sense of his personality at all.

And then there was the kid. The bodies were found by a precocious 12-year-old girl who's a trapper. It's probably just me, but precocious kids, particularly in mystery/suspense novels are a nails-on-the-chalkboard thing for me. I almost always find them intensely irritating, and that was the case here, as well.

If I happen to find another book from earlier in this series, I'll probably give it another chance, but I'm not hooked enough to go out of my way to look for one.

...more

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