A daring drugs raid on a Minneapolis hospital takes place on the same day that Lucas Davenport’s wife, Weather, is due to perform an operation to separate conjoined twins. Investigating the raid, Davenport concludes that it must have been an inside job and, as a witness, Weather is now in grave danger.
Despite its inaccurate, generic and dumb title-what’s next, Murder Prey?-Lucas Davenport’s 20th case is one of his best. “We don’t hurt anyone,” Lyle Mack tells his brother Joe and their biker buddies Mikey Haines and Shooter Chapman as he conducts one last on-site review of their plans to rob the pharmacy in the Minneapolis Medical Center. But despite the thieves’ success, Haines’s temper gets away from him, and he kicks pharmacist Don Peterson to death. Even worse, their car is spotted by a witness who gets a good look at Joe as they’re leaving the parking garage. Worst of all, the witness is Dr. Weather Karkinnen, a reconstructive surgeon who goes home each night from her demanding job-which these days involves surgery to separate a pair of 18-month-old twins joined at the head-to the arms of Lucas Davenport, her husband. Since the cops have one way of identifying Haines, whose victim managed to get some of his killer’s blood under his fingernails before he bled out, and another of identifying Joe, the conspirators have every incentive to cut telltale ends short, even if those telltale ends include each other. None of them is very smart, and Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension would probably have them under lock and key by nightfall if they only stood pat. Instead, however, Lyle calls on Cappy Garner, a friend with some experience as a hit man even though he’s not old enough to buy a beer, and then the fireworks begin. By the time Sandford calls it quits, eight more cast members will be dead, and virtually all the survivors will have been stalked, chased, shot at or otherwise menaced by all manner of tough guys. And by the time those two twins are finally separated, the one newrelationship that will have blossomed is an unlikely friendship between an aspiring killer and his mentor. Razor-sharp dialogue, a tautly controlled pace and enough homicides for a miniseries. What more could fans want?
When a robbery of a hospital pharmacy leads to the death of one the pharmacists, the sudden switch from theft to murder brings a whole new level of pressure onto the thieves. Adding to their woes is an eyewitness they need to silence permanently. Sandford has delivered a fast-paced thriller with great quirky characters worthy of an Elmore Leonard novel, and Richard Ferrone brings just the right tone and expertise to his reading. With smooth assurance he keeps the story moving at a fast clip, but never at the expense of the characters, to whom he gives solid interpretations (although his French accent could use a little work). A fun-filled listen with plenty of thrills and a perfect addition to the Davenport canon. A Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 15). (May)
…a beautiful thing to behold. The sturdy scaffolding, designed to support two interconnecting story lines, allows readers to follow both the misadventures of an incompetent gang of thieves . . . and a complicated medical procedure to separate conjoined twins. . . . But the pretty construction job isn’t all bricks and mortar. Sandford invests the villains with enough psychotic quirks to keep the action fast, jumpy and violent. And while none of the white hats can match the perverse appeal of a 20-year-old killer biker whose crazy father named him after a 1982 Chevy Caprice, that delicate operation is every bit as intense as all the other daredevil stunts in this manhunt. — New York Times Book Review
The latest Lucas Davenport thriller starts with a hospital drug heist in which an elderly pharmacist is killed, but the novel’s most absorbing passages deal with a surgical team’s fight to separate — and save — a set of infant twins joined at the head. A good thriller requires a good villain, and the latest Prey has one that would make a lovely mate for Strip’s Carrie: Caprice Marlon Garner, a motorcycle-riding killer. Sandford writes great, unapologetic guy fiction…but you guy-ettes will have a good time too. — Entertainment Weekly
In his 20th Prey novel (after Wicked Prey), Sandford continues to deviate from the pulse-pounding serial killer thrillers of the early 1990s that put Minneapolis cop Lucas Davenport on the map. Davenport still has his sharp mind, quick reflexes, and dirty mouth, but now marriage and fatherhood give him something to lose. And as head of Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, he’s working with a larger cast of law enforcement agents and a wider variety of criminals. The morning that his wife, surgeon Weather Karkinnen, is set to separate conjoined twins, she sees a man who just robbed the hospital pharmacy. Davenport calls Virgil Flowers to protect Weather and help him catch the robbers before they can identify her as the witness. The bikers behind the drug heist are portrayed as petty criminals, but the doctor and hit man they’re working with are slowly revealed as out-and-out sociopaths. VERDICT This fast-paced crime novel with bad guys so calmly amoral will have readers dead-bolting their doors for weeks. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/10.]—Karen Kleckner, Deerfield P.L., IL