Sunday, December 10, 2006

Broken Prey, by John Sandford

This is book number 16 In John Sandford's "Prey" series. I've listened to a lot of them, all narrated by Richard Ferrone, but I didn't know the exact number. I understand that "Invisible Prey" will be released next year, thus extending the franchise.

These novels all feature detective Lucas Davenport, a somewhat rumpled, gritty detective who can take a bullet. He specializes is serial killers, and his stories seldom wade into romance. He is currently married to a woman doctor whose first name is Weather, and Lucas is also fairly wealthy due to his profits from designing first-person-shooter video games. That does not come up in this book, but I do recall that detail from past novels.

In this one, a violent serial rapist, who has been released with one of those tracking leg manacles after doing his time, disappears about the same time that a young woman's body is found, violated and displayed. The missing ex-con is an obvious choice after his ankle bracelet is found in his apartment, sawed through and discarded.

A part of Lucas' investigation takes him to the prison hospital where former patients were acquainted with the missing man, who does not actually fit the profile for the kind of killing that has been done. It seems more like one of the current inmates, except they are all accounted for.

This is a pretty complicated, gory, and sometimes sexually explicit story. Still, Sandford is the master of this genre, and his ability to get himself, and you, inside the heads of his characters is his strength. And the voice of Richard Ferrone was made to read crime drama. It's a well-paced story, told well, but because I am a bit worn out with Lucas, I give it barely 3 stars.

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