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Search Results for your search with keyword "Sandford"
John Sandford
Winter Prey
350 pages
Dark thriller situated in the remote, dark Wisconsin woods during mid-winter. A murderer stalks through the forests and the local sheriff is in way over his head with the extravagance of the crime; the murdered man, woman and child; the machete-like knife through the man's head; the ashes of the fire-consumed house spread over the ice and snow.. Luckily for him Lucas Davenport happens to be on holiday in the area. Lucas, police detective extraordinaire reluctantly agrees to take on the case and hunt down the murderer, but it turns out even he might have met his match..

For this is a kind of criminal new to him, too. As he tracks down the killer he finds evidence of more crimes, crimes shocking even to Lucas carefully hardened shell.. As more and more people turn up dead the clocks ticking for Lucas to find his man..

Stylish thriller with a well developed plot and a good sense of suspense. Real page turner!
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John Sandford
Hidden Prey
393 pages
Sometimes you don't need a fresh idea. You just have to leave a stale idea on the shelf long enough, and it becomes fresh again.
Take the basic premise behind Hidden Prey, John Sandford's 14th novel in his Prey series featuring Lucas Davenport. Thirty or 40 years ago, you couldn't come up with a more tired idea for a thriller than Russian spies living undercover in America.
But to resurrect the idea now, years after the Cold War ended and Russia is ostensibly our ally? That's a nice hook.
In Sandford's novel, the cabal of Russian spies living in rural Minnesota has been largely forgotten about by both their former Soviet minders and United States intelligence. They're now senior citizens, pillars of their communities, and figure that their espionage days are long behind them.
What sets things in motion in Hidden Prey is the murder of a well-connected Russian on the shores of Lake Superior. Davenport, who is now a sort of all-purpose crimebuster for the state, is sent up north to investigate, partnered with a female Russian investigator who clearly has secrets of her own. Then a homeless woman who may have witnessed the murder is killed in Duluth, and the trail becomes more complicated.
Sandford's series started essentially in the vein of Thomas Harris (Silence of the Lambs). Tortured detective Davenport hunted down gruesomely creative serial killers on the streets of Minneapolis. But around the seventh book in the series, Sandford wisely began moving away from the serial-killer formula, sending Davenport out to catch different species of killers.
And he's also lightened Davenport up considerably, giving him a happy home life, a more engaging voice and, most importantly of all, a sense of humor. At this point in the series, Sandford's thrillers seem more inspired by the police procedurals of Ed McBain than by the slasher fiction of Harris.
In fact, Hidden Prey may even be a little too sedate for Sandford's longtime fans. Although there are bursts of violence here and there, including a dizzying foot chase, most of the novel follows Davenport and his allies as they interview witnesses and patiently piece together clues. Even the climax, with the killer holed up in a mountain cabin, fails to produce the expected bang-up ending.
But what the thriller lacks in cinematic fireworks it more than makes up for in careful plotting, believable characters and tough, witty dialogue. I also love the uniquely Minnesotan details that Sandford, a longtime Twin Cities journalist, brings to his novels. For example, when the residents of Hibbing, Bob Dylan's birthplace, refer to Dylan, it's not in the context of a famous musician or political voice. His name is shorthand for "extremely wealthy," as in "he's got more money than Bob Dylan."
Sandford's also got a fascinating and unorthodox pair of villains for Davenport to contend with. The killers (and we find this out right away, so I'm not spoiling anything) are a 92-year-old man and his 17-year-old great-grandson. The teenager is the trigger man, while his great-grandpa, who was the leader of the spy ring, gives pointers like he was teaching him how to fly-fish. They're like something out of an Elmore Leonard novel, adding a bizarre splash to another entertaining entry in one of thrillerdom's most enduring series.
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Running Apache