Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Golden Return

Golden Prey – John Sandford (Putnam)

It seems funny now given that I read quite literally tons of books, but there was a point where I didn’t read very much. My best friend suggested that I check out three writers; the legendary John D. McDonald and the Travis McGee novels, Robert B. Parker and the Spenser books and John Sandford and his Prey series featuring Lucas Davenport. I very quickly became hooked and worked my way through all of these series.

Years later Sandford remains one of my favorite authors, but I have to admit that while I really enjoy the Virgil Flowers books, I sensed a sameness to the storylines in the ongoing Prey series and began to drift away. When the latest in that series, Golden Prey appeared, I decided to take it out for a spin and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed.

Davenport has moved on from the Twin Cities and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (MBCA) to take on a gig with the U.S. Marshall’s Service. In the new role, Davenport is given a wide berth and takes on cases almost as a freelancer; taking on the cases that pique his interest and going wherever they may lead. This makes for a freewheeling style of storytelling and allows Sandford to get back into the groove.

Davenport is hot on the trail of stick up men, the Dixie Hicks and their leader Garvin Poole, a guy with a shoot first and ask questions later kind of attitude, who knocked off a drug cartel “counting house” leaving behind a trail of blood and victims. Along the way as Davenport hunts down his target, he is dogged by a pair of cartel hitters out to recover the stolen money. The pair, a shooter and a power tool enthusiast, is either one step ahead, one step behind, or right in lock step with Davenport.

“I just want to hunt” is a classic Sandford line, uttered by Davenport as he tracks down his prey and delivers solid pacing, piles of action and just the right amount of Davenport ‘tude to make this a golden return.

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