Twisted Prey – John Sandford – (G P Putnam) –
A few years back, I sent an email to the late, great, writer Evan Hunter; who famously wrote under the name Ed McBain. I was a huge fan of Hunter’s work, but I had become put off by some of his comments about conservatives in one of his novels. I contacted Hunter through his website and asked why he would risk alienating half, if not more of his audience as he done with me. Surprisingly, I received a reply from Hunter in which he basically told me he did not care because he believed what he believed and I could believe what I believed.
Now years later I find myself in a similar position, wondering why John Sandford, another of my favorite authors would insert off hand comments slagging conservatives, into his latest Lucas Davenport, Prey series novel, Twisted Prey. While I realize Sandford, is the pen name for journalist John Camp, who plied his trade in St. Paul, Minnesota, the state infamous for electing conspiracy theorist and military veteran widow suing, Jesse Ventura governor and sending comic hack Stuart Smalley to the Senate; I still have to wonder what is appealing about potentially pissing off a good portion of your audience?
That being said, unlike with Hunter, I stuck with Sandford through the multitude of twists and turns he lobbed into the storyline. Twisted Prey features the reprise of Sandford’s sparklingly, nasty politician Taryn Grant who Davenport squared off against in Silken Prey. Rich and beautiful Grant is the stereotype of a nasty political type that will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
This time out Grant, now firmly ensconsed in the Senate and eyeing the White House is still fixated on taking out her political rival; apparently beating him in the election was not enough. The cavalcade of players in this one includes some of the usual suspects that dot Sandford’s books, mixed with political operatives and military contractors and it makes for a fast, entertaining read.
While Silken Prey left some business unfinished, be forewarned, Twisted Prey wraps things up nicely, after all you can only get away with so much for so long. My only advice to Sandford, leave the politics behind and stick to what you do best.