From Publishers Weekly
Sandford sends series hero Lucas Davenport's family off to London to ensure that domestic concerns never slow the action in this sexy, bloody thriller. Davenport, a Minnesota State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator, had lately been doing political fix-it jobs for the governor, but this time he's got a psychopathic serial killer on his hands. ("All major metro areas had them, sometimes two and three at a time. The public had the impression that they were rare. They weren't.") The first victim, a young woman, was "scourged" with a wire whip; number two, a young man, had his penis cut off. Evidence first points to recently released sex offender Charlie Pope. Though Charlie is pretty dumb and the killer is extremely smart, it takes Davenport and his series partner, Detective Sloan, a while to realize they're chasing the wrong guy. Sandford introduces some lighter moments, the most entertaining about Davenport's new iPod and his quest to compile a list of the 100 best rock songs ever recorded, which every cop on the force gives him suggestions for. These moments allow readers to catch their breath amid the otherwise nonstop tension as the killer taunts the authorities while snaring more victims, and the cops race around the countryside always just a few minutes too late. For those who thought Davenport (and Sandford) were slowing down and showing signs of age and prosperity, this superlative entry will dispel all such notions. This is tough, unstoppable, white-knuckle fiction.
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*Starred Review* The first victim is a young woman, probably flayed alive and raped. Lucas Davenport, head of Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, is assigned to the case by his boss, the governor, who fears political fallout if a serial killer is on the loose. A tip puts Davenport and his team on the trail of a recently paroled sexual offender. Charley Pope never killed anyone, but conventional wisdom indicates his rage may escalate. But the planning that went into the crimes seems to exceed Charley's capabilities. Lucas also entertains the possibility that Charley was a "robot" for three Hannibal Lecter types in the asylum's high-security section for the criminally insane. The seventeenth Prey thriller is a cut above recent entries in the series. For one, it's a real whodunit, with the killer not revealed until the last couple chapters. Second, it contains supersized servings of all the elements readers have come to treasure in the series: Davenport's quirky, self-deprecating, and ironic worldview; plenty of graveyard humor; and a dynamic sense of place, from the Minnesota countryside to bustling Minneapolis to the foreboding gothic architecture of the asylum. An extra treat is Davenport's ongoing mental gyrations as he compiles a list of rock's 100 greatest tunes for his new I-pod. His musical critiques are pure rock fan, and the final list is a hoot. Byzantine plot, memorable characters, and a subliminal soundtrack of classic rock 'n' roll. What's not to like? Wes LukowskyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved