From Publishers Weekly
Det. Lucas Davenport has battled some real demons over the past 15 Prey novels and drifted in and out of lust and love with a host of women. But now he's happily married to the lovely Weather; has a nine-month-old son, Sam; and takes care of his 12-year-old ward, Letty West. Sure, he's got a measure of the old angst, but he's growing accustomed to the good life, spending quality time alone on the couch drinking beer and watching TV golf. His new job is running the Office of Regional Research at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension where he looks into various crimes and "fixes shit" for the governor. So when a dead Russian shows up on the docks in Duluth, Lucas is assigned to shepherd the lady investigator, Nadya Kalin, being sent by the Russian government. From the very first pages, the reader knows it's teenager Carl Walther who has killed the Russian. What makes the book intriguing is the manner in which the sagacious Davenport goes about uncovering the rest of the co-conspirators-a gang of Minnesota-based Communist spies headed by Carl's grandpa, 92-year-old ex-KGB colonel Burt Walther. That Sandford makes this unlikely plot believable is a mark of his mastery of the technical aspects of the mystery form and a testament to his overall writing skills. Readers will be pleased with this relaxed version of the moody Minneapolis investigator. In past novels, the womanizing Davenport would have romanced the good-looking Russian lady, but the new Davenport is content to play the part of friend and protector and go back to his cozy family with an unstained and remarkably contented soul.
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A Russian sailor is the victim of a professional assassination on the docks of Duluth. Wary of international implications, the governor of Minnesota asks Lucas Davenport, the chief investigator for the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, to investigate. Major Nadezhda Kalin, a representative of Russian law enforcement, assists Davenport. The murder may be linked to the remnants of a dormant Soviet Union network established between the world wars but forgotten by the motherland. The descendants of the original network members have all melded into the American mainstream. Davenport and Kalin pursue the case through the rural mining towns of northern Minnesota even as they become the targets of the shadowy assassin. The sixteenth Prey
novel is less harrowing and not as dark as many of its predecessors. It's also more humorous--even the suicide of a key character is accompanied by a sly, graveyard one-liner--with deft Davenport observations on the curious behavior of the opposite sex in general and on Russian women in particular. Similarities to previous Prey
thrillers: high entertainment value; deftly rendered characterizations; and clever, believable dialogue. Expect another best-seller and stock up accordingly. Wes LukowskyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved