Jerry's Reviews > Naked Prey

Naked Prey by John Sandford
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's review
Jul 22, 2010

really liked it
Read in May, 2003

Davenport solves crime spree with help from 12-year-old !

We were wondering how Sandford would top his just prior novel, "Mortal Prey", in which a female assassin is so clever we almost wind up rooting for her instead of our leading man, Lucas Davenport. Starring in his 14th "Prey" story, Lucas now works pretty much at the pleasure of the Minnesota Governor (NOT a wrestler in this case!), concentrating on particularly sensational crimes. So when a mixed race couple are found naked and literally hanging from a tree, Lucas, with sidekick Del, local sheriffs, and a few FBI types, are quick to the scene. Within hours, they identify the killer and are poised to make an arrest, only to discover the perp and his wife have in turn also been murdered. Solving those and some additional crimes leads to more twists and turns than the snowy roads they traverse in the remote countryside to catch the bad guys. Along the way, twelve-year-old Letty West, a backwoods trapper and gunslinger, who cares for her alcoholic mother, becomes not only twice an intended victim, but a crucial ingredient in bringing justice near the end. Her character is so unusual and likable, Lucas and his wife are swayed into thinking about adopting her ere it's all over...

Sandford's writing and plot-making talent are in fine form as usual, although the number of violent deaths may discourage some readers. Yet the skillful police work of Davenport, a most endearing guy, holds things together as the clues pave the way to an exciting conclusion, itself with some quite ironic twists at the end to keep us reading into the wee hours. We have little doubt this newest novel in the set will immensely please fans and new readers alike. Enjoy!
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