Norris F's Reviews > Mortal Prey

Mortal Prey by John Sandford
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Feb 24, 12


Mortal Prey. I’ve listened to a novel in John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers series and came away with the blahs: too much exposition and weird hippy stuff. My parents introduced me to Sandford’s Prey series during last year’s holidays. They were enamored with the cop, Lucas Davenport, and his resourceful antagonist, the deadly assassin, Clara Rinker. They’d even met the author at a book fair. Certain Prey in audio form is read by Richard Ferrone (one of my favorites) and from the snippets, I knew I’d give it a listen. I’m glad I did. I enjoy Sandford’s work. He does his research, writes with humor and a light touch, has excellent plotting, and, most importantly, keeps the action going. Mortal Prey is the follow up to the excellent Certain Prey. Certain Prey introduced us to Clara Rinker, an assassin for the St. Louis mob who no LE agency has been able to identify, let alone apprehend. Her hits are methodical and meticulous with no evidence left, and victims dead before the shells hit the floor. Rinker does some work for a vicious velociraptor of a lawyer in Minneapolis, but things go sideways and the two women form a homicidal Thelma&Louise like bond while trying to murder their way out of an encroaching investigation. At novel’s end, hired killers try to kill Rinker, and she chalks it up to business, but warns that any further attempts would provoke lethal retaliation. This brings us to Mortal Prey. Another attempt is made on Rinker’s life and it costs her dearly. The failed attempt puts her on the radar of the FBI, who enlist Lucas Davenport to bring her to heel, but Davenport barely survived his first encounter with the lethal Rinker, will he survive the second? Mortal Prey brings Rinker to the forefront: background, motivation, and family history. One thing Sandford does well in this novel is give you reasons to root for Rinker and jeer law enforcement; it’s not one dimensional. The action is excellent. Rinker’s hits are stunning in their forethought and technique. One of them leaves tough guy, Davenport a quivering mess. I found nothing disagreeable with this novel and can thoroughly recommend it for its humor, action, style, and plot.
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