I realize I might begin to be obnoxious by declaring my love for all things Prey, and for Lucas Davenport. But there you go. As a result, I was pretty darned excited to get my hands on the latest installment, and the catalyst for the TLC Days of Prey Tour, Storm Prey. More Lucas, more clothing finery, more high-speed chases in the Porche. Yeah baby!
In the 20th installment of this fine specimen of man-fiction, the focus of attention is, to my delight, Lucas' ballsy surgeon wife Weather. Weather is involved in a high-profile surgery to separate Siamese twins conjoined at the head. One early morning, when she is prepping for the surgery at the hospital, she unknowingly is an eye-witness to a hospital employee escaping the scene of a pharmacy break-in that ended tragically. Paranoia sets in, and the group of miscreants responsible for the theft hires the services of a hit man to take out Weather, and also begin to turn on each other. While the case falls into the jurisdiction of the city and Lucas' old flame Marcy Sherill (aka Titsy in Weather's opinion), Lucas is determined to act as the knight in shining armour to protect his wife. The climax of the story takes place in the middle of a violent winter Minnesota storm (hence the title).
Unlike some of the Prey novels, we know everything about the evil-doers from the beginning of the novel. What is left, then, is the fun of watching the cat and mouse game, and witnessing the organization of said bad guys implode as they begin to distrust each other. The suspense of the novel really lies on the shoulders of the depraved hit man, and the drug-addicted hospital employee, who are the wild cards in the equation.
I have always appreciated the character of Weather. She is probably the only woman that could handle Lucas. She doesn't take any guff from him, has her own successful career, and is no shrinking violet. It is a pleasure when she takes center stage in a Prey novel.
One unique aspect of the Prey novels is that there is usually a major subplot underfoot, that makes each novel distinct and unique. With Storm Prey, it is the surgical separation of the babies. This added a human factor to the chaos and mayhem, and seen through Weather's technical point of view, interesting albeit slightly distracting.
Of course, it isn't a Prey book without some reference to Lucas' fashion obsession, whether it be about Lucas having a fifteen minute discussion with another doctor about loafers, or Lucas complaining about ruining a pair of his $450 Italian calfskin shoes after getting into a scuffle with a steroid freak.
I wouldn't say this is one of the best Prey novels, but with 19 others competing for the title, this isn't a bad thing. The novel is a strong entry into the series, and is highly entertaining for the Prey newbie and veteran alike. The good news is that I will be giving away my copy to one randomly selected winner a week from today, 5/27. Just leave a comment, letting me know if you have read this series yet, and if so, which is your favorite installment?
4 out of 5 stars