Thursday, May 20, 2010

Storm Prey - John Sandford


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


14 comments:

Nymeth said...

You couldn't be obnoxious if you tried, Sandy! I've yet to read any Prey books, but I love falling in love with a series and realising there are lots and lots and lots of books in it for me to read.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I haven't read this series yet--Do I need to start at #1 to fully appreciate it and get to know the characters?

bermudaonion said...

I really enjoyed this book, too, but I'm a huge Lucas Davenport fan too! I agree - Weather is the perfect counterbalance to Lucas. No need to enter me in your giveaway.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I need to read these, when I have time to devote to a 20-book series addiction! :--) But "Weather"? Where do they get these names?!!!

Zibilee said...

Oh, I am so glad you liked this one! It sounds like there were a lot of different elements in the story, and that they worked pretty well together. I have not yet read any of these books, but I am becoming more intrigued by them as I have been following a lot of different reviews on Sanford. Great review!

Alyce said...

I haven't read any books from this series, and I can tell that these probably wouldn't be something I would gravitate toward naturally. I enjoyed reading your review and can tell that you really like these books. :) No need to enter me though.

Julie P. said...

I'm not sure if I've ever read one, but I think I'd love the series. It's entirely possible that I read one of the first ones, but it's been so long I forget the details!

Kathleen said...

Sounds like a good one. I guess my favorite is the only one I've read (I type sheepishly) and that is Shadow Prey. I'd love the chance to read another in the series and really want to know more about this woman who can handle Lucas!

Jenners said...

I've not read any of these ... but I'm starting to get worn down.

caite said...

more Prey? I might have to give in and start the series again. maybe.

Iliana said...

Darn, I forgot to mention this series at my recent book group meeting where we chose books for the next few months. I loved that TLC tour where all of his books where being reviewed - I got to read quite a few reviews and definitely need to put this series on my list. No need to enter me as I need to get a hold of the first book to see how I get on with the series. Good to hear that even at book 20 it's still a good one to follow.

Anna said...

Not obnoxious at all, just excited about a series you love. I'll have to give this series some thought. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Literary Feline said...

As you probably know, I read my very first book in this series earlier this month and now I'm kicking myself for waiting so long. Now I need to go back and start from the beginning. At least I have a lot to look forward to. :-)

Alice Teh said...

Ahhhh... I think I might like this too.

I'm currently reading Lee Child's Jack Reacher series and boy, I love that man. I'm collecting all JR's books and mostly bought from The Book Depository. :D