Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easy Prey - John Sandford

In Easy Prey, Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport solved the murder of famous model Aliée Maison in eight days. [In the book, the name is written as Alie'e, but I believe it's a French name, since it was spelled 'Ah-Lee-Ay', so here I want to write it Aliée.]

Easy Prey has a different format than the previous books in Prey series. Usually we read the stories from two points of view: the killer's and Davenport's. That is why the reader usually knows from the start who the killer is. In Easy Prey, apart from the first 1 1/2 pages telling how the first killer (there are two killers and I think it's safe to say this -even though you happen to read this before you read the book, because the writer himself called this man 'the first man') started his morning in that particular day, we went through the story from Lucas Davenport's side only. I myself liked it, although I went to read several reviews about this book yesterday and they were negative.

Like Koop in Night Prey, the killers were those who didn't attract attention, made them hard to catch. If in Night Prey we had been introduced to the killer from the start, in Easy Prey we were as blind as the police about the killers. We followed them as they had to interview everybody and search for clues.

In this book, Lucas Davenport had changed his black Porsche for a newer model and perhaps could repair his relationship with his fiancée, Weather.

When I finished Night Prey - that was five books ago - I thought everybody had not a cell-phone then, because Lucas said to Greave, "I'll meet you in the lobby. And bring one of the cellulars, I'm gonna want to make a phone call." I thought it was not the cell-phone era then, but it turned out he just didn't like being available all the time. [Neither do I. Especially since I use public transport and I don't like everybody knows I have a smartphone.] He was rich enough to get one of those, even if the department didn't give him one. Since Secret Prey - that is the book before this one - it seemed everybody got a cell-phone, although Lucas never turned on his. In this matter, Lucas was extreme, I think. If he didn't want to be disturbed, he could simply put it on silent mode and screened the calls later.

A Maplewood cop called Lucas on his cell-phone - via Dispatcher, "Listen, Chief, my chief wants to talk with you. You got a number he can call?"
"Hang on," Lucas said. He handed the phone to Lester
(the Minneapolis PD Homicide deputy chief) and said, "Give him you cell-phone number."
Lester read his number off, then handed the phone back to Lucas. Lucas could hear the Maplewood cop repeating the number to somebody else, and a second later, Lester's phone rang. He handed it to Lucas, who said, "Hello?"

Monday, April 21, 2014

Certain Prey - John Sandford

Two of the female central characters in Certain Prey were very interesting. 1) Carmel Loan, a successful defense lawyer with a weakness: she had to have what she wanted. She wanted Allen Hale and hired a professional killer to kill Hale's wife. When things went wrong, she even became crueler than the pro. 2) Clara Rinker, the pro. As the story went, the reader would find that she had more heart than the lawyer who had hired her. I was glad the police and the mafia could not touch her in the end. She reminded me of hitmen from French movies.

The problem first appeared when Carmel Loan found out that she was being blackmailed for Mrs Hale's murder. Surprisingly she contacted Rinker again to help her. Rinker apparently liked her and together they killed more people who could tie Carmel Loan to the Mrs Hale murder.

Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport was first suspicious of Carmel Loan when Allen Hale came and told him how Carmel had wanted him for years. Davenport illegally entered Carmel's apartment and during the search he found a bullet which could tie Carmel to the Hale murder. Since then, the investigation was focused to her.

In this book, the relationship between Davenport and Sgt Sherill had ended and there was a funny moment when he had to used a BMW for a trip to Wichita because he feared of flying and the Porsche was not for long distance drive. Davenport's life was in danger twice, first when he was shot by Carmel and the second shot by Rinker.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Secret Prey - John Sandford

A chairman from a bank was shot dead while hunting. Was it an accident or a murder? The police got a tip that the murder was giving advantage to a certain bank executive and there were rumors that he perhaps had got rid of everyone who was in his way.

The story started slow for me, I was even bored reading details about bank merger; but once the real murderer was revealed - which was in the middle of the book - it became so interesting. I even think this is one of the best books in the Prey series. The murders were perfect that although the police had found the culprit, they still had to find solid proofs.

Deputy chief Lucas Davenport was famous among the bad guys because they knew he was smart and dangerous. They were afraid of him. The bad guy in this book, to divert Davenport's investigation, went as far as attacking his fiancée and his best friend.

After a haunting episode in the previous book, where Lucas saved his fiancée, Weather, by killing her captor - "When he confronts a monster, he solves the problem by becoming a bigger monster..." [Lucas Davenport in the eyes of the mother of his daughter] - she decided to stay away from him and Lucas started seeing Sergeant Marcy Sherill, a detective from Homicide.

The book ended with a funny scene where Lucas was alone in the office, surrounded by old ladies who wanted to turn themselves in.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sudden Prey - John Sandford

In law enforcement, danger can come anytime; so although this book is entitled ‘Sudden Prey’, I don’t see what is so sudden about the whole thing. The story was good, even though bank robbers gave me impression that it was like in the wild west era. However I stayed up late reading this, either because the story was interesting or I simply could not sleep.

Lucas Davenport and his group kept a group of bank robbers under surveillance, culminating in a bank robbery where all the robbers were shot to death. Dick LaChaise, whose wife and sister were dead in the ‘ambush’ swore to take revenge to the police responsible. With his two friends, Dick LaChaise found a corrupted police who could access personnel files and used it to track down spouses of the police who gunned down his wife and sister. ‘An eye for an eye.’

With a corrupted police in Lucas Davenport’s group who tipped LaChaise about progress on the investigation, it was difficult to catch the bad guys. This corrupted police also wanted each one in the Dick LaChaise group dead, hoping that he could get away unscathed, using Lucas’ daughter and fiancée as baits.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mind Prey - John Sandford

Mind Prey, in my opinion, is in the same level as the previous book, Night Prey.

The bad guy’s name was exposed from the very beginning: John Mail. John Mail kidnapped Andi Manette and her two daughters. He had been obsessed with Andi Manette, a psychiatrist who once had treated him, and even more since someone who hated her had been feeding him informations that she had liked him as well.

Andi Manette came from a rich family who had political influence, so the Minneapolis Police Department received a big pressure to find her and her daughters asap. Our hero, Chief Lucas Davenport, had a clue that the bad guy was a gamer and tried to trap him in every chance. However, being a gamer who was familiar with games created by Lucas Davenport, John Mail could smell those traps.

Mind Prey was very enjoyable to read. In this book, Lucas gave Weather an engagement ring. I actually missed the times when Lucas was described writing games until morning.

I know almost nothing about cars, but Lucas Davenport's car should be looking something like this. He already drove one in the first book which was published in 1989 and no mention of him getting a new model, that was if he didn't buy the car the year before.
1989 Porsche 911 Black

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Night Prey - John Sandford

In my opinion, Night Prey is better than the previous book in this Prey series. We knew the bad guy from the first page. His name was Koop, a cat burglar turned stalker turned serial murderer. The police, however, had no clue whatsoever. It seemed real to me. To find a murderer in a city of several millions people must be not easy, that is if the murderer not from out of town.

There were also some side cases for the Minnesota police, some were solved, some not. Lucas Davenport was back in the police department as a deputy chief. His girlfriend Weather had been moved to be with him and they lived together in his house.

A woman was found, dead with a ripped belly, dumped like a trash. A state investigator, Meagan Connell, came to ‘help’ the local police. She believed that the killer was a serial one. As she was sick and dying, she wanted to catch the culprit while she was still alive. The police had no clue, no eye-witness; and Lucas Davenport tried to follow any tiny possibility which usually turned out a dead-end and they had to start from square one.

Apart from Meagan Connell, Lucas Davenport also had Bob Greave in his team. Greave, initially loaned to ‘run errands’, was still green and in the PD perhaps only Davenport who agreed to be his mentor. The adventure in Winter Prey left Davenport with a scar in his neck and Night Prey gave him four broken ribs. While reading I kept in mind that this book was first published in May 1994 and not everybody had cell-phones at that time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Winter Prey - John Sandford

The LaCourts family has been murdered and their house were burned. The Sheriff asks for Lucas Davenport's help because in their peaceful area there never has been such a big case and Lucas happens to have a cabin in the same state of Wisconsin. Two witnesses, firemen, swear to see Father Bergen's truck near the area at the time the fire alarm ringing; and the priest swears that when he leaves the LaCourts, they were still alive and healthy.

The investigation will lead Davenport to child abuse case. The murderer, called Iceman, actually murdered the LaCourts for nothing and his action would set a series of events that attract the attention of the authority. In this book, Lucas Davenport meets the local surgeon, Weather Karkinnen, and falls in love with her. Iceman wants to eliminate Weather, the only person who can identify him from the Polaroid picture, stolen and sent to a publishing magazine, by one of his victims.

I think Winter Prey is more interesting than Silent Prey, although I don't like the surrounding. It's Wisconsin in the middle of winter, everything is cold and white, and there is a snow storm to come. I don't know, it sounds boring to me. The white situation, I mean, not the story in this book.

Silent Prey - John Sandford

Silent Prey is a sequel to Eyes of Prey. Michael Bekker, the evil mind in Eyes of Prey, escaped from prison and ran to New York, where he continues torturing and murdering people. Lucas Davenport, who has resigned from police department, is brought to New York as a consultant to help capturing Bekker and to secretly investigate a series of murder by so-called 'Robin Hood', a sort of vigilante force. For Lucas Davenport, New York means Lily Rothenburg, his old flame, but now she already has a fiancé.

In my opinion, Silent Prey is not as good as the previous book, although it was still an enjoyable read.