Friday, May 23, 2014

Broken Prey - John Sandford

Finished this last night and I think this is one of the best books in the Prey series. Lucas Davenport from Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was called by his best friend Sloan, a homicide detective from Minneapolis PD, to look at a body – a murder victim. A week later, a sheriff from Blue Earth County contacted him about two murder victims in Mankato, who Lucas believed had been murdered by the same man. The horrible nature of the killings made the police believe that whoever did them was insane and that they must have caught him before he did another one.

I have read many detective stories where the murders were extraordinarily cruel, like the writer tried to depict how violent a human being could do to another, to depict the most horrible methods of torture they could imagine or dig out from the middle age era, and in the end of the book the explanation given on why was simply because the killer was insane. Broken Prey was one of the rare occasions where the plots were well woven that it was convincing enough, that the writer didn’t give the readers an insane murderer just because he couldn’t have thought of a better reason.

For a cheerful side plot, Weather gave Lucas an iPod for his birthday and a gift certificate for 100 songs and he determined to limit them to exactly 100 rock songs as an invitation for discipline. He made a list and the word had spread among his friends. The main story was so dark, therefore suggestions about what songs should be on the list in the middle of dialogues, made the situation a little better. From the way they talked about it, I thought the songs were hard rock. I didn’t know most of the songs they were talking about, but when the list was revealed I recognized several, and some of those several I myself would call them ‘easy listening’ instead of rock. The last one was even the kind of song we could listen from a classic FM radio--> there was a reason for this, though.

Unlike most of Prey series where the killer is revealed from the beginning, in Broken Prey we didn’t know who the killer was until Lucas finally got very lucky near the end and found out about him. It was a tiring police work to find a killer, like it should be, where our hero and his group must read tons of reports, visit crime scenes, talk to witnesses, etc. The killer taunted them, planting false clues, calling a journalist and feeding stories to him. It was a nightmare when the police failed to save the third victim. “Not something I’d want to see a second time,” said Sloan after seeing the body.

Strangely, I was satisfied with the conclusion – where Lucas was left with a broken upper arm, a black eye, and a cracked nose. The best, however, was in Night Prey, when he was crippled after a fight. “Blood was pouring from Lucas’s nose, down his shirt, and he was standing with one shoulder a foot lower than the other, crippled, hung over the balcony.”

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