A Book Spy Review: ‘Extreme Prey’ By John Sandford

John Sandford Extreme Prey.jpgThe best way to effect the outcome of an election isn’t to rig or manipulate the polls, it’s to kill the opposition. Or so some believe. 

After last year’s Gathering Prey, Lucas Davenport (who is back to star in his twenty-sixth novel) is without a job. No longer is he employed by the Minnesota BCA. Knowing that Lucas is looking for work, Elmer Henderson, the governor or Minnesota, makes him an offer.

Henderson is running for president, but he’s gotten more than a few bad vibes and threats while on the campaign trail. So, to ensure his safety, Lucas is brought on board to help with security. At first, that’s exactly what he does–help implement new safety procedures. But the job soon takes a devious turn, when another of Lucas’ skills is required. 

As it turns out, there’s a family who doesn’t just want Henderson to be elected president. Due to their circumstances, they feel he simply must be elected. The problem is, he’s not even his own party’s leading candidate. So, to fix that problem, they plan to assassinate Henderson’s main opposition, clearing the path for him to win the primary and head to the general election. 

Lucas Davenport is hot their trail, but the more he questions people about his theory, the more he himself looks like the crazy one. In fact, he soon realizes that if he can’t stop the planned assassination, he’ll likely be the number one suspect when the authorities begin their investigation. 

Standford alternates between Davenport’s hunt for the conspirators, and the bad guys who do everything imaginable to stall Lucas until they can pull off their plan.

With one of the presidential candidates being a female democrat, and multiple campaigns plagued by scandals, Sanford’s latest novel has a timely feel and seems all too plausible in today’s world. While that’s sad in real-life, it makes for a riveting thriller, and Sandford wrote the heck out of it. 

My thoughts 

Lucas Davenport is more Sherlock Holmes than James Bond. He’s a smart guy and prefers to use his IQ over his muscles, though he will divert to brute force when necessary. 

I think it’s interesting that Sandford has gone this route, but like that after more than twenty novels into this series, he’s willing to shake it up a bit. A change of pace was needed to keep things fresh, and I the author did a good job utilizing his character’s skills in a different way. While I’d imagine a return to the BCA is plausible, if not likely, in the future, it’s a ton of fun to see Lucas Davenport out of his element for the time being. 

Book Details

Author: John Sandford

Pages: 416 (Hardcover)

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Release Date: April 26, 2016 (Order now!)



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