“ Author: John Sandford / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 09 June 2011 / Genre: Crime & Thriller / Subcategory: Thriller / Suspense General / Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd / Title: Winter Prey / ISBN 13: 9781849834797 / ISBN 10: 1849834797 / Alternative EAN: 9780425141236 „
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There are parts of America that are very cold (and I am not talking about some of their attitudes to poor people). The frozen areas of the North get to the point were anyone outdoors without the correct protection will be dead in hours. If the cold does not get you then the various animals just might. However, what is the deadliest animal of all? Man of course. It is not the bears and coyotes that you should worry most about but the gun totting hunter who may just mistake you for a deer. The family found murdered in John Sandford's 'Winter Prey' was certainly not mistaken for game. With the ice and snow covering the killer's tracks could this prove to be Lucas Davenport's most difficult case to date?
After internal politics in Minnesota got too much for Lucas Davenport he decided to move to the colder countryside to write computer games. However, when a family is brutally murdered his expertise as a man that catches killers quick is once more in demand. Davenport is deputised and asked to lead an investigation that will rip a small town in two. Not only have a family been killed, but it seems a child sex ring may be in operation. When Davenport feels the buzz of the chase again he once more sets out to catch a killer.
'Winter Prey' is perhaps the book that sums up Sandford's style better than any other. Having read the majority of Prey novels out of order I finally got around to reading this relatively early adventure and it turns out to be a pivotal book. The early Prey novels show Davenport as a cocky police maverick going against the rules to reach his goals. After 'Winter' this changes as although Davenport is not afraid to bend the rules he now has a maturity and respect for danger. This is because the events in this novel will please any fan of the series that is looking for characterisation and development. We are introduced to Weather, a love interest for Davenport, and her presence changes the way that Lucas acts.
All the character development is only icing on the cake as the rest of the book is also a great ride. Like in nearly all the Prey novels we follow the twin paths of the killer and the investigation as it draws nearer. 'Winter Prey' is the quintessential Prey novel as it rattles along at a great pace from the off. The reader is given no time to breath as the murderer piles victim after victim up. Personally I felt that the body count was perhaps a little too high this time, but it is hard to be critical when you are enjoying yourself so much. Of all the Prey novels this one is probably the most none stop and exhilarating. I feel that Sandford was able to slow things out and balance his books later in the series, but 'Winter Prey' remains a great read.
As always in the Prey books it is the character of Lucas Davenport that really makes them work. Although he is a rich good looking guy Sandford is able to make him appealing rather than annoying. What I really like is his commitment to the case and use of dodgy tactics to get the information required. This makes him a cool anti hero who is different from a lot of the heroes on offer in the crime genre. I imagine that a later book will find him one day suffering the consequences of his actions.
'Winter Prey' is a book in a similar vein to the Lee Child 'Reacher' novels. This is a crime thriller with an emphasis on the thrills. From chapter one the reader is rushed along on a slightly ridiculous, but entertaining journey. The pace is sometimes a little too fast and the body count too high, but I found myself enjoying myself so much that it did not prove a huge issue. I would advise people to read the series from the beginning to get an idea why this novel is a shift for the series. However, like the majority of Prey novels it can be read out of order as it is a great individual thriller.
Author: John Sandford
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Called in to assist the sheriff from a remote, rural area of Wisconsin in his investigation into a brutal triple homicide, Lucas Davenport begins to uncover a shocking series of vicious crimes that stun even Davenport with their evil intent.