John Sandford is the pseudonym of Pulitzer prize-winning journalist John Camp. He is the author of seventeen PREY novels, four KIDD novels and the stand-alone thriller, DEAD WATCH. He lives in Minnesota. Visit www.johnsandford.org
Bestseller Sandford opts for a contemplative procedural rather than a high-octane nail-biter for his 17th novel to feature Minneapolis detective Lucas Davenport (after 2005's Broken Prey). The brave and intelligent Davenport, one of contemporary crime fiction's more congenial sleuths, is working a politically sensitive case-state senator Burt Kline is on the edge of being arrested for having sex with a minor-when he's called in to investigate the beating death of wealthy widow Constance Bucher and her maid. Bucher lived in a mansion stuffed with antiques, though it's unclear if robbery was the motive for the murders. Several run-of-the-mill suspects are dealt with before the reader learns the identity of the two killers, who continue to murder a string of folks all variously connected to the Bucher slaying. Eventually, the Bucher and Kline cases come together in an unexpected way. Interesting and unusual supporting characters, good and bad guys alike, enhance an intriguing puzzle. (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Is Lucas Davenport losing his edge? In his 17th outing, the Minnesota lawman seems to spend more time delegating than detecting. First, he has an intern investigate the untimely deaths of some wealthy St. Paul senior citizens. The break in the case comes when the cops connect the victims to a set of antique quilts. That's right; the rugged detective's taking on quilt cases now. When he's not pouring over The Antiques Price Guide, Davenport organizes Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's investigation of a state politician accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl. By far the more interesting of the two story lines, speculation about the sleazy politician gives Davenport and his cronies plenty of opportunity for the crude and clever shoptalk at which Sandford excels. Series fans will miss the adrenaline rush they usually get from his books but will appreciate the cameo by Sandford's other series character, Kidd. Sandford's popularity makes this an essential purchase for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/07.]--Karen Kleckner, Deerfield P.L., IL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.