Sandford’s Broken Prey is the usual extremely smooth mix of excellent and fast paced writing; good characterisation; great dialogue; excellent plotting and a satisfying read when it comes to the ongoing life of Lucas Davenport and those around him (which some of us have grown to love over the years).
Davenport is investigating a serial killer here and that’s something in which he has plenty of experience to offer. He does it well, both in the mind and in the chase. Happily married Davenport is also out on a limb slightly as his new wife, Weather, and his child are in London, where Weather is taking the opportunity to pursue her medical career with fervour.
Adding to the disconcerting environment is the fact that trusted long term buddy and side kick Sloan is having doubts about carrying on in his detective role. Sloan wants something else in his life and a different and better life for him. He’s just realised it and he’s even making the moves to make it happen. And he has his eyes on a certain property…
Sandford meets his ususal high standard for this series and surpasses it in some ways. There’s more of the mental agitation of mid-life in this book - and so there should be! Sandford admitted at the Harrogate Festival last year that Davenport was a fictional character creation according to a menu of what was appropriate to be successful. Davenport started out as a bit unusual and brilliant. He’s still brilliant, but now he’s embedded in the domestic mire and that makes him far lass than unusual.
Much as I’d like to see Davenport go on and on, from book to book; he’s been through so much. He now has the opportunity of some domestic bliss with Weather and his child, and that is clearly a crunch.
I suspect that Davenport will not be with us much longer. I hope that Sandford chooses to take him out with a bang, but not to kill him. A man that once such a free spirit, who is now embroiled in so much politics and with the promise of a quieter life at his age – yes, let’s be honest here! – must surely want to retire?
Davenport is one of the best fictional creations when it comes to police detectives. All his stories, from the pen of Sandford are the best examples you can have of how to make a police procedural investigation into a damn good page turning thriller. I just wonder how long this fictional man has? Settling down does not make such good fictional reading, especially when your colleagues of old are tempted by life anew in pastures green…
Personally, I’d like to see Davenport retired soon. And NOT through his own death or those of his family. Retirement after a damn good and high profile case with a lot of challenge for our man would suit me. A tip from Dexter and Morse would be good – just don’t kill him please Mr S!
Sandford does not only write the Davenport series, he also writes stand alones and another series,"Kidd". Sadly, Sandford recently felt the need to explain himself and provide background for the writing of his stand alone novel "Dead Watch".
He added one small paragraph at the end, in relation to the resurgence of his wife’s cancer. I have some idea of how he feels and how his wife feels. I won’t be so presumptious as to say "I know how you feel" – I don’t. My best friend suffered cancer, so, as a best friend, I have some idea. That’s my limit, but I know that part. I wish all the very best to John Sandford and his family. May he write more and keep us entertained, when he has/needs a break from pursuing all that matters to him – those closest to him and his family.
But in the mean time, all the very best to John Sandford and his family, and all the very best for more of John Sandford’s well toned writing, when it comes!
But for now, Broken Prey is a good read, an exemplary read if in the genre. Davenport is still king of the detectives. Ignore all this at your peril!