EYES OF PREY by John Sandford
Kirkus Star

EYES OF PREY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Why is Sandford's new Kidd-series novel, The Empress File (p. 120; written under his real name of John Camp), so frazzled? Maybe because this increasingly popular author is putting his finest energies into his best-selling Lucas Davenport series (Rules of Prey, 1989; Shadow Prey, 1990)--as evidenced by this strong and satisfying entry, in which the Minneapolis homicide cop tangles with two memorable psycho-killers. The killers are coldhearted burn-deformed actor Carlo Druze and handsome pill-crazed pathologist Michael Bekker, who lures Druze into a murder trade a la Strangers on a Train: Bekker's wife for Druze's boss. The novel opens with Druze sneaking into Bekker's house to slice Stephanie Bekker and (at Bekker's insistence) to mutilate her eyes--but it turns out that Stephanie has a lover, who sees Druze, then runs away. Who is he? And why the eye mutilation? These questions plague moody, perennially unhappy Davenport as he deals with the case, and with his own demons of depression. Though from the start suspecting Bekker (whose drug-soaked soliloquies, and hidden obsession with observing dying patients' eyes at the moment of death, cast him as an unusually fascinating villain), Davenport can't figure out the mad M.D.'s connection to the second victim, Druze's boss, also found with punched-out eyes. So when the mysterious eyewitness begins feeding anonymous clues about a deformed killer, and then a third victim--an innocent mistakenly identified by Druze as the eyewitness--surfaces, Davenport looks elsewhere. His search brings him to Druze's theater company and to sexy actress Cassie Lasch, who becomes Davenport's lover and (inevitably in Sandford's dark universe) Bekker's final victim--along with Druze, whom Bekker double-crosses. In a brutal finale, a semi-deranged Davenport, throwing his cop-career away, extracts a savage revenge upon Bekker--a revenge that leads to a last-page revelation of the eyewitness's surprising identity. Atmospheric, suspenseful, and gripping from start to finish.
Pub Date: April 4th, 1991
ISBN: 0425214435
Page count: 358pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1991




Kirkus Interview
John Sandford
author of SATURN RUN
October 6, 2015

Saturn Run, John Sandford’s new novel, is quite a departure for the bestselling thriller writer, who sets aside his Lucas Davenport crime franchise (Gathering Prey, 2015, etc.) and partners with photographer and sci-fi buff Ctein to leave Earth’s gravitational field for the rings of Saturn. The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate; spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out. The race is on. “James Bond meets Tom Swift, with the last word reserved not for extraterrestrial encounters but for international piracy, state secrets, and a spot of satisfyingly underhanded political pressure,” our reviewer writes. View video >

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