INVISIBLE PREY by John Sandford


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Lucas Davenport goes up against a pair of antiques thieves who kill for love and money.

The crime scene—a posh St. Paul house trashed, electronics hardware looted, important jewelry untouched—indicates that wealthy Constance Bucher and her maid were the victims of opportunistic thieves, maybe kids, who bashed them to death for no good reason. But Lucas, aided by the sharp observations of his suspect, the maid’s nephew, gets a hint of something more organized and sinister: a criminal conspiracy that may stretch back to a similar theft and murder in Chippewa Falls four years ago, and broaden to include a fraudulent set of quilts that were sold to area museums even though they weren’t quite museum quality. Lucas’s chances of spotting the killers, antiques dealers Leslie and Jane Little Widdler, who use murder as foreplay, are seriously compromised by the fact that he’s using them as expert consultants on the case. But even as they’re hiding in plain sight, they can feel the unwitting Lucas breathing down their necks. So they look around for a distraction and come up with a honey. The other big case Lucas has in hand is the ambitious Minnesota State Senate president’s admitted romance with Kathy Barth and his alleged liaison with her daughter Jesse, 16. If only something could happen to Jesse, reason the Widdlers. When their scheme creates some unexpected blowback, they methodically turn their minds to getting rid of each other. It sounds as if things will be almost too easy for Lucas (Broken Prey, 2005, etc.), but Sandford still has a few surprises in store en route to the satisfyingly vengeful conclusion.

The villains are cartoon monsters, but Sandford unfolds his unlikely tale with a pro’s command of pace, mixing his pitches like an All-Star.

Pub Date: May 15th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-399-15421-8
Page count: 430pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2007

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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