SILENT PREY by John Sandford

SILENT PREY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sandford's sixth thriller--including two under his real name of John Camp--since July 1989. It's no surprise, then, that this fourth in his bestselling Prey series shows some stretch and strain, bringing cop-hero Lucas Davenport away from Minneapolis to Manhattan to tangle again with the homicidal maniac of Eyes of Prey (1991). But it's not just drug-crazed pathologist Michael Bekker--infamous for cutting out his victims' eyelids as he torture-kills them to capture the moment of transition from life to death--that tests Davenport here. Weeks after Bekker escapes from a Minneapolis courthouse in the novel's fierce kickoff, Davenport is visited by old flame Lily Rothenberg of the NYPD (Rules of Prey). Not only is Bekker running amok in N.Y.C., Lily says, but so is a cabal of vigilante cops who've killed perhaps dozens of the Big Apple's most vicious worms. Will Davenport help snare Bekker and at the same time secretly sniff out the bad cops? Davenport's exploration of Gotham's mean streets dramatically points up the metropolis as an inferno of the damned--dealers, fences, junkies--as seen by a small-city cop; but Davenport himself seems less the appealingly brooding, game-playing genius of previous novels than a devious bully with a penchant for extralegal tactics, including intimidation and burglary. Meanwhile, Bekker pops pills and reaps victims under Davenport's nose until a major twist reveals why the killer remains invisible. As Davenport closes in, he also finds himself looking hard at friends old and new as possible vigilantes: Lily, her cop-lover, another top cop, and Davenport's own new bedmate, a feisty "cowgirl" cop named Barb Fell. The two cases close out in predictable but tense climaxes fraught with poetic justice. Solid cop-action with well-drawn minor characters, but lacking the high cleverness or suspense of some earlier Preys. And recycled villain Bekker is no Hannibal Lecter.
Pub Date: March 30th, 1992
ISBN: 0425224465
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1992




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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