SILKEN PREY by John Sandford
Kirkus Star

SILKEN PREY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dirty political tricksters give Lucas Davenport his most satisfying case in years.

Even though he’s a conservative Republican, Sen. Porter Smalls is widely known to be a lot more liberal in his sexual ethics. But not so liberal that you’d expect child pornography to pop up on his personal office computer. The horrified staffer who accidentally finds it there calls her father, and he calls 911. Minnesota governor Elmer Henderson, a Democrat, is no friend of Smalls, but he’s impressed by his claims of innocence, and he doesn’t want any blowback if the kiddie porn turns out to have been planted. So he calls Lucas Davenport, asking him to investigate but keep everything confidential. The hush-hush first phase of the case ends when Lucas finds evidence linking the porn stash to Bob Tubbs, a political jack-of-all-trades who’s disappeared and hasn’t used his credit cards for days. Given the cover of a homicide investigation, Lucas’ Bureau of Criminal Apprehension takes the case public, solving one problem—how can Lucas talk to anybody if he’s sworn to secrecy?—but raising another. For the trail leads to some very awkward spots: the Minneapolis Police Department, from which it’s pretty clear the damning pictures came, and the campaign of Taryn Grant, the wealthy, well-connected heiress who wants Smalls' Senate seat. With the election less than a week away, Lucas is under intense pressure to get results without stepping on the feet of Grant, who Sandford (Stolen Prey, 2012, etc.) indicates early on is indeed in this mess up to her eyeballs. Meanwhile, another Sandford veteran to whom Lucas turns for help hatches a plot to steal Grant’s jewels from the safe in her home. Complications ensue.

Sandford keeps every stage of the investigation clear, compelling and suspenseful while peeling back layer after layer of a world in which “everybody was hot, everybody was rich."

Pub Date: May 7th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-399-15931-2
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2013




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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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