STOLEN PREY by John Sandford


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Lucas Davenport takes the scenic route toward a confrontation with the two practiced crooks who had the bad luck to rob him.

Just as he’s leaving an ATM with $500, the star of Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is held up by a pair of obvious meth users, a man and a woman. Naturally, Lucas vows vengeance. Before he can catch up with the pair, however, he and his team will have to wade through a thicket of unrelated violence visited on the Midwest by a trio of Mexican gunslingers. The hit men, whom Sandford (Buried Prey, 2011, etc.) inventively dubs Uno, Dos and Tres, first pop up on Lucas’ radar when they torture and execute Patrick Brooks, founder of Sunnie Software, and his wife and children. A preliminary investigation ties the murders to a money-laundering operation that crosses the border, and the connection is strengthened when the Mexican government sends Inspector David Rivera and Sgt. Ana Martínez north as observers. They end up doing a lot more than observing because the three killers are just getting started. On orders from their mysterious boss, Big Voice, they’re pursuing a fortune in gold that’s gotten stuck halfway through the money-laundering chute and cauterizing any leaks among the system’s conspirators while they’re at it.

Despite the high mortality rate, the procedural work is more grueling than fascinating, and the criminals are mostly as nondescript as their monikers. But the climactic gunfight is deeply satisfying, and the very last line of dialogue is perfect.

Pub Date: May 15th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-399-15768-4
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2012

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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