The 2008 Republican National Convention sweeps into the Twin Cities, bringing in its wake a world of trouble for Lucas Davenport’s hometown.
When you think Republicans, you think big money. So do supercriminal Brutus Cohn and Rosie Cruz, his partner in a scheme to rob the visiting delegates blind. Working with ex-cons Jesse Lane and Tate McCall, they start out small, with a series of hotel-room invasions aimed at walking-around money whose loss they assume won’t be reported to the law because it’s already illegal. But all that changes when they’re forced to kill a suburban police officer. Lucas Davenport, of Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (Phantom Prey, 2008, etc.), soon figures out what sort of violent, cold-hearted crooks he’s up against, but with every law-enforcement officer in Minneapolis–St. Paul already detailed to the convention, it’s hard to know what to do—especially against lawbreakers who soon figure out that he’s onto them. From that point on Sandford expertly dramatizes a tug-of-war complicated by two wild cards: Oklahoma neo-Nazi sharpshooter Justice Shafer, who claims he’s just passing through, and cranked-up paraplegic Randy Whitcomb, a sociopath determined to wreak vengeance against Lucas, the man he holds responsible for ruining his life. Killing Lucas, Randy decides, would be too easy; he’ll go after his family instead. So as Lucas is strained to the max responding to the rising tide of violence against the well-heeled delegates and their protectors, someone he’s never thought about is planning to blindside him. Especially notable here is the unsought help Lucas receives from a charmingly unlikely guardian angel who takes the battle against his family back to the villain.
The multiple plots are untidily stuck together, as if with mucilage, but Sandford keeps stepping up the pressure until it seems as if more than Randy Whitcomb is running on crank.