Book: Mortal Prey by John Sandford

Another good cop thriller by John Sandford

John Sandford
Mortal Prey
Putnam, 2002
ISBN: 0-399-14863-9
354 pages

I've said previously that John Sandford's "Prey" novels are reliably good cop thrillers (1, 2), and Mortal Prey is no exception. In this one, Lucas Davenport, the detective, chases Clara Rinker. Clara Rinker appeared earlier in Certain Prey where she was a professional assassin. As this book begins, Clara Rinker has been in Mexico for some time and she's pregnant with her boyfriend's child. Unexpectedly, an assassin tries to kill her, but the shot goes awry and kills her boyfriend and her unborn child. Clara survives and she has a pretty good idea who sent the assassin; it's her former employers in St Louis. Clara goes to St Louis to get her revenge.

When the FBI realizes that it was Clara Rinker who was the intended target and that she has disappeared, they ask Lucas Davenport to join them in trying to find her since he recently had some experience with chasing her. Naturally, there are more murders, chases, and everything else you expect from a cop thriller. What raises Mortal Prety a bit above the fairly large number of other good cop thrillers is that Lucas Davenport is a flawed detective and Clara Rinker is a reasonably likable assassin. It would be going too far to say that they're cut from the same cloth, but they're more complex characters than you often find in thrillers.

I don't recognize the typeface used in the book, but I'd have chosen something else because its italic font looks jarring next its roman. Also, there's "plaza" capitalized when it shouldn't be (p. 4). "Bowline" is a kind of knot; a rope from the front end of a boat would be better described as a "bow-line" (p. 59). And there's "pocket of his jackets" were "pockets of his jacket" is meant (p. 174).

Posted: Thu - May 12, 2005 at 08:56   Main   Category: