If this had been the first time I had ever picked up a John Sandford book I would have run out like I did over 25 years ago and rushed to read more by him.
I can’t think of any author alive or dead that has managed to keep a series so entertaining for 28 years. The fact that Davenport has aged from a very young detective to a middle-aged marshal and remained interesting is even more of a feat.
When I finished the last book (Extreme Prey) I was excited about where the series might lead. After 26 books I saw where it might be heading into an exciting new direction.
After reading this one, I admit, I totally underestimated Sandford. When we first met Lucas we were faced with a young guy that did whatever it took to get some pretty violent criminals off the street. We’ve always seen that, I suppose, but as Lucas grew older, he seemed to settle down a bit. Maybe not lose his spark, but it certainly didn’t seem to burn as bright. He seemed at times to hesitate and take less chances. The bad guys he went after didn’t seem quite as bad as the ones he chased in his younger days. He seemed tied down by all the political restraints placed upon him. He seemed just a few steps away from becoming a pencil pusher himself. Often seemed to spend as much time supervising others as he did chasing down the bad guys…
However, with this book all that changed. Some of these guys (and girls) were some of the most violent individuals he’s encountered. Lucas was also at the top of his game in this one. He was right in the midst of the action. We’ve also been introduced to a few new characters and I honestly can not fucking wait to see more of them in the years to come.
I also have to say, Sandford is at the top of his game as well. I will say it a thousand more time before I’m through, NO. ONE. CAN. DO. DIALOGUE. LIKE. SANDFORD. PERIOD. This book is a prime example of it. The banter between the main players of this novel is what Sandford is all about. It’s why I’ve been a massive fan for decades. It’s why I’ve not been bothered with a few less than 5 star books. I think this might be my favourite one to date. No doubt. We saw the young and fearless Lucas. We had the interesting partners. We had the teamwork. We had the dialogue. We had some serious bad guys. We had some bureaucrats put in their places. Plus we had less Weather….hahahaha…sorry, I couldn’t resist…now to just get some Letty set in motion with her mad computer skills and we’ll be set for life…
Amazing read…seriously…this one blew it out of the water!
If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times…Sandford is the absolute master of dialogue. This latest edition to the long running Davenport series is no disappointment in terms of dialogue. The banter between the characters leaves me chucking at times and feeling like I am right there as part of the group. I’ve never experienced any other writer than can nail it so completely. Maybe it’s the sarcasm that pops up from time to time that I relate to so well….
First all, I’ve been an avid and yea….perhaps a rabid fan of John Sandford since the 80’s. I’ve been with Lucas from the very start and I have read them all. I marvel at how Sandford continues to keep this series exciting and fresh after all these years. I have watched Lucas grow up and mature. I don’t even mind anymore that he’s with Weather (I never felt she was a strong enough character for Lucas from the start). I don’t even mind that his hair has grey in it…or that he’s now in the over 50 club. He’s still relevant!
If I am to be honest, I love this series even more now then I did when it first began. It’s just gotten better in more ways than one…
Just as we start to feel that Lucas is getting bogged down in his job…well, Sandford fixes that. We see some hints of conflict between long time characters that spell lots of changes in not just Davenport’s professional life, but perhaps his personal life as well.
Sandford has also been prepping us for more of Lucas’ daughter…really, since she was first introduced in Naked Prey….but in this installment, Letty really comes to shine and we continue getting glimpses of the young adult she is becoming.
The ending of the book didn’t disappoint. I won’t bore you with the plot summery….If you’ve read Sandford, you already know there’s going to be some very bad people who Davenport is going to be tracking…This novel had more than it’s fair share….but from the very start you can sense that the feelings of dissatisfaction, boredom, and aggravation that Davenport has been feeling for his job has got to come to some sort of head. Lucas once again sets off in what can only be called “Davenport style” and off on his own to do what needs to be done. It’s who he is. It’s what I often miss from the older books. So often (as in real life) politics and endless bureaucratic barriers are there to tie Davenport’s hands and prevent him from doing his job in a timely fashion. Not this time….
The ending….well it doesn’t leave me feeling worried….or fearing for the next book. I am excited. I can’t wait to see what happens. It not only opens up this series to endless new possibilities, it also does the same for Sandford’s other series that centers around Virgil “F” Flowers….
I think I love his books more with each new release….I’ve been in a massive book slump…nothing holds my attention….but this did….and the ending….I love Davenport so much….I love that he is flawed, but his heart is not….I love that he faces moral and ethical dilemmas head on…..doing what he knows will allow him to sleep at night….even if it costs him something somewhere else down the line….and never putting his job before people…..those close to him, or just those he encounters for a short time….
I marvel at Sandford….an author that has kept me engaged for 20 plus years and more in love with a series now than I was with at the start….I also love that he doesn’t feel the need to make every thing nice and neat and wrapped in pretty paper…..his novels often get messy…and end messy….but that’s to be admired, not shunned…..
I hope Sandford is around for many more years to come…..still a favourite after all these years….