Author(s): John Sandford
Series: Prey #11
Published by Berkley on 04/01/2000
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In life she was a high-profile model. In death she is the focus of a media firestorm that's demanding action from Lucas Davenport. One of his own men is a suspect in her murder.
What starts off as a dicey crime scene and a dead supermodel becomes more confusing when the cops find a second body stuffed in a closed. Drugs, artists, angry families and socialites make Easy Prey one of the more confusing of the prey series, but in a good way.
While the last several installments of the prey series have been more action/thriller based this book swings the plot back towards the mystery side of the street. While previously we have known exactly who the bad guy was in Easy Prey, Sandford keeps that information not only hidden but completely obfuscated with a truck load of red herrings. Honestly I am torn between the two styles this series seems to jump between and each has their merits. I will say it took me longer to really get pulled into this book then it has with his previous work. I am not sure if that is all due to the structure of Easy Prey itself or if it is an aftereffect of my enjoyment of the last book Certain Prey, which structure wise was so very different.
The one big thing that bothered me here was the throwing Lucas back to his old “man-whoring” ways. While some of the his romantic encounters here were ok and lead to some interesting character moments others, especially the run in with his married old flame, just felt off every at every turn. Not only did those moments come off as somewhat distracting but it really did not feel true to the where the character has developed. It feels like Sandford had written himself into a corner with the splitting of Lucas and Weather and did not really know where to take the character personal life.
While I enjoyed the mystery setup of this book overall it felt a big disjointed both in its character development and in the plotting. Not that this is a bad book. Even the worst of the prey series, which for me this book qualifies as, is still totally worth reading. The book is still fast paced and an awkward Davenport is still a fun character to read.
You probably will not end up re-reading this but if you are working your way through the whole series you shouldn’t skip it either.
Review by Travis Starnes