The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic

The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review of Invisible Prey by John Sanford

John Sanford’s ‘Invisible Prey’ is the 17th installment of his Lucas Davenport series…17th!

Wow, I can’t imagine, I’m only on my second book of my 1st series.


Anyway, you can’t write 17 books about the same character without doing something right. Mr. Sanford has again shown that he has the skills to get this accomplished. The synopsis of the story:

In the richest neighborhood of Minneapolis, two elderly women lie murdered in their home, killed with a pipe, the rooms tossed, only small items stolen. It is clearly the random work of someone looking for money to buy drugs. But as Davenport looks more closely, he begins to wonder whether the items are actually so small and the victims so random-if there might not be some invisible agenda at work here. Gradually, a pattern begins to emerge, and it leads him to . . . certainly nothing he ever expected. Which is too bad, because the killers-and, yes, there is more than one of them-the killers are expecting him. Brilliantly suspenseful, filled with rich characterization and exciting drama, Invisible Prey is further proof that Sanford is in a class of his own

As far as I can remember, this is my first reading in the Lucas Davenport series, but it will not be the last. The story of the series of murders that now plague the Twin Cities is well thought out and complete. The characters are believable, with what I think are just the right amount of deviant personality traits within Davenport’s own investigators to make it personable and enjoyable.

I of course wish I had started earlier in the series. Even though the main characters were introduced to the reader when they appeared, I would get lost with some of them as I read through, a common problem when one starts in the middle or the end of a series.

There are parts of every investigation, both fictional as well as real, that I like to call ‘The Long Boring Parts Between the Action’ when I am writing. These are the parts of an investigation when the investigator is reading through files or making notes while trying to find a hidden clue or a thread between different crimes. In Invisible Prey, these scenes were laid out efficiently and interestingly, and were not the “anchor around the neck” that some readers find them in other books. To me, this is a very good indication to me of successful writing in this genre, and not an easy piece of writing to pull off, believe me.

The action of the crimes and the subsequent investigation were well laid out, easily keeping your interest with the deviousness of the criminals and the tenacity of Lucas. Add in the sometimes almost slapstick antics and down-home outlook of the investigators and you end up with a real and thought provoking story.

As a new writer in this genre, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone who loves crime/mystery novels.

JT Lewis  

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