Sunday, June 16, 2013

“Silken Prey” by John Sandford – The Consequences of Power

Silken Prey by John Sandford – book cover
In Silken Prey by John Sandford we are following once again Lucas Davenport on one of his tumultuous investigations, and this time around he is made to investigate the sudden and inexplicable disappearance of a Minnesota political fixer. At first, it seems as if the case is nothing extraordinary and will find a logical resolution quite soon. However, as Davenport uncovers more and more clues, he makes some unsettling discoveries. Not only do many of them lead back to the Minneapolis police department itself, but others also point to a connection with the most ruthless, rich and powerful woman in the entire town. Quickly, the events surrounding Davenport become increasingly dangerous, to the point where he starts being concerned for his own life.

When I first picked up the book, I have to admit I wasn't really expecting much, at least not with such a premise. The only thing that really swayed me in favor of trying it was the fact that it was penned by John Sandford, one of the most talented criminal mystery writers of the decade. Surprisingly enough, the novel turned out to be a very captivating read, even though I did successfully predict a few twists and turns (any reader of criminal novels will probably be able to see them coming).

The mystery of the disappearance itself is quite enthralling, with Sandford giving away just enough information to make things interesting without spoiling the plot. A very good use of the “hanging the carrot in front of you” technique if I've ever seen it.

I especially liked how the novel strayed from regular crime mysteries, delving more into the world of politics and technology, looking into their many benefits and drawbacks in such a scenario. Though there is a loss in terms of realism, seediness and grit in comparison to Sandford’s earlier novels, he still manages to create a somewhat unsettling and restless atmosphere, and I believe it was the perfect one for the story he was trying to tell. The few main characters in this book also stand out quite vividly, especially the rich and powerful woman whose philosophy on life can only be classified as utterly ruthless.

John Sandford

John Sandford (February 23, 1944)

Personal site

John Sandford is an American novelist and Journalist who has a Bachelor’s degree in American History as well as a Master’s in Journalism from the University of Iowa. He is best-known for writing novel series, with his most acclaimed ones being the Prey and Kidd series.

More of the John Sandford's book reviews:
Saturn Run
Mad River
Gathering Prey
Field of Prey

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