Easy Prey, by John Sandford

In this one, two women are murdered at a party; one of them is a famous model. Shortly afterwards, other people related to the cover girl start to get killed. Lucas Davenport has to get to the bottom of things while working in the full glare of public interest.

This wasn't one of the best ones: the story seemed to meander a bit and didn't have a very clear direction. While there were some tense moments, on the whole the pace was steady rather than accelerating. And the final revelation of who was responsible was almost incidental - this was not a whodunnit that had you puzzling over clues and trying to discover the murderers' identities. But it was nevertheless impressive, perhaps because Sandford resisted the temptation to make it a conventional crime story with a series of clues leading to the culprit.

In fact it felt like this was maybe how an investigation would unravel, with bits of good luck, bits of bad luck, and general persistence being what leads to the solving of the crime.

Richard Ferrone did another excellent job reading the book. In one section in particular he made it sound almost like a dramatisation: some cops were on surveillance duty, reporting to Lucas on the phone when the guy they were watching suddenly got shot. Their reactions, and the general confusion, were brilliantly done. That had me on the edge of my seat.

Also a good line where they found a body in the trunk of a car. Davenport suggests it looks like the guy was beaten to death with a chair. The cop with him brightens: "I've never seen a chair job before".

Re-read in 2014.

I’d remembered this as being not one of the better ones, but had forgotten all about it so was looking forward to re-reading. However, for some reason, it didn’t seem as gripping.

There's a similar setup to Secret Prey” in that you have a little bit of narrative from "the killer"'s point of view but you don’t know who it is or what his motivation is to start with.

There are lots of women problems for Lucas in this one - Sherrill is shot and he's worried about her; old flame Katrin makes contact; Jael, who's involved in the case, is interested, and Weather seems to be softening and wants to make up.

The more I think about it the better the plot seems - two separate killers with different motivations causing a confusing set of evidence to sort though. But somehow I don't think the book quite worked maybe because it was a bit messy and without a single consistent baddy who is the explanation for everything. The second killer does feel a bit Deus ex machina when you eventually find out who he is: there's no way the reader could have worked it out as he doesn't appear as a character until the last CD.

Completed : 02-Mar-2006 (audiobook, read by Richard Ferrone)

Completed : 09-Aug-2014 (audiobook, read by Richard Ferrone)

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