Invisible Prey, by John Sandford

An elderly woman is murdered at home, apparently by kids looking for drug money. But it turns out that there are a couple of valuable antiques missing from the house, and so the suspicion forms that the apparent ransacking of the place and stealing of electronic goods may have been a front for a more professional operation. But as well as this case, Lucas has become involved with the investigation of a senator who's accused of having sex with a minor.

This book follows Broken Prey, which I was a bit disappointed with, and I had thought that perhaps it might be the start of a trend. Shouldn't have worried though: this shares very little of the themes of that book - in fact it's pretty tame by comparison. Not to say it's a bad one: while it's maybe not one of the best, it was a great read (again helped by Richard Ferrone).

The reader knows from almost the start who the killers are (unlike Secret Prey), although Lucas doesn't work this out until nearly the end of the book. The two crimes mentioned above become interlinked in a plausible way, although I thought Lucas should have spotted the common factor earlier than he did.

Things I liked: there were a couple of sequences where the cops are trailing a suspect, using a bunch of different cars and which peel off and rejoin the chase at intervals so as not to arouse suspicion. This was really well written (and read), gripping stuff. And a couple of times a major character was killed with very little preliminary: it was a bit of a surprise - you felt "hang on, I was expecting some more plot development based on that person" - but the mark of a confident author I thought.

Hmm.. only two more Prey novels left to read now, then I'm going to re-read them in the right order.

Completed : 05-Jun-2008 (audiobook)


Re-read in 2014 as I work through the whole series in order.

First, what a RELIEF to go back to a decent writer after the pretty awful Kiss Cut. It was almost worth listening to something dreadful to make you fully appreciate how good the Sandford/Ferrone combination is.

This story, about the two antique dealers is - I think - one that Sandford talks about in one of the "author talks" interviews on one of the previous books. I remember him saying that he had the idea for a book about these two but he was stuck because he couldn't think of any nice characteristics that they had, and that the book wouldn't work if they were straightforwardly nasty with no redeeming features. I'm not sure that they did have any redeeming features, but that didn't seem to be too much of a problem.

I think this may be the first Prey book where we come across Virgil.

Completed : 12-Dec-2014 (audiobook)

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