December 16, 2007
Chosen Prey by John Sandford
Finished on 12/13/07
Rating: 2/5 (Below Average)
The #1 bestselling novelist returns with his most harrowing Prey of all: the story of a congenial man with a decidedly uncongenial hobby.
"Masterful," wrote the Los Angeles Times about Easy Prey. "Secrets explode, bullets fly, bodies fall, and the ground keeps shifting. You won't want to miss it." True words-but the best is yet to come.
He desired women. All kinds, all shapes, all sizes. He would fix on a woman and build imaginary stories around her. Some of the women he knew well, others not at all. Most of them faded quickly. Only a few became objects of desire.
An art history professor and writer and cheerful pervert, James Qatar had a hobby: he took secret photographs of women and turned them into highly sexual drawings. One day, he took the hobby a step further and . . . well, one thing led to another, and he had to kill her. A man in his position couldn't be too careful, after all. And you know something? He liked it.
Already faced with a welter of confusion in his personal life, Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport decides to take this case himself, hoping that some straightforward police work will clear his head, but as the trail begins to take some unexpected turns, it soon becomes clear that nothing is straightforward about this killer. The man is learning as he goes, Lucas realizes, taking great strides forward with each murder. He is becoming a monster-and Lucas may have no choice but to walk right into his lair.
Filled with the rich characterization and detail that distinguish all of Sandford's work, Chosen Prey is a masterpiece of suspense.
I beg to differ. I usually whip through Sandford's books in just a few short days. I'm not sure if it's the hectic holiday season or the less-than-stellar plot, but this Lucas Davenport thriller (#12) was quite the disappointment. Even the finale, which finally caught my attention, was a letdown with its predictable solution. Here's hoping the next in the series will be an improvement. There are five remaining, with #18 due out in May.