Buried Prey

28 Apr

Every so often you come across a book that every time you pick it up, triggers memories of the first time you read it.

“Buried Prey” by John Sandford is one of those books for me.  I bought my copy at a book shop at Venice Beach in Los Angeles when I was visiting in July 2011.  I bought the shop’s very last copy and took it back to my hotel.  One of my closest friends was flying in from South Carolina that afternoon, and I had several hours until she arrived.  So I snuggled down with a pile of snacks and “Buried Prey”.  I had read it from cover to cover before her plane even touched down.  It is very rare for me to find a book I don’t want to put down on first reading.

Even on subsequent re-reads, like yesterday, “Buried Prey” still sinks its claws into my mind and holds on for dear life.

In this book the very first crime Lucas Davenport dealt with as a police detective comes back to haunt him, as the bodies of two little girls abducted in 1985 are discovered.

The early part of the book is an interesting departure for John Sandford, as it is written, not as flashbacks, but as if Lucas was back reliving his past.  We learn how Lucas met his friends Harrison Sloan and Del Capslock.

The book then surges back into the present like a tsunami.  The death of a major series character hits the reader with the force of a sledgehammer.  Every time I read the book, I know the death is coming, but every time it still hits me in the gut.

Fast paced, exciting, as much thriller as crime fiction, “Buried Prey” is probably one of John Sandford’s best novels.  It is certainly one of the very best in the Lucas Davenport series.

I think the Davenport series would have to be my favorite.  Not because it has the most books, but because of how the character has grown and changed from the almost psychopath of “Rules of Prey” to the loving family man of “Buried Prey” and beyond.

I also love John Sandford’s sense of humor.  Very dark cop humor.  Be warned though, John Sandford doesn’t pull any punches in the language department.  You are not going to find hard arsed homicide cops saying “Oh dearie me,” or similar mildly expressed sentiments.

You often go to the dark side of the human psyche with the Lucas Davenport books, and “Buried Prey” is darker than some of the more recent novels.  Just how far will Lucas go to avenge to death of a good friend?  Read “Buried Prey” and find out.

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