Gathering Prey

17 Sep

“Gathering Prey” is the 25th Lucas Davenport novel by John Sandford.

In the book someone is killing Travelers, which are basically modern hobos.  Letty Davenport has befriended a couple and when the man goes missing, the woman rings Letty for help.  This was about the most believable part of a particularly unbelievable novel.  I have no problems with being asked to suspend belief on the plausibility of a plot; I do have problems being asked to suspend it by the neck until dead.

Lucas Davenport goes Lone Wolf – again.  I thought he’d grown out of this crap.  Letty is basically aiding and abetting him.

The various police officers, sheriffs, and deputies all come across as shit-kicking rednecks.  I kept expecting to read one of them say “Squeal like a pig, boy”, and for banjos to be mentioned.

Weather, Del, Jenkins, Shrake, Rosemarie, and Virgil barely appear.  John Sandford appeared to forget a character’s name, referring to Governor Henderson’s aid as ‘The chief weasel’, instead of Neil Mitford.  This is unacceptable to me as the character has been in a hell of a lot of the novels.  There is no sign of Ellie at all.  The interaction with the supporting characters is where the warmth and playfulness of the novels usually lies.  Without them, “Gathering Prey” is a tedious wade through violence and death, with Lucas and Letty coming off as Dirty Harry and Dirty Harriet!

“Gathering Prey” doesn’t feel like a John Sandford novel at all.  More like very bad fan fiction using the character names, but with no actual grip on the characters.

I was really disappointed as the Lucas Davenport novels have been firm favourites of mine for years.  “Naked Prey”, “Broken Prey”, “Hidden Prey”, and “Buried Prey” get pretty regular rereads.

“Gathering Prey”, alas, is not recommended.

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