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Guest Review – Invisible Prey by John Sandford

Invisible Prey
by John Sandford
Published May 15, 2007 (HC); April 29, 2008
448 pages (PB)
Fiction, mystery

Today’s review is by Lydia, who’s guest posting for the Days of Prey blog tour that’s being hosted by TLC Book Tours. This is a cool tour because John Sandford’s latest release, Storm Prey, is the 20th book in the series, so the tour has one tour host for each book, and each tour host was asked to answer the same questions. Take it away, Lydia!

Days of PREY Questionnaire

Title and series number of the book you read: INVISIBLE PREY, #17 in the Prey series with Lucas Davenport

Year published: 2007

Tell us about Lucas Davenport:

  • What is Lucas doing when he first appears in the book? Set up the scene. The book opens on a suspenseful note, with the unnamed killers (depicted by “one Big, one Little”) skulking around a house they were planning to enter. Lucas Davenport appears in chapter two, drinking a Diet Coke at a bar owned by his old friend a past cop, Sloan.
  • Give us a sense of time and place: It’s the beginning of summer in Minnesota, current at the time of publication.  Oppressive heat broken up by the quick summer thunderstorm.
  • Lucas’s occupation or professional role? Lucas works for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but reports to many high level officials, including the Governor of Minnesota.
  • Lucas’s personal status (single, dating, married): He is married to Weather, an attractive blonde surgeon.  They are parents to Sam, who is “almost two feet tall” and are guardians of Letty, a teenager.
  • Lucas Davenport is a known clothes-horse; did you notice any special fashion references? Yes! Lucas Davenport is an observant cop as well as a GQ-esque dresser.  When we first meet Lucas, we’re told he likes “Italian suits, French ties, and English shoes.”  He may be masculine, but he knows his fashion and designers. His gun fits nicely under his linen summer jacket.

Let’s talk about the mystery:

  • Avoiding spoilers, what was the crime/case being solved? While opening with a political issue of the powerful state senator being accused of having sex with a minor, the mystery takes an unexpected turn to the murder and robbery of a wealthy widow and the discovery of a missing painting.  As Lucas continues to turn over stones in these two separate cases, they become intertwined in unexpected ways.  Lucas’s sleuthing takes him out of Minnesota, in the discovery of past crimes that may be related to the current case.  With the help from Ronnie, the teenage nephew of one of the victims, Lucas learns the burglary and murder weren’t random acts, but done by someone knowledgeable of antiques.  The criminals weren’t the typical rough and tumble crowd, but those that move in a white collar circle, filled with antiques, wealth and prestige.
  • Does the title of your book relate to the crime? I think “Invisible Prey” refers to the past crimes committed that weren’t linked together – the victims were unknown, therefore invisible.

Who was your favorite supporting character, good or evil? Letty, the ward of Weather and Lucas, was my favorite character.  She’s already overcome many challenges in her young life (she came in to Lucas’s life by having discovered a double hanging in a previous book) and is tough, yet not broken.  She’s intelligent and knows how to push Lucas’s buttons – and she tries to drink a beer in the house of a cop.

What was your favorite scene or quote? I like everything about the “swoopy chairs.”  Aptly named by teenage Ronnie, I find it endlessly amusing to hear the cops throughout the mystery refer to these pieces of expensive antique furniture as “swoopy chairs” – and I like to think I can imagine exactly what they look like with that meager description!

Finally, how do you envision Lucas Davenport?  If he were to be portrayed in a movie, what celebrity would play him? With the description of “tall, dark haired, with the thin white line of a scar draped across his tanned forehead, down into an eyebrow, he might have bee a thug of the leading-man sort.  He had intense blue eyes, a hawk nose and large hands and square shoulders…” I think the clear answer is Jake Gyllenhaal (though Hugh Jackman is a close second).

Thanks, Lydia, for participating in this tour and stopping by Hey Lady! The series sounds great, particularly imagining Jake Gyllenhaal as the main character!

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