I am re-reading one of John Sandford’s excellent police procedurals centered around Minneapolis detective Lucas Davenport. Lucas may be my favorite character in popular fiction and the books are great because, over and above the mysteries, he is surrounded by an entertaining group of realistic characters.
The interplay between Sandford’s people, and his good eye and wry wit when describing people and situations is reason enough to dive into this great series. By all means, start with Rules of Prey. It is the first of what is now a 26-book series and you want to follow along as Lucas and those close to him change and grow, and…
The one I am re-reading is Night Prey and, while I know who the killer is, I don’t remember exactly how they put the case together and catch him. (Give me a break. I read it more than twenty years ago for the first time.) I am just in the mood to be entertained and this is doing the trick.
Here is an excerpt to show you how well Sandford plies his trade:
“You cleared the domestic on Dupont,” Lucas asked. [He is talking to Det. Sloan]
“Yeah, with the hammer and chisel.”
“Hurts to think about it.” Lucas grinned.
“Got it right between the eyes,” Sloan said, impressed. He’d never had a hammer-and-chisel job before, and novelty wasn’t that common in murder. Most of it was a half-drunk guy scratching his ass and saying, Jesus, she got me really pissed, you know? Sloan went on. “She waited until he was asleep, and whack. Actually, whack, whack, whack. The chisel went all the way through to the mattress. She pulled it out, put it in the dishwasher, turned the dishwasher on, and called 911. Makes me think twice about going to sleep at night. You catch your old lady staring at you…”
“Any defense? Long-term abuse?”
“Not so far. So far, she says it was hot inside, and she got tired of him laying there snoring and farting. You know Donovan up in the prosecutor’s office?”
“Says he of taken a plea to second if it’s been only one whack,” Sloan said. “With whack-whack-whack, he’s gotta go for first degree.”