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Storm Prey: Lucas Davenport    by John Sandford order for
Storm Prey
by John Sandford
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

When small time Minneapolis bikers decide to knock over a hospital pharmacy, it doesn't take long for the heist to go south. A pharmacy worker whom they'd gagged and bound - and who nonetheless managed to try calling for help - ends up dying from the beating he sustains at the hands of one of the perpetrators.

What was supposed to have been a simple heist morphs into a murder rap. To make matters worse, the hasty getaway is witnessed by one of the hospital's best surgeons, Weather Karkinnen, who just happens to be married to the BCA's top cop, Lucas Davenport. Unfortunately, the bad guys don't discover this bit of information until after they initiate their first unsuccessful strike at Weather.

Lucas is furious over the attempted hit on his wife and pulls in everyone available to help him track down the killers, two of whom meet with an unfortunate end after they turn on each other. Lucas and his team waste little time identifying the core group of bad guys and discover they're not the sharpest knives in the drawer. The addition of a stone cold, out-of-town sociopath, however, throws them for a bit of a loop. It intensifies the hunt as they move to shut him down before another attempt on Weather's life.

Storm Prey is by no means as intense as the edge-of-your-seat thrill rides that constituted many of Lucas Davenport's earlier cases. Indeed his confrontation with the surviving bad guys is somewhat anticlimactic. What makes this twentieth instalment stand out is the welcome and sharp interplay between Lucas and Weather - who's been under utilized since her introduction to the series - and Lucas's crack team of BCA investigators. These include laconic Virgil Flowers, who steps out of his own spin-off series to act as Weather's personal bodyguard. The sub-plot involving the separation of co-joined twins is also riveting, all of which make this latest Prey novel another winner.

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