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Extreme Prey by John Sandford

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Extreme PreyNot exactly sure how the title fits but regardless this is one truly great read. Not a mystery or thriller but a great cop novel showing how a good cop works. Lucas Davenport (a favorite of Sandford and mine) is a former cop for the Minnesota Board of Criminal Apprehension. He is always somewhat of a renegade cop but truly appreciated by the governor of Minnesota. This time the governor calls Lucas for help as he is concerned about an upcoming event.

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The governor is working to get on a presidential ticket as a vice president candidate. The potential president would be the current lady governor of Iowa. But as their travel to the hoped for nomination election is moving along Lucas’s governor feels that there is a plot to do harm to his running mate. He asks Lucas to go into Iowa and begin investigating this potential.

Needless to say Lucas quickly finds that yes something is about to happen. An old group of farmers who felt the government has severely mistreated them and they not only are upset but do seem to be mulling things over. However most of them are too old to really care anymore and mostly they just talk a good game. However about 5 years ago a bomb was set off at a government presentation and though it hadn’t been meant to do harm it actually killed several people. That case has never been solved but law enforcement is keeping an eye on the groups that may have been involved.

As Lucas begins investigating the group and asking lots of questions of its members several things happen. Within a short period of time two of the most prominent leaders are killed and there doesn’t seem to be a connection at first. Lucas, actually working not as a cop but as a friend of the governor, begins questioning more and more of the members and former members.

The story intensifies as it appears at least one or two members become less and less helpful in giving up information. Lucas determines that the two murders are somehow connected and that they appear to be connected to the plot against the presidential aspirants.

The detail in which Sandford writes make the reader feel as though he is right in the midst of all these happenings in the Iowa farming country. He through both dialogue and great descriptive writing brings all the action right into the reader’s lap. And he does all of this with very little profanity or sex. Just great story telling that builds and builds to a very satisfactory ending and, oh yes, what appears to be the groundwork for another Lucas Davenport novel. Great!!!!

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