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Golden Prey (Lucas Davenport Mysteries) by John Sandford

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Golden PreyLucas Davenport, the former officer of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, is now a U.S. Marshal. This all came about because of his great work helping the former governor of Minnesota who is now a presidential candidate. For Lucas it is a great career move because he is not only a loner but thanks to a few breaks early on he is also quite wealthy and really doesn’t need to work. But he loves law enforcement and lives for catching the really bad guys.

And this one really gives him that opportunity with one exception. Not only are there bad guys but also quite a few bad gals! Some of the gals may even be badder than the bad guys!

Lucas was traveling through Aux Vases, Mississippi actually looking for some freelance U. S. Marshall type work. Having a drink at a bar in town he gets hit on by a very young girl who tries to set him up for a hit by some somewhat illegal lawmen. They do this to make extra money but do not realize who Lucas is. After he breaks up their little attempt the U. S. Marshalls in Mississippi ask him since he is free to work where he wants if he will help them find a guy named Garvin Poole who recently had killed a group of folks including a six year old girl who was with her grandfather. That grandfather was part of a gang that acted as a bank for a drug cartel out of Mexico. The group in Mississippi gathered the money from all the drug mobs in the southern states and then shuttled it across to Mexico.

Lucas checked in with his boss and was given the go-ahead. And from there the story builds and builds. Poole was known for his many criminal antics and didn’t seem to be able to be caught. Several different shootings that turned into major robberies were attributed to him so Lucas jumped on the case. As he digs in he finds that Poole has a girlfriend named Pandora Box and also has several male buddies who seem to be on call when needed. These clues help Lucas as he moves forward.

Strangely enough around the same time, the drug cartel hired in a guy named Soto and a mean woman named Kort. Their task was the same as those of Lucas…find the guys who stole the millions from the drug bank in Biloxi. Unlike Lucas these two were real toughies and quickly put away several people who either gave them information that they didn’t want to give or they didn’t give any information. Either way after some very inhuman torturing by Kort …yes by the lady!…they ended up dead.

Now Lucas is really up to his ears in investigations so much so that the U S Marshal’s office in Washington sends down Bob Matees and Rae Givens to assist him.

Rae is a tall black lady who comes across like Bob as a real pro. She also plays quite a game of basketball as Lucas finds out to his dismay one night after work.

As Poole roams around doing his own damage but shrewdly staying pretty much under cover Soto and Kort work hard at finding him and also maiming and killing many of Poole’s friends and relatives. Lucas with Bob and Rae continue their chase also and come close many times and have shootouts several times where both good guys, girls, and bad guys and girls get at least nicked.

The story is quick moving and probably not a story for those who do not like violence or descriptive tales of shootings and mutilations. But it is interesting to see how both sides work or all three sides work. You have the originator (the drug bank robber) doing his thing to stay alive and apart from not only the U. S. Marshalls under Lucas but also the chasers from the drug cartel. And even that gets very involved when one of those chasers gets killed (in a strange fashion) and is replaced by two more really mean women.

And to think all of this is going on because of a robbery of millions of dollars from a drug cartel’s bank! Sounds somewhat unbelievable but maybe not today!

If you are up to a chase with lots of encounters, shootings, beatings, and the like Golden Prey should be right up your alley. You will have a hard time putting it down because of the continuing action. Never a dull moment. Great read!

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