Friday, July 03, 2009

Summer of Sandford

In terms of my reading, so far it's been all Sandford, all summer. For reliability, Sandford's "Prey" series, featuring Minneapolis detective Lucas Davenport, is hard to beat. "Reliability" doesn't come across as a very inspiring word, but in this case it's meant to be high praise. I'm not sure how he does it, but Sandford manages to write a "Prey" book every year (I think he's up to nearly 20 now), and I've never read one that wasn't enjoyable. Davenport makes a great hero - he's tough as nails, sure; but he's also got plenty of geek in him, and managed to make a fortune with computer simulations that began with him developing scenarios for board games. He's also quite the clothes horse, always appraising his colleagues and his antagonists for what they're wearing. He's married to a doctor but adopts a bit of a "you can look, but you better not touch" philosophy when it comes to women, and before his marriage was quite the ladies man. He also tends to become depressed, and in a couple of the novels truly suffered from clinical depression. All in all, an interesting package.

Sandford is also great at coming up with interesting bad guys (or girls), and in that sense neither Invisible Prey nor Phantom Prey disappoint. The third book, which I've almost finished, is Dead Watch, in which Sandford introduces a new character, Washington D.C. fixer Jake Winter. As we all know there's a lot in D.C. that needs fixing, so we could be seeing a lot more of Winter in the future. He's cut from the Davenport mold, and even though the book isn't quite as good as the two Prey books, it's well worth a read.

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