Shadow Prey by John Sandford

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Uncompromising, violent, and determined. Sioux Indians Sam and Aaron Crow are planning a campaign across the US. They’ve set up their followers in cities across the country to bring a twisted form of justice to their people. When people start to get their throats cut Lucas Davenport is brought in the help out the investigation.

Lucas Davenport is dealing with some inner, more personal issues in this book and it is always a treat to see John Sandford weave these stories together. The result is a deepening of the character. In a lot of these cop thrillers the main character can be pretty 2 dimensional. They usually fall under general categories: Gruff and hard-edged, but with a gooey marshmallow center, close to retiring, or totally virtuous. Now obviously these are extreme stereotypes and not all main characters fall into them, but a great many do. That’s why I always appreciate these books. Lucas Davenport always seems like a real person throughout. He has good points (his extreme intellect) and bad (his womanizing, the first few books mostly). I am never bored while I’m with him reading about his story.

In this story Lily Rothenberg fills out his lady love slot, but it is a bit more complicated this time. For one Lucas has a baby now with his off/on girlfriend Jennifer, for another Lily is married. This story could have turned into a soap opera right here but thankfully it doesn’t. They deal with it like grown-ups (for the most part).

The crow’s and their vendetta is pretty memorable. I like that I can sort of see the point of why they want people to listen, even if they take extreme measures. Their plan is clever and has an end goal in mind. Yes this is a plot by two angry hotheaded people, but they are also methodical and plan things out. The only misstep is through their (reluctant) use of Shadow Love, a psycho who they think of like a son.

I liked this book quite a bit, but it’s not one of my favorites. I think this is the book I’ve read the least out of all of them. Although I sympathize with the Crow’s mission and fear Shadow Love and want to cheer on Lucas, it just find this book more boring than the rest. So, good book but not great.

I still would recommend this book as it has excellent character interactions throughout, and an interesting villain.

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