Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Thriller/Suspense Review ~ GATHERING PREY by John Sandford

Gathering Prey (Lucas Davenport/The Prey Series, #25)
by: John Sandford
Series: Lucas Davenport/The Prey Series
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Source: Penguin Group via NetGalley

The extraordinary new Lucas Davenport thriller from #1 New York Times–bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize–winner John Sandford.
They call them Travelers. They move from city to city, panhandling, committing no crimes—they just like to stay on the move. And now somebody is killing them.

Lucas Davenport’s adopted daughter, Letty, is home from college when she gets a phone call from a woman Traveler she’d befriended in San Francisco. The woman thinks somebody’s killing her friends, she’s afraid she knows who it is, and now her male companion has gone missing. She’s hiding out in North Dakota, and she doesn’t know what to do.

Letty tells Lucas she’s going to get her, and, though he suspects Letty’s getting played, he volunteers to go with her. When he hears the woman’s story, though, he begins to think there’s something in it. Little does he know. In the days to come, he will embark upon an odyssey through a subculture unlike any he has ever seen, a trip that will not only put the two of them in danger—but just may change the course of his life.

Gathering Prey was a very involved and in-depth look at some disturbing criminals that traveled the country like nomads leaving dead bodies along the way.  The Travelers have a leader named Pilate that could easily be compared to Charles Manson or any other cult leader.  They are as evil as evil gets and Pilate had to be the devil himself.  As with all stories like this, someone has to play the hero.  In this case, that person is Lucas Davenport.  He is a law enforcement officer in Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension or BCA. They all come together thanks to a chance encounter between Lucas’ daughter, Letty and an innocent “traveler” called Skye.

There is nothing that I like more than a book that you don’t want to put down because the action gets more and more intense as you turn the pages. Gathering Prey starts off kind of slow but it escalates at an enjoyable pace while allowing time for you to truly digest everything that happens.  Although this is part of a rather lengthy series, I was able to follow along and get a good feel for the primary characters.  Consequently, I will likely go back and read the preceding books just so that I can get to know the Davenports better and see what led Lucas to some of the decisions that he makes during this book.  He is a very brave and relentless officer of the law.  Everyone seems to automatically make him the leader even when he doesn’t want to be.  That says a lot about his character and makes it easy to become a fan.

Be advised that there is a fair amount of brutality that you will endure but it just makes you desperate to see justice served.  At one point, you will feel like you are reading a Western instead of a modern day thriller but that’s part of the allure.  It was nothing like I expected but that’s a good thing.

**Copy received courtesy of G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Group in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.**

Rating: 4

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