Buried Prey is the 21st novel in the Prey series, written by popular crime-thrillers’ author John Sandford. It features super cop Lucas Davenport chasing a killer from the past. In fact, it is from one of his very first cases that he took up as a detective. I felt very thrilled with the plot with so many surprises. Sandford is back in form.
(May contain spoilers)
Two young girls get kidnapped and Lucas Davenport works the case as a patrolman in the beginning. After a few key findings, he is asked to work as a plain clothes cop by Quentin Daniel, his supervisor at that time. That’s when he meets with his best buddies and fellow cops, Sloan and Del Capslock.
At that time, the evidence points to a street person and he is killed during a police chase. So, the cops pin the case to him and leave it at that. But, Lucas is not satisfied with the case’s outcome. He feels that the dead man is not the kidnapper at all. But Lucas never gets a chance to pursue the case as Daniel pressurizes him with more and more work.
Now, back to the future. The Jones girls’ dead bodies turn up in an old basement and the case is reopened again, led by Marcy Sherill’s team. Lucas wanders into the site of discovery as he is very interested in this case. He wants to solve it once and forever. Lucas is convinced that the killer is still on loose and worried that he might have taken more victims after slipping from Lucas in the past.
Lucas chases every clue and arrives with logical leads on the case. He works on it again with Del and they chase down the killer. Meanwhile, the killer is freaked to find that he is being pursued. He plans to escape from the country. In the ensuing police drama, Marcy gets shot by the killer and she dies instantly. This is indeed a sad point in the story, but yes, life goes on.
Driven by revenge, Lucas gets extremely focused on the killer and finally nails him down. Weather Davenport asks the help of Jenkins, Shrake and Del to look after Lucas as he is devastated after Marcy’s death. Letty supports Lucas and encourages him on his revenge mission, while Weather discourages them both. Given his past, Lucas’s friends make sure that he does not kill the murderer in cold blood and avoid further political complications.
The author superbly draws out even minute emotions of the characters. Letty, even though very young, has a very stark view of the world. Weather thinks that the system will take care of everything. There is a point where Lucas explains self-defense moves to Letty and practical tips to evade human predators. The killer’s obsession with young girls and his phychotic behavior is brilliantly shown by the author.
The flashback bringing out Lucas’s days in the beginning of his career makes this book more interesting. This book has a lot to say on DNA as a crime analysis tool. A great thriller on the whole. It is of the best yet by Sandford. Pick it up on a free evening and I am sure you would not put it down before it is over.
For the review of the next book in the Prey series read Stolen Prey.
For the review of the previous book in the Prey series read Storm Prey.
For the complete list of Sandford’s Prey series books, check List Of Prey Series Books.