Naked Prey is the 14th installment of the thrilling crime-novel series written by bestselling author, John Sandford, as part of the Prey series. This book has a highly intriguing plot, intertwining three crimes and the struggle for living of people in a small town. This plot introduces the cool cop, Lucas Davenport to a rebellious, streetwise eleven-year-old girl, Letty West.
It all begins, when a odd couple is found hanging naked on a tree in a remote field in the small town of Broderick and the expertise of Lucas Davenport is called in by the Governor, to immediately solve the crime. The town used to be a ghost town until Gene Calb starts a truck rehab business, which brought prosperity to the place and people started staying there.
After leaving the Minnesota police department, Lucas Davenport and Del Capslock take up state positions with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) working closely with the governor of the state of Minnesota. They investigate the case and find several things connected to the crime.
Within a day Lucas and Del get the name of the killer, but when they go to arrest him, find him dead along with his wife. This complicates things and they stay back in the small town to investigate further and discover the drugs trafficking done by a group of ladies wearing nun habits. Then they find that Calb’s body shop is essentially a chop shop, making vehicles disappear. And also they discover that more than one girl was kidnapped and kept hostage for ransom in that town.
Letty West is a bold girl who seems to know everything on the street and helps Lucas and Del to find the killer and in the process her mother is killed. The author paints a vivid picture of how a young girl turns to violence to protect herself and the people of the town shut themselves away from the cops to save their livelihood. As Weather Davenport later points out, Letty was taking care of her alcoholic mother and donned the role of the adult in her house.
The crime is solved after Lucas tracks down the guilty person by connecting all the clues they get till then. In the sequence, when Letty gets severely injured, he takes care of all her medical bills. The town sheriff behaves obnoxiously as some small town people tend to resist big town people, and the behavior is beautifully nailed down by the author. The turmoil and devastation felt and done by a person controlled by a psychotic mother is shown brilliantly.
In this plot, Lucas Davenport and his wife Weather, live peacefully with their small son, Sam, along with a housekeeper to mind the child when they go to work. As Letty West becomes homeless due to a fire, Lucas decides to take her into his own home and Weather loves the idea.
Overall, this book is a great read and cannot be put down once started. Definitely recommended for a cozy weekend read.
For the review of the next book in the Prey series read Hidden Prey.
For the review of the previous book in the Prey series read Mortal Prey.
For the complete list of Sandford’s Prey series books, check List Of Prey Series Books.