Phantom Prey is the 18th installment of the detective stories series, the Prey series novels written by bestselling author John Sandford. It is a Lucas Davenport thriller which introduces the concept of split personalities into the Prey novels. This one is a little unusual from the other Prey series books.
For a few minutes into the novel I got very excited expecting that the plot might contain horror suspense elements and involve ghosts. But I quickly realized that the title did not mean any such thing and the plot is normal and pertains to the normal world and felt a little let down surprisingly. This book looks at two cases running parallel to each other.
One case involves a rich lady, Alyssa Austin, whose daughter is missing and she pulls in Lucas Davenport to look for her through his wife Weather’s recommendation. As Austin is interested in spirit world matters and uses tools like Astrological charts, Tarot cards and such things, Lucas is a little reluctant to take up dealings in that case.
Another case involves surveillance on a drug dealer’s wife’s apartment by the BCA detectives, meaning Lucas and Del Capslock. They rent an apartment opposite Heather Tom’s apartment and keep watching her movements to track Siggy Tom. The case is all wrapped around itself and is the surveillance finally pays off the team.
Lucas gets shot again when he is investigating the Austin case and Weather gets very upset as he keeps getting injured on the job. Letty, Lucas’s ward, is quite interested in the details of the gun fights in his job and Lucas is amused to relive the moments with her. Lucas walks around with a crutch for a few days after getting injured.
The author’s style of writing evokes sympathy to the injured and his writing looks very realistic. Del’s wife faces some health issues and these everyday events are also intricately weaved into the plot making the novel seem like every day life happening in our own neighborhood. The grief of a mother after losing her child is portrayed with great empathy by Sandford. Though I felt that some characters were a little underdeveloped, this plot is well-thought out.
This plot, again involving psychological elements of human nature, is similar to many of the Prey novels, shows how a person’s mind works when he is a little imbalanced. The way one personality in the same person is unknown to the other side of that person is pictured wonderfully. The way a person takes revenge on innocent people mistaking them to be responsible for a crime is shown realistically.
All in all it is a good read and fills your free time when you don’t have anything else to do. So, pick it up when you have time to curl up with a cup of coffee.
For the review of the next book in the Prey series read Wicked Prey.
For the review of the previous book in the Prey series read Invisible Prey.
For the complete list of Sandford’s Prey series books, check List Of Prey Series Books.