Let’s take a look at Golden Prey, one of the latest in the Prey Series by John Sandford (link to author post).
Golden Prey by John Sandford
I had read that Golden Prey might be a good starting place if you hadn’t seen this series before and were reluctant to start at the first. I agree with that assessment because this novel breaks many of the ties of the past books. Lucas Davenport has taken a new job with the U. S. Marshals and he’s out of his depth. He knows his home state of Minnesota and has numerous connections there. Now his beat is the entire country. He’s gone from a small pond to a huge one. Will he be able to keep up with the big fish or will he get swallowed up?
Once again, this novel follows the thriller road map. We learn what the bad guys are up to early on and the question becomes will Lucas be able to catch them. Also, the ending isn’t tied up completely in a nice neat bow, which makes reading more suspenseful. You never know who is going to get away with what. Sometimes the bad guys are victims.
The U.S. Marshals have wide ranging jurisdiction, so Lucas is free to follow the criminals wherever they go. He’s no longer stuck in Minnesota. Sandford takes full advantage of this, sending him to Tennessee and Texas for much of the book.
If readers missed it, Sandford isn’t shy about letting us know that an overarching theme is how dependent we are on cell phones and how they make us vulnerable to being spied on.
“They’re so great, these little machines are, that we all agree to be spied on for the privilege of carrying them.”
I like how he shows that the criminals are fully as able to track cell phones as law enforcement is.
Although it must be difficult to maintain momentum without becoming stale, Sandford throws his main character into new situations to keep the stories fresh. As with others in the series, Golden Prey was impossible to put down until the very end.