EPUB Å Certain Prey õ John Sandford

D get in the way So through the contacts of an ex client she hired professional killer Clara Rinker to get rid of Allen's wife Smart attractive Rinker is the best hitwoman in the business but things go wrong and Note April 1 2015 I updated this review slightly just now to correct a typo misspelled wordThis tenth novel in Sandford's popular Prey series is my first experience with his work; usually I prefer to read a series in order but the friend who recommended this one felt probably correctly that it can be read just as well as a stand alone or out of order Series sleuth Lucas Davenport a Minneapolis homicide detective who by the time of this novel is actually a deputy police chief isn't really the protagonist here; structurally at least for much of the book the co protagonists are the villains and Davenport is the antagonist albeit one who's on the side of good much like Holmes in John Gardner's Moriarity novels And although I classified it as a mystery the who done it why and how of the contract killing here isn't a mystery to the reader; we're shown the personae planning and execution literally of the crime at the outset As in the old Columbo TV series and often on Monk as well the element of detection is in seeing how the forces of justice will prove what we already know And this time it won't be easyThe Internet pen pal who recommended this novel to me told me that when he was reading it he was reminded of the story collection The Smoking Gun Sisterhood which both of us had read The dissimilarities though IMO are fairly marked besides the bad language and sexual content noted below the gun toting females in this book won't be winding up on anyone's action heroines shelf anytime Action villainesses shelf maybe But I did think it was a read that earned three starsOn the plus side Sandford does a very effective job of creating a really involving page turning read with excellent plotting that throws curves into the story which you often don't see coming but which are completely logical outgrowths of the situation and never forced He hooked me early and hard to the point where I knew I would finish the book no matter what; and while the adjectives thriller and pulse pounding are advertising hype there are places with a good deal of genuine suspense and tension here Readers familiar with the Twin Cities would probably say that he does a good job of incorporating their real life geography into the book as well; but though I was born in Minneapolis I wasn't raised there and have hardly ever been back so that element was pretty much lost on meHis other outstanding feat here is the sheer virtuosity with which he creates his villainesses the above mentioned in the Goodreads description Clara and her employer millionaire criminal defense attorney Carmel Loan who's hired the former to kill the wife of a fellow lawyer for whom she's in lust Obviously neither of these are one bit likable as characters a likable villain is pretty much an oxymoron anyway Don't worry I'm just a sociopath Like you I'm not a psychopath or anything Carmel assures Clara at one point but her claim to the contrary she's both she not only has a fixed determination to have anything she wants when she wants it regardless of how much harm she has to do to anybody else in the process but she derives a warped excitement and enjoyment from inflicting pain and death Clara doesn't as such for her killing is just a good paying job and some of Carmel's actions bother even her; but she's almost though not uite without a conscience or normal human empathy like one of Philip K Dick's androids But they ARE fully alive vital three dimensional and understandable as characters and come across as very flawed human beings not just cardboard incarnations of evil though they do both happen to be evil in their different ways And they're strong dominating formidable characters who hold your full attention and stay in your memory; like all well drawn villains they fascinate in various ways and at various psychological levels Sandford also excels at depicting the nuanced fragile bond that grows between the pair whose misguided life choices and defective personalities have prevented them from ever knowing real friendship though there's a buried part of their psyches that's starving for it And in keeping with the necessities of a good mystery plot they're very worthy opponents for any detective; they're both smart cunning and pretty ruthless Carmel totally so; Clara's had years of practice covering her tracks while Carmel knows rules of evidence and police procedure from the inside and her wealth and political connections make her almost untouchable Grading just on the strength of his plotting and sharp characterizations of these two women I'd give Sandford four or five stars hereThere are negatives to the book though that drag its rating down I don't expect villains to be likable; but none of the characters here are particularly so including Davenport Many aren't drawn in enough depth to be either likable or unlikable as if the author exhausted his resources on his protagonists We don't even get much sense of knowing Davenport from the inside though Sandford does bring out his phobia of flying in planes and his liking for escaping job stress by fishing in the North Woods Of course Sandford probably develops his character in the earlier novels of the series which does suggest one possible advantage of reading the books in seuence He has some unappealing traits though including a willingness to cut corners on legal restraints he was temporarily kicked off the force for brutality some years before I also don't think he's outstanding as a detective he can be intuitive and has a good memory for details but he often doesn't recognize verbal clues or faces until long after the optimum time for doing so has passed and he blabs one detail of the investigation to a civilian in a way that even I with no police training recognized as really irresponsible Many of the characters here have the sexual attitudes and often the practices of rutting warthogs though there's no explicit sex; and there's a lot of bad language here including a hefty seasoning of obscenities These aren't used to distinguish one character's or group of characters' speech from another or to suggest differences of setting and milieu; they're just thrown in everywhere indiscriminately and gratuitously The stock excuse that this just reflects the incredible coarsening of American speech in the past generation in some uarters though as my next door neighbor a Veterans Administration executive noted I don't know anybody who talks that way is I think disingenuous it also actively promotes encourages and seeks to legitimate it All told I got enough entertainment out of the book in balance that I don't regret reading it and it earned its stars fairly But I have no intention of seeking out other books in the series Note I did subseuently read Mortal Prey; there are other heroes in the genre that I would find congenial than Davenport

BOOK Certain Prey

Certain PreyThe shooting of a witness a cop brings DI Lucas Davenport into the case Carmel Loan and Clara Rinker team up to clean up the loose ends which includes getting Davenport off their backs by whatever means necessa They talked for a long time nihilism and religion guns and ammo and that night very late as Carmel was dozing off she smiled sleepily as she replayed the conversation She'd gone to college with a lot of finance and law students They'd stayed up nights studying not talkingThis night she thought was like what a lot of people did in college a few beers with friends talk about God and death Carmel Loan is a sharp and completely unscrupulous defense attorney She's ruthless devious and sexy; whatever Carmel wants Carmel gets And what Carmel wants as Certain Prey opens is Hale Allen a man of startlingly good looks and the intellect of a golden retriever There's only one problem Hale is married and his wife's incredible wealth makes divorce a less than appealing prospect What's a girl in love to do except use one of her client's connections to hire a discreet hitman to eliminate the inconvenient wife?Only the hitman in this case is a woman Clara Rinker a character so entirely charming down to earth professional funny and endearing that she steals the book Sure she's killed many many people but who doesn't have flaws? She may be a pro but she's neither as coldblooded as Carmel nor as cruel; killing is just something she does well and make a good low key living by Whatever moral ualms she has about her business she assuages them by believing in fate and telling herself that most of the people she kills are far from innocent They're Mafia connected hangers on after allBarbara Allen is an exception and by Clara's own standards maybe that's what swings fate in the form of Lucas Davenport to target her and Carmel Because while the hit on Barbara is a relatively neat uickly done task the job itself won't stay dead The client of Carmel's who connected her with Rinker turns around immediately and tries to blackmail her and that's just the beginning of the complications that ensue There's no solution that doesn't create a separate problem And once Lucas learns though dubious inadmissible means that Carmel is definitely involved the pressure builds even because now he's not going to be shaken off the scent And no matter how well Clara Rinker has hidden Lucas might be the one person capable of finding herRinker like I said steals the book and her odd budding friendship with Carmel makes for a bizarre funny and strangely touching centerpiece at least from Rinker's side of things Her life is by necessity disconnected from long term connections and emotional honesty and in Carmel she belatedly finds the camaraderie and girl talk that she's spent her whole life without And Carmel feels the same way it's friendship at first sight and as the bodies pile up around them these two are planning vacations to Mexico and talking about renting movies for when they have to lay lowBut nothing is that simple not when they're mired in complications and not when Lucas is on their tail and Sandford keeps the reader's sympathies complicated by driving home repeatedly that Carmel at least is an out and out psychopath She doesn't have Rinker's tragic backstory or minor scruples She does have an electric drill that she's willing to use to torture a guy If the Mexico vacation doesn't work out she might be able to find a time share with the men from Hostel And if Carmel brings the sadism Rinker brings the efficiency The two of them make a pretty intimidating and frightening teamThis one is all about the antagonists for me I loved all the behind the scenes looks at Rinker's career from the routine wiping down of hotel room faucets to the safety deposit box full of IDs to the little lies you tell to buy a wig without the store owner remembering you and I loved the unnerving glimpses of the vacuous darkness beneath Carmel's pretty facade Lucas's best scenes in the book are with the two of them his little face offs with Carmel even the early amiable ones are magnetic and when Sandford somewhat stacks the deck to give Lucas a way to dance with Rinker it's an improbable but entrancing moment that I could visualize perfectly Never mind his flirtation with an FBI agent he and Rinker and Carmel have the real sizzling chemistry

John Sandford õ Certain Prey KINDLE

PDF ´ BOOK Certain Prey Ñ JOHN SANDFORD Ñ Attorney Carmel Loan is beautiful intelligent ambitious and used to getting what she wants When she becomes infatuated with fellow barrister Hale Allen she isn't going to let a little thing like his being married get in the way So through the contacts of an ex client she hired professional Attorney Carmel Loan is beautiful intelligent ambitious and used to getting what she wants When she becomes infatuated with fellow barrister Hale Allen she isn't going to let a little thing like his being marrie The 10th Lucas Davenport novel is one of his most popular because I believe it is a study of opposites and contrasts Davenport crosses than a few lines in pursuit of a murderer and the professional killer she’s hired Meanwhile the assassin is an extremely sympathetic character When a complication arises that may trace back to the hired killer the instigator arranges a meeting and is surprised that the killer is a woman As each complication is removed another grows; and the developing friendship between the women is yet another contrast The thriller aspect becomes almost secondary as the book races to its conclusion