Read Certain Prey by John Sandford Free Online
Book Title: Certain Prey|
Date of issue: June 7th 2004
ISBN 13: 9780743484190
The author of the book: John Sandford
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 385 KB
Edition: Simon & Schuster UK
Read full description of the books Certain Prey:Lucas Davenport has always had a way with the ladies, but he’ll need a lot more than charm to deal with Carmel Loan and Clara Rinker.
Carmel is a pit-bull of a criminal defense lawyer who gets what she wants, and what she wants includes her handsome and married co-worker Hale Allen. So Carmel reaches out to a drug dealing client to hook her up with a hit man to kill Hale’s wife so she can step in. However, the hit man turns out to be a hit woman. Clara Rinker has killed over two dozen people while earning a lethal reputation, and she spends her spare time running her bar in Wichita, Kansas.
Clara pulls off the hit on Hale’s wife, but when complications arise she and Carmel begin working together to cover their tracks. Their partnership turns into a bizarre friendship with the two women able to share sides of themselves with each other that they’ve had to keep hidden from others. This apparently proves that torture and murder are just as effective at facilitating female bonding as a pitcher of margaritas.
Lucas quickly gets an inkling that Carmel was involved with the death of Allen’s wife, but he has to be extremely careful when investigating her because of the legal hell she could rain down on the police department. He’ll also work with the FBI on trying to track down the elusive hit woman they’ve been chasing for years. Facing a professional killer and a lawyer who knows exactly how to work the system means that Lucas will have to pull a couple of dirty tricks of his own in order to catch Carmel and Clara.
This is among the best of the Prey novels mainly because it’s got two great villains at the heart of it. Either Carmel or Clara would worthy of a novel by themselves, but teaming them up was a great idea. With Carmel being a big city lawyer and Clara being a former nudie dancer turned paid killer/ bar owner, you wouldn’t think they’d have a lot to talk about, but the two of them both have a tough pragmatic streak they admire about each other.
Even their differences are interesting with Carmel featuring a nihilistic philosophy of believing that since nothing really matters there’s no point in not doing almost anything whereas Clara sees herself more in a role of delivering karmic justice to those who deserve it. Their odd couple friendship also generates some black humor like one scene where the two ditch a couple of guns they’ve used to murder someone and then start planning a joint vacation to Mexico to hang out some more.
It’s also notable that a couple of weird events are at the heart of this one. The Prey books usually feature a tightly plotted war of wits, but in this case Lucas makes a deductive leap that seems reasonable and leads to an important clue. We later find out that his reasoning was completely wrong so a mistake led to a major breakthrough. Then a freakish coincidence winds up driving the plot through the second half of the book. In other crime fiction, this could seem ridiculous, but that’s a change from how Sandford usually does business and so throwing a few odd events at Lucas doesn’t seem like cheating.
With Carmel and Clara featured so prominently Lucas doesn’t really have any personal subplots this time other than a running joke about him toting around a giant report as part of a diversity commission he got roped into serving on. However, there’s the usual dynamic of Davenport pulling some shady moves and more than a few mind games. This one deserves its reputation as one of the best of the Prey novels.
Random trivia: The USA Network made a TV movie based on this a few years back starring Mark Harmon as Lucas. It wasn’t particularly good or memorable, but it did have a nice performance by Tatiana Maslany as Clara. She'd go on to get a lot of attention for her outstanding work on Orphan Black.
Next: Lucas gets fashionable while trying to find the killer of a supermodel in Easy Prey.
Read information about the authorSee also John Camp
John Sandford was born John Camp on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended the public schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. He then spent four years at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor's degree in American Studies in 1966. In 1966, he married Susan Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, a fellow student at the University of Iowa. He was in the U.S. Army from 1966-68, worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian from 1968-1970, and went back to the University of Iowa from 1970-1971, where he received a master's degree in journalism. He was a reporter for The Miami Herald from 1971-78, and then a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press from 1978-1990; in 1980, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis. From 1990 to the present he has written thriller novels. He's also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art. He is the principal financial backer of a major archeological project in the Jordan Valley of Israel, with a website at www.rehov.org In addition to archaeology, he is deeply interested in art (painting) and photography. He both hunts and fishes. He has two children, Roswell and Emily, and one grandson, Benjamin. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007, and is greatly missed.
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