All it took as one mention in a Kim du Toit post to help me determine what to read next. Heather, knowing I’ve spoken fondly of John Sandford before (here, here, here, here, and here), gave me a number of Sandford’s books for Christmas, so I cracked into another one. Simply because I saw the author’s name in a blog post. Sometimes, I pick books for the slightest of reasons.
This one dials the clock back to 1993, early in the series, before Lucas Davenport was where he is today both in his personal and professional life (in Mortal Prey, for example, he’s getting married to the woman he meets in this novel; in between, they went steady, broke up, and then came together again). However, Sandford’s books are written so the current plot is central and the ongoing story of Lucas Davenport and crew are secondary, much like Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series. You can read them in any order and enjoy them independently.
Unlike the 87th Precinct, though, Davenport is an investigator with a team, so some of the action is executive in nature. Somehow, that works.
In this book, Davenport is at his cabin in Wisconsin when the local sheriff needs help with a brutal triple murder. It’s northern Wisconsin in winter, with heavy snowfall choking the roads a snowmobile and snow shoes in every garage. Man, it made me homesick. Before it’s done, there are a number of brutal killings of innocents but Davenport gets his person.
A good page turner, and I’ve already segued a decade and a half almost into Davenport’s future with my current reading, which you’ll read about in a couple days.
Also, like Mortal Prey, which took place in St. Louis, this book features talk and visits to Milwaukee, my home town, so I got to play spot-the-inaccuracies. Just one obvious gaffe.