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Twisted Prey
Cover of Twisted Prey
Twisted Prey
Prey Series, Book 28
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Lucas Davenport confronts an old nemesis, now a powerful U.S. senator, in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling Prey series.
Lucas Davenport had crossed paths with her before.
A rich psychopath, Taryn Grant had run successfully for the U.S. Senate, where Lucas had predicted she'd fit right in. He was also convinced that she'd been responsible for three murders, though he'd never been able to prove it. Once a psychopath had gotten that kind of rush, though, he or she often needed another fix, so he figured he might be seeing her again.
He was right. A federal marshal now, with a very wide scope of investigation, he's heard rumors that Grant has found her seat on the Senate intelligence committee, and the contacts she's made from it, to be very...useful. Pinning those rumors down was likely to be just as difficult as before, and considerably more dangerous.
But they had unfinished business, he and Grant. One way or the other, he was going to see it through to the end.
Lucas Davenport confronts an old nemesis, now a powerful U.S. senator, in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling Prey series.
Lucas Davenport had crossed paths with her before.
A rich psychopath, Taryn Grant had run successfully for the U.S. Senate, where Lucas had predicted she'd fit right in. He was also convinced that she'd been responsible for three murders, though he'd never been able to prove it. Once a psychopath had gotten that kind of rush, though, he or she often needed another fix, so he figured he might be seeing her again.
He was right. A federal marshal now, with a very wide scope of investigation, he's heard rumors that Grant has found her seat on the Senate intelligence committee, and the contacts she's made from it, to be very...useful. Pinning those rumors down was likely to be just as difficult as before, and considerably more dangerous.
But they had unfinished business, he and Grant. One way or the other, he was going to see it through to the end.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book Chapter One

    "Tired?"
    Porter Smalls looked across the front seat at the driver. The summer foliage was dark around the Cadillac Escalade as they rolled up the dirt lane. The south branch of the Potomac River snaked along below them; the windows were down and the muddy/fishy odor of the river filled the car.
    "A bit – in a good way," Cecily Whitehead said.
    Whitehead had taken a cold shower in the cabin's well-water shortly before they left, and dabbed on a touch of Chanel No. 5 as she dressed. The combined odor of the two scents was more than pleasant, it was positively erotic.
    "I'll drive if you want," Smalls offered. He was a small man, like his name, thin and fit, looked like he might have spent time on a mountain bike. He had white hair that curled down over the collar of his golf shirt, too-white veneered teeth, and rimless made-for-television glasses over pale blue eyes.
    "No, I'm fine," Whitehead said. She buckled her seatbelt over her shimmery slip-dress, that in earlier days might have gotten her arrested if she'd worn it out of her bedroom. "You finished the wine – if we got stopped for some reason..."
    "Right," Smalls said.
    He kicked the seat back another couple of inches, crossed his hands across his stomach and closed his eyes.

    Above them, in the trees, a man had been watching with binoculars. When the silver SUV rolled down the driveway, past the mailbox, and made the left turn onto the dirt lane, he lifted a walkie-talkie to his face and said, "I'll be home for dinner."
    A walkie-talkie, because if nobody within three miles was on exactly the same channel at exactly the right time, there'd be no trace of the call; nothing for even the NSA to latch onto. Nor would there be any trace of the five rapid clicks he got back, acknowledging the message.
    He was on foot, with his pick-up spot a half-mile away. He'd walked in on a game trail and he walked out the same way, moving slowly, stopping every hundred feet to watch and listen. He'd never sat down while on watch, but had remained standing next to the gnarly gray bark of an aging ash: there'd be no observation post for anyone to find, no discarded cigarette butts or candy wrappers with DNA on them. He'd worn smooth-soled boots: no treads marks in the soft earth.
    He was a professional.

    U.S. Senator Porter Smalls owned a cabin in the hills of West Virginia, two and a half hours from Washington, D.C. – close enough to be an easy drive, far enough to obscure activities that might need to be obscured.
    He and Whitehead, one of his wife's best friends – his wife was back in Minnesota – had locked up the place and headed back to DC as the sun wedged itself below the horizon on a hot Sunday afternoon. The timing was deliberate: they would enjoy the cover of darkness when she dropped him off at his Watergate condo.
    Smalls and Whitehead had spent an invigorating two days talking about political philosophy, history, horses, money, life and mutual friends, while they worked their way through Smalls' battered '80s paperback copy of The Joy of Sex.
    Smalls was married, Whitehead not, but she drove the car because of a kind of Washington logic concerning sex and alcohol. A little light adultery, while not considered a necessarily positive thing in Washington, was certainly not to be compared as a criminal offense with a DWI. Banging an adult male or live woman might – maybe – get you a paragraph on a...
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 12, 2018
    At the start of bestseller Sandford’s thoroughly entertaining 28th novel featuring Lucas Davenport (after 2017’s Golden Prey), political consultant Cecily Whitehead is driving Porter Smalls, a former U.S. senator from Minnesota, back to Washington, D.C., from his cabin in West Virginia when a pickup truck plows into their vehicle, knocking it off the road down a steep hill. Smalls suffers only a bloody nose, but Whitehead dies. Smalls believes this was an assassination attempt organized by Sen. Taryn Grant, who used a shady operative to plant child pornography on his computer in their senate race two years earlier, which Grant narrowly won. Convinced that she views him as an obstacle to her planned run for the presidency, Smalls asks his friend Davenport, now a U.S. marshal, for help. Davenport, who’s certain that Grant has committed three murders but doesn’t have the proof, is only too happy to get another crack at her. Davenport and Grant, aided by their respective allies, engage in a deadly cat-and-mouse game that will keep the reader turning the pages up to the exciting climax. This long-running series shows no sign of losing steam. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2018
    Now that he's moved on from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to the elite U.S. Marshals Service, you might expect Lucas Davenport (Golden Prey, 2017, etc.) to deal with a distinctly higher class of lowlife. That's not how it works out.Minnesota Sen. Porter Smalls insists that the crash that nearly killed him and did kill his unacknowledged lover, Republican fundraiser Cecily Whitehead, was deliberately caused by a Ford F-250 truck that rammed his car and sent it plunging off a cliff. When the West Virginia accident investigator finds no sign of any such impact on his wrecked car, Smalls calls on Lucas to dig up the evidence that he's not just hallucinating and, ideally, that the crash was engineered by first-term Minnesota Sen. Taryn Grant, a proven sociopath who'd hate him even if she didn't already have her eyes on the White House. Smalls is right, of course, but making a case against someone as wealthy, ruthless, and well-connected as Grant won't be easy. While Lucas and fellow marshals Rae Givens and Bob Matees are chasing down leads, Grant, who's just as clearsighted as Smalls about her enemies, is issuing orders to her fixer, hustler Jack Parrish, about how to take Lucas out: mug him seriously enough to hospitalize him for a crucial month or so, arrange a distraction that will send him back to Minnesota, or, if all else fails, kill him dead. Spoiler alert: Even when they succeed short-term, Grant and her army of minions fail to derail Lucas' investigation into a particularly nasty episode in which the awarding of a military contract was manipulated to the significant detriment of the military services. The only thing that slows Lucas is the fact that every time he gets enough evidence against one of the underlings, his target is quite properly killed before he can testify against his fellow conspirators.Sandford is as professional as the evildoers aren't. The result is lots of great setups but remarkably few follow-throughs.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 25, 2018
    Sandford’s 28th Lucas Davenport novel, enhanced by an appropriately gruff narration by Ferrone, pits the lawman against an old foe: the beautiful and wealthy sociopath Senator Taryn Grant. Davenport was unable to stop the three-times murderer from winning her senate seat in Silken Prey (2013). Now, as she sets her sights on the presidency, he’s hoping to right that wrong. Assisting him is Senator Porter Smalls, another character from the earlier book, who’s at the top of Grant’s current hit list. Voice actor Ferrone presents Davenport as hardboiled and unyielding on the job, tender with his family, and relaxed with his pals (like the author’s other series lead, Virgil Flowers, who drops by for a cameo). Smalls sounds eager to assist, though understandably nervous and on edge. Grant speaks with almost unrelieved, hissing fury. Assassin Jack Parrish, who works for Grant, is a stoic professional, outwardly unruffled, though a flatness in his delivery suggests he’s not amused by the threats and insults she aims at him. Ferrone’s reading helps make this outing one of the best of the series. A Putnam hardcover.

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Twisted Prey
Twisted Prey
Prey Series, Book 28
John Sandford
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