cover image Shadow Prey

Shadow Prey

John Sandford. Putnam Publishing Group, $18.95 (318pp) ISBN 978-0-399-13543-9

A terrorist conspiracy, masterminded by a small group of Native Americans, embarks on a series of ritualistic murders, offing public officials known for their record of prejudice against Indians, in Sandford's ( Rules of Prey ) second Lucas Davenport thriller. Dakota medicine men Sam and Aaron Crow recruit killers whom they arm with obsidian knives on leather thongs and send out to cut the throats of victims in Minnesota, Oklahoma and New York--for starters. Both Sam and Aaron act as fathers to young Shadow Love (since each has been his mother's lover); Shadow Love is, in fact, a psychopath who will use the Indian murder mission to fulfill his own agenda. When Minneapolis police lieutenant Davenport gets on the case, assisted by statuesque, tough-talking policewoman Lily Rothenburg, the ``sulky, dark-haired madonna'' dispatched from New York to observe the investigation, the story crackles with romance and suspense, especially when Lucas and Lily become the killers' prey. Lucas's personality is the novel's most nuanced: he is a rugged lover of women--including his old friend Elle, psychologist and Sister of Mercy--he fathers his live-in girlfriend's baby and spends nights inventing board games. Other characters, like Sandford's dialogue, are only serviceable, but plenty of gore and action drives the plot forward. 75,000 first printing; major ad/promo. (June)