cover image Wicked Prey

Wicked Prey

John Sandford, . . Putnam, $27.95 (402pp) ISBN 978-0-399-15567-3

The 2008 Republican convention serves as the backdrop for bestseller Sandford's amped-up, ultra-violent 19th thriller to feature Lucas Davenport of the Minneapolis Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (after Phantom Prey ). An assassination plot aimed at John McCain turns out to be just a sidebar to another criminal operation—extremely slick thieves have come to the twin cities to rob Republican political operatives loaded down with millions of dollars of “street money,” illegal handouts for low-level campaign workers. Mastermind Rosie Cruz handles the gang's complicated planning, while gangster Brutus Cohn does the robbery and killing aided by a couple of lesser thugs. A subplot involving Davenport's teenage ward, Letty West, who's provided interesting complications in the series, establishes her as a brave and intrepid investigator. A slam-bang shootout climax proves that Davenport still has what it takes when it comes to guts and gunplay. 500,000 first printing; author tour. (May)