Neon Prey

John Sandford. Putnam, $29 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525-53658-1
In Thriller Award–winner Sandford’s lackluster 29th thriller featuring Deputy U.S. Marshal Lucas Davenport (after 2018’s Twisted Prey), New Orleans attorney and loan shark Roger Smith hires enforcer Clayton Deese to send a violent message to Howell Paine after Paine refuses to pay back the thousands he borrowed. The assignment goes awry when Paine resists and manages to bite off “like a feral tomcat, wrenching his head from side to side... a half-dollar-sized chunk of meat” from Deese’s leg. The cops come for Deese later that day, leading to the thug’s arrest on federal racketeering charges. After Deese fails to show up for his trial and his ankle monitor stops working, two of Davenport’s colleagues are sent to Louisiana to track down Deese. They don’t find him, but they do discover the fugitive had buried multiple bodies in the woods behind his home. That the remains were partially cannibalized before burial brings in Davenport, whose political connections enable him to choose his own assignments. Davenport pursues Deese across the country to Las Vegas, Nev., but the plot never gathers much steam, and an unrealistic twist in the final confrontation with Deese is another minus. Fans will hope for a return to form next time. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/05/2019
Release date: 04/23/2019
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Compact Disc - 978-0-525-63439-3
Paperback - 640 pages - 978-1-984882-83-7
Compact Disc - 978-0-525-63437-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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