The Investigator

John Sandford. Putnam, $29 (400p) ISBN 978-0-593-32868-2

Introduced in 2003’s Naked Prey, Letty Davenport, U.S. Marshal Lucas Davenport’s adopted daughter, takes center stage in this welcome series spin-off from bestseller Sandford. Letty is bored by her D.C. job working for Senator Christopher Colles, until her unauthorized actions yield proof that two of his staff members stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the politician’s campaign funds. When she resigns her job in the hope of finding something more suited to her thirst for action, Colles, impressed by her initiative, offers her an acceptable alternative. As a member of a committee overseeing the Department of Homeland Security, he’s able to hire Letty as a researcher to follow up on reports that a gang of crooks may have stolen hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil in West Texas. Colles fears that the money the thieves made from selling the oil could be funding a national security threat. That original premise, coupled with Sandford’s rounded portrayal of Letty as more than just a stock action hero, add up to one of his best books in years. Karen Sisco admirers will hope Letty has a long literary life. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM Partners. (Apr.)
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