Gathering Prey by John Sandford (Review #2)


Reviewed by Allen Hott

Gathering PreyI have a bit of a problem with the title but I have NO problem with the book. This is another typical John Sandford story. A lot of action, a lot of description, and a lot of profanity carry the reader to a truly great ending.

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Lucas Davenport, who has been in quite a few of Sandford’s stories, is again the main character in Gathering Prey. Davenport is a somewhat maverick private investigator with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He does a heckuva job catching or killing bad guys but some of his methods don’t always fit in with the way those at the top of the Bureau think it should be done.

However he has full support of the governor so most of his trips against the wishes of the upper echelon get overlooked.

In this story Letty, Lucas’s adopted daughter, now a college student, meets up with a couple that she recognizes to be Travelers. Although she doesn’t necessarily condone that way of life she does offer to buy them lunch at McDonald’s. Travelers are basically wanderers who travel in somewhat organized groups and they move around from music festival to music festival. While pretty much traveling the western United States they have been known to do various unlawful acts far worse than just buying, selling, and distributing drugs.

Letty becomes friendly with Skye, the girl, and they trade phone numbers while vowing to stay in touch. Letty tells Lucas about the meeting and he warns her to not get involved with Skye. As expected however she does and that is the catalyst for the story.

Skye and her boyfriend meet up with a very large group of Travelers headed by a guy named Pilate who calls the members his disciples and they prove early on to be very dangerous.. Pilate’s group is basically from California and is heading eventually to the Upper Michigan Peninsula. And all the way they appear to be planning many adventures which are far from peaceful.

Letty gets a call and decides to head to Skye’s aid as problems have arisen for her boyfriend and her. It turns out the two of them have become captives. When Letty gets there she finds it is a bit late and when she does try to intervene she gets pretty well beaten up. She had called Lucas, however, and he manages to get there in time to save her with help from others. The group hurriedly left.

But from here on in the story mayhem prevails as Lucas tries to stay close to the group but has many problems in doing so. All along the way the group especially Pilate and his girl do some vicious things to people they meet and their own disciples.

Lucas by now is traveling in other states and enlists help from various law-enforcement agencies. But the problems seem to be non-ending until finally some things begin to go Lucas’s way.

The ending that Sandford puts to this great work is fantastic. Any reader of crime stories will appreciate this entire book but the ending makes it really a great story for filmmakers!


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