Wednesday, December 26, 2012

This is another very good installment in John Sandford's Prey series, featuring Minneapolis police detective Lucas Davenport. As the book opens, Davenport's team takes down a crew that's been holding up credit unions. In the shootout, two women are killed--the wife and sister of a violent criminal named Dick LaChaise.

LaChaise is halfway through a nine-year prison term and is not thought to be a major flight risk. He's allowed to attend his wife's funeral with only one escort. As any reader will understand the moment he or she is introduced to LaChaise, this is going to be bad news for the escort, who's soon lying dead on the floor of the funeral parlor.

LaChaise is in the wind with two equally messed up associates, determined to wreak revenge on the members of Davenport's team whom he blames for the death of his wife. He will attack and kill their loved ones as they have killed his, an eye for an eye as he says.

The principal target, of course, will be Davenport's fiance, surgeon Weather Karkinnen. What follows is a particularly gripping game of cat and mouse as the cops attempt to fend off the attacks and recapture LaChaise and his associates. And before it's over, virtually all of the characters, good guys and bad, will become sudden prey.

There's a great cast of characters in this book. Lucas, Del, Sloan and the other members of the team are all in fine form. Weather reacts to the situation exactly as readers of the series would imagine, which only adds to the tension and the fun. As always, Sandford does a great job with the villains, and Dick LaChaise is one of his most inspired creations. All of the action leads to a great climax and both long-time fans and first-time readers will be turning pages well into the night, racing to get there.

Monday, December 3, 2012

This is another excellent entry in Michael Connelly's series featuring LAPD homicide detective, Harry Bosch.

Bosch, who had earlier retired from the department is now back under the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP). He has a little more than three years left before he will be forced to retire for good and he is anxious to accomplish as much as he possibly can in the time he has remaining.

Harry is now working in the Open/Unsolved Unit, investigating cold cases, and as the book opens, he and his partner, David Chu, are assigned a particularly interesting case from over twenty years earlier. A child was sexually assaulted and murdered and now DNA evidence has linked the crime to a convicted sex offender. It seems like an open and shut case, except for one small problem: at the time of the crime, the offender whose DNA was found on the body was only eight years old.

While Harry pursues this puzzling cold case, he's assigned to a new live case by special request. The son of an old nemesis, city councilman Irvin Irving, has dropped to his death from a balcony at a posh hotel. The councilman insists that Bosch investigate the death personally. While he and Harry may have at times been bitter opponents, Irving knows that Harry is a man of integrity and that he will find the real truth, irrespective of whether the son's death was an accident, suicide or murder.

Inevitably, Harry will face any number of obstacles in both investigations and in the end, he has to wonder whom, if anyone, he can trust. Both cases are very interesting and as always, it's enormous fun to watch Harry work. Michael Connelly, like his fictional detective, seems to just be getting better and better with age. This is a real page-turner that should appeal to anyone who enjoys crime fiction and that will be treasured by fans of this great series.