Book Review: John Sandford’s Broken Prey

Posted May 9, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: John Sandford’s Broken Prey

Broken Prey


John Sandford

It is part of the Lucas Davenport #16 series and is a detective mystery, mystery that was published by Berkley on May 10, 2005 and has 390 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon

Other books in this series include [books_series]

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Rules of Prey, Shadow Prey, Eyes of Prey, Winter Prey, Silent Prey, Mind Prey, Night Prey, Sudden Prey, Easy Prey, Chosen Prey, Mortal Prey, Naked Prey, Hidden Prey, Invisible Prey, Phantom Prey, Wicked Prey, Storm Prey, Buried Prey, Silken Prey, Stolen Prey, Field of Prey, Gathering Prey, Dark of the Moon, Heat Lightning, Rough Country, Bad Blood, Shock Wave, Mad River, Deadline, Storm Front, Extreme Prey, Escape Clause, The Fool's Run, Deep Freeze, The Empress File, Twisted Prey, Holy Ghost, Neon Prey, Bloody Genius

Sixteenth in the Lucas Davenport detective mystery series and revolving around a lucky cop who likes poetry, fine suits, and good-looking women.

My Take

It’s the best one hundred songs of rock ‘n roll that keeps popping up throughout the story, bringing in some light. God knows, Sloan needs the distraction. After what happened at Rice’s home, he’s quittin’.

Oh, man, I love it! Mihovil lays into the lecturer who’s going on and on about the clash of cultures. How awful it is that America is thrusting its culture down everyone’s throat. That we should leave Africa, Asia, etc., alone with their particular cultures. It’s Mihovil’s experiences in a refugee camp and then struggling on his own to survive and thrive that gives him this unique insight on the zoo the lecturer wants to keep people in. He calls it “simple racism”.

It’s too funny how much Lucas is missing Weather. The lady’s man is tamed. Well, except for the speeding. I swear, I think every cop in Minnesota recognizes Lucas’ car.

Oh, boy. The media is ticked off that Lucas refers to their use of the news as entertainment. It’s not that he’s referring to them doing this, but that he mentions it. All this maneuvering around the media drives me nuts. Yes, I think it’s wonderful that we have such incredible freedom to say whatever we like, and I still hate that the cops have to tiptoe around and worry about the media skewering them. People are human, even cops.

And it’s that snark the guys toss around. I love it, and it always makes me laugh.

“‘I’d French-kiss you if you weren’t married,’ Lucas said, picking up the telephone.

‘It’s always something,’ Hopping Crow said.”

Reading about prisoners like the Big Three makes me wish the death penalty was still in effect. Then you read the serial killer’s moans and whining, and…jesus, they just don’t think like most people.

Millie is quite anxious to bring some variety into her sex life, and one of the first things she learns is the difficulty of sex in the shower. Her dilemma is both sad and praiseworthy. The sadness is in her anxiety, her worry about not being good enough, and I think it’s exacerbated by my worries about her staying alive. The good is that she’s brave enough to say what she wants. Good for her!

Throughout the story, Sandford has the “pupil” the Gods in the Hall took on remembering his “lessons”. The tricks they taught him, the cautions. That too is so real and terrifying. It’s practical advice even if it is megalomaniacal.

Hmm, I guess Elle is a challenging driver, lol. Wait’ll you read Sloan’s reaction.

Then there’s the best one hundred rock n’ roll songs…

The Story

It’s rough. Weather and the kids have gone to London, and Lucas is on his own. And the house is so empty. Neat, but empty. Wanting to fill up his new iPod is helping, but the greater distraction is the serial killer.

A killer who’s feeding lines to Ruffe Ignace.

The Characters

Lucas Davenport is the governor’s troubleshooter, investigating crimes that could damage the governor or his party. Dr. Weather Karkinnen is a plastic and microsurgeon who set off this song hunt. Letty West is the ward they took on at the end of Broken Prey, 16. Sam is their baby son. Ellen is their housekeeper.

Elle is Lucas’ oldest friend and now head of the psychology department at St. Anne’s College. She’s helped profile a few cases for Lucas, although he stopped after the attack on her.

The Office of Regional Research at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is…
…run by Lucas with the former Minneapolis chief of police, Rose Marie Roux, as the commissioner for the Department of Public Safety. Carol is Lucas’ secretary and manages the office and Lucas. Del Capslock, his lead investigator, and Dannie Carson are out on the Ransom case. John McCord is the BCA superintendent. John Hopping Crow is in charge of the lab; Anita Winter works with him. Shrake and Jenkins are the BCA’s designated thugs. Lanscombe.

Neil Mitford is Governor Elmer Henderson‘s hatchet man. Jerald Wald is the Senate majority leader. Carlton Aspen is the commissioner of the Department of Human Services.

Minneapolis PD
Detectives Sloan, Franklin, and Anderson. Officer Bob Hubbard is a part-time homicide cop who feels hard-done-by and is Ignace’s snitch. Pennington is the current chief of police. Officer Dick Douglas spotted Gary who tapped Mikey.

George Hyde and Ira Shapira are both lawyers arguing with Lucas over the song list. Bernie Berger has a bar for sale. Jerome is the lead surgeon in London about whom Weather teases Lucas.

The Star-Tribune is…
…the newspaper where Ruffe Ignace, an ugly, unprincipled, weaselly little jerk, and a reporter works. He’s got some kind of motor mouth problem that puts the ladies (and others) off — he calls it Ruffe’s Radio. Sharon White is the executive editor; Phil Stone is the paper’s attorney.

Angela Larson is a college student at the U who works at an art store. Millie Lincoln likes sex. Louise Sample was murdered and raped in ’95. Gary is a panhandler with the eleven o’clock shift.

Mankato, Blue Earth County
Sheriff Gene Nordwall has a rape victim, Adam Rice, the manager of a hardware store, and his son, Josh. Laurina Rice is Adam’s mother, Gloria is her sister, and Mrs. Carson is a friend of hers. George is the deputy who found him. Sandy is the dispatcher. Bill James is another deputy and assigned getting the biography.

Dr. Mihovil Draskovic is an immigrant from Serbia who worked hard and now works in the ER at the Mankato hospital. Andy Sanders is a friend of Rice’s. Booger is a bartender at the Rockyard where Aix, Dove, a.k.a., Bertha Wolfe, and Andi work across the parking lot at the Y’all Duck Inn.

Mower County Sheriff Department
Larry Ball is the sheriff. Bob Youngie is one of his deputies.

Mrs. Bird is a little old lady in Rochester who saw the killer. Marcia Pope is Charlie’s mother and lives in Austin. The truck farmers in Hill are brothers: Gerald and Jerome Martin. Sandy Martin is a cousin keeping an eye on the place. Bobby Clanton and Albert Lea are busy manufacturing with the help of Sean McCollum and Mike Benton.

Northfield PD
Jim Goode is the lead investigator.

Marilyn Derech, Carol Olson, Tom Wells, and Ann Lasker are friends of Carlita Peterson‘s, a ceramics teacher at St. Olaf. Zachery Peterson is Carlita’s ex-husband. Louie Grass is a neighbor who walks his dog a lot.

Goodhue County
Barry Anderson is the sheriff.

St. John’s in Owatonna is…
…a prison for the insane. Dr. Lawrence Cale is the administrator. Darrell Ross is his second. Leon Jansen, Nan, Jimenez, Grosz, Steinhammer, and Harvey Bronson work there as guards. Mark Fox is a parole officer concerned about Charlie Pope who was just released from St. John’s and makes a point of telling Lucas his DNA is in the database. Dr. Karen Beloit is the prison doctor. Sennet, Dick Hart, Halburton, Sam O’Donnell, and Leo Grant are psychologists. Alison is just in here for the money. Bob Turner plays Santa in their Christmas play. Herman Clousy is a med tech. Mrs. Hardesty is in Personnel. Justus Smith usually works the control booth along with Marian LeDoux and Jack Lasker. Bea is one of the staffers.

Deacon is a game warden.

The Big Three, the Gods Down the Hall, in the prison are Biggie Lighter, Carl Taylor, and Lawrence Chase. Charlie Pope is a released sex offender. Mike West is a schizophrenic personality in a halfway house. Sandy knows him pretty well. Danny Anderson got out a few months earlier. Lonnie is in group therapy.

Dr. Peter Baylor worked with Grant in Colorado. Roy Rogers was a patient in West Bend in Colorado.

Ransom is a home-improvement scam artist. Manny Sunshine is a dope dealer.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a gradated black to soft greens for a background. Coils of barbed wire cross the base with the embossed title standing out in white while the author’s name is in gold at the top.

The title refers to the killer, for he is the Broken Prey.