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Extreme Prey
Cover of Extreme Prey
Extreme Prey
Lucas Davenport Series, Book 26
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The extraordinary new Lucas Davenport thriller from #1 New York Times–bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner John Sandford.

After the events in Gathering Prey, Lucas Davenport finds himself in a very unusual situation—no longer employed by the Minnesota BCA. His friend the governor is just cranking up a presidential campaign, though, and he invites Lucas to come along as part of his campaign staff. "Should be fun!" he says, and it kind of is—until they find they have a shadow: an armed man intent on killing the governor . . . and anyone who gets in the way.
The extraordinary new Lucas Davenport thriller from #1 New York Times–bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner John Sandford.

After the events in Gathering Prey, Lucas Davenport finds himself in a very unusual situation—no longer employed by the Minnesota BCA. His friend the governor is just cranking up a presidential campaign, though, and he invites Lucas to come along as part of his campaign staff. "Should be fun!" he says, and it kind of is—until they find they have a shadow: an armed man intent on killing the governor . . . and anyone who gets in the way.
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  • From the book CHAPTER ONE

    Bright-eyed Marlys Purdy carried a steel bucket around to the side of the garage to the rabbit hutches, which were stacked up on top of each other like Manhattan walkups. She paused there for a moment, considering the possibilities. A dozen New Zealand whites peered through the screened windows, their pink noses twitching and pale eyes watching the intruder, their long ears turning like radar dishes, trying to parse their immediate future: Was this dinner, or death?

    A car went by on the gravel road, on the far side of a ditch-line of lavender yarrow and clumps of black-eyed susans and purple cone flowers, throwing a cloud of dust into the late-afternoon sun. Marlys turned to look. Lori Schaeffer, who lived three more miles out. Didn't bother to wave.

    Marlys was a sturdy woman in her fifties, white curls clinging to her scalp like vanilla frosting. She wore rimless glasses, a homemade red-checked gingham dress and low-topped Nikes. Short-nosed and pale, she had a small pink mouth that habitually pursed in thought, or disapproval.

    She popped the door on one of the hutches and pulled the rabbit out by its hind feet.

    The animal smelled of rabbit food and rabbit poop and the pine shavings used as bedding. A twelve-inch Craftsman crescent wrench, its working end rusted shut, lay on top of the hutches. Marlys stretched the rabbit over her thigh and held it tight until it stopped wriggling, then picked up the crescent wrench and whacked the rabbit on the back of the head, separating the skull from the spine.

    So it was death.

    The rabbit went limp, but a few seconds later, began twitching as its nerves fired against oxygen starvation. That went on for a bit and then the rabbit went quiet again.

    Some years before, Marlys had mounted a plank on the side of the garage, at head-height. Before mounting the board, she'd driven two twenty-penny common nails through it, so that an inch of nail protruded, angling upward. Every year or so, she'd use a bastard file to sharpen up the nails.

    Now she positioned the bucket, with a used plastic shopping bag on the inside, under the board with the nails. She pushed the dead rabbit's feet onto the nails, until the nails stuck through; and, in a minute or so, had stripped the rabbit's fur, pulled off its head, and gutted it, all the unwanted parts and most of the blood draining into plastic bag in the bucket

    Not all of the blood: a dinner-plate-sized blotch of old black blood stains marred the wooden side of the garage, supplemented by new red blotches from this last butchery. She carried the bloody meat back to the house, paused to tie up the top of the plastic bag and drop it into the garbage can, and in the kitchen, washed the meat.

    During the entire five-minute process of killing and butchering the rabbit, she'd never once thought about either the animal, or the process. All of that was automatic, like pulling beets or picking wax beans.

    Marlys' brain was consumed with other thoughts.

    Of murder.

    If and when, and where and how, and with what.

    Marlys was a woman of ordinary appearance, if seen in a supermarket or library, dressed in homemade or Walmart dresses or slacks, a little too heavy, but fighting it, white-haired, ruddy-faced.

    In her heart, though, she housed a rage that knew no bounds. The rage fully possessed her at times and she might be seen sitting in her truck at a stoplight, pounding the steering wheel with the palms of her hands; or walking through the noodle aisle at the supermarket with a teeth-baring snarl. She had frightened strangers, who might look at her and catch the flames of rage, quickly...
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 18, 2016
    A Hillary Clinton–like presidential candidate is slated for death in bestseller Sandford's average if topical 26th Lucas Davenport thriller (after 2015's Gathering Prey). Lucas has quit the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but the state's governor, Elmer Henderson, needs his help. Henderson is running for president in the primaries against Michaela Bowden, who's seeking to be the first woman to hold that office. Henderson expects her to win and hopes that she will name him as her running mate. However, he fears that she may be assassinated after two people separately approach him and advise him to "be ready for the nomination" in case something were to happen to Michaela. With little more than a bad photograph of one of the two to go on, Lucas must identify the plotters before it's too late. Sandford reveals the plans of the would-be assassins, Marlys Purdy and her son, Cole, from the opening chapter, and the plot follows a familiar path toward the dramatic resolution that suggests a new direction for the long-running series. Readers who are looking for yet another assassination thriller that paints within the lines will be satisfied. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2016
    Forget the Iowa caucuses. The real way to effect political change in the nation's heartland, according to Lucas Davenport's latest antagonist, is a carefully calibrated assassination. Marlys Purdy has been through it all, and she's come to realize one thing for sure: the deck is stacked in favor of wealthy farmers, and Michaela Bowden's shoo-in presidential campaign isn't going to change that situation. The only hope for Marlys and her sons, straight-arrow Jesse and war-damaged Cole, is the election of Minnesota's left-wing governor, Elmer Henderson, and the best way to clear his path to the Democratic nomination is to remove Bowden with extreme prejudice. As the Purdys plot, Henderson reaches out to Lucas, who's left Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (Gathering Prey, 2015, etc.) because he's concerned about several winking directives he's gotten from people at campaign stops to move to the center so he'll be able to win the nomination if anything should happen to Bowden. It doesn't take Lucas long to trace the messages to the Progressive People's Party of Iowa, but once he makes the connection, he slows down. That's partly because so many PPPI members are superannuated flower children who can barely chew their food, partly because the remainder are such self-convinced revolutionaries that it's hard to winnow the wheat from the chaff. Aging activist Joseph Likely, for instance, clearly knows more than he's willing to say about the suspects Lucas is seeking, and PPPI secretary Grace Lawrence is still hiding secrets about the Lennett Valley Dairy bombing years ago. Can Lucas, working without a badge, sift through the harmless and the tangential radicals in time to protect Bowden from the coup de grace he's certain is planned during her ill-advised visit to the Iowa State Fair? An efficient and unremarkable treatment of a story that keeps threatening to leap the gap from paranoid fantasies to tomorrow's headlines.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    November 15, 2015
    Following his genre-bending "Saturn Run", Sandford again preys on your mind with his series starring Lucas Davenport, who agrees to join the presidential campaign of his friend the governor. Alas, the candidate is the target of an assassin.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Extreme Prey
Extreme Prey
Lucas Davenport Series, Book 26
John Sandford
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