Bookmarks: Silken Prey by John Sandford

Title: Silken Prey (Lucas Davenport #23)
Author: John Sandford
Date Read: June 2013


Murder, scandal, political espionage, and an extremely dangerous woman. Lucas Davenport’s going to be lucky to get out of this one alive.

Very early one morning, a Minnesota political fixer answers his doorbell. The next thing he knows, he’s waking up on the floor of a moving car, lying on a plastic sheet, his body wet with blood. When the car stops, a voice says,”Hey, I think he’s breathing,” and another voice says, Yeah? Give me the bat.” And that’s the last thing he knows.    

Davenport is investigating another case when the trail leads to the man’s disappearance, then—very troublingly—to the Minneapolis police department, then—most troublingly of all—to a woman who could give Machiavelli lessons. She has very definite ideas about the way the world should work, and the money, ruthlessness, and sheer will to make it happen.

No matter who gets in the way.

John Sandford is a master. His books move along at an exceptional pace. Every word lends to the story and he does not get bogged down in excessive detail.

There were three moments when I laughed out loud. The first was on page 217:

Lucas walked out to his car, calling Del as he went. Del picked up and Lucas asked, "Where are you?"
"In my backyard, looking at a tree," Del said.
"We got oak wilt," Del said. "We’re gonna lose it."
"Look, I’m sorry about your tree, but I need help finding a guy."

The second was on page 240:
"The big question is: Is he gonna talk, or is he gonna stonewall, or is he gonna shoot, or is he gonna run?" Jenkins said.
"That’s four questions," Shrake said. "It irritates me that you can’t count."

The third was on page 274:

“Goddamnit. I hate it when you drive," Del said. "I get so pucked up that I’ve got to pull my asshole back out with a nut pick."
"Thanks for the image," Lucas said.

All three are just every day guy conversations, but I laughed. Maybe it is because I can actually picture these characters or because I know a couple of guys who could tell these stories as if they were their own.

Sandford’s characters are not all glamorous and perfect. They are real. It is not lost on the reader that the talk of “dirty tricks” used throughout the book as a political ploy is mirrored in Davenport’s means to investigation.

I love that we get return characters in Del, Shrake, Jenkins, Weather, and even a brief appearance from Virgil Flowers.

The characters are flawed. They are true to themselves and have their own voice.

From the beginning I just kept wondering how Lucas was going to solve the case. It seemed like the perfect crime. The criminals thought it out so well and I just could not figure out where the mistake was going to be.

Towards the second third of the book another story comes into play that lends way to that little bit of information that Lucas needed. It worked so well.

I enjoyed the journey beginning to end. There was no lag. It was hard to put it down each night.

The ending was satisfying in a real world way. Not everything ended up the way it should have, but it ended the only way it really could have without seeming contrived.


This would probably rank in the top five of the Prey series for me. It was smart, clever and kept me wondering right up to the end.

Overall Ratings
Premise  5/5
Writing 5/5
Humor/Emotions 4/5
Characters 5/5
Journey 5/5
Ending 4/5
Overall 5/5


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