“Shadow Prey” by John Sandford

Sandford, John. Shadow Prey (1990). In John Sandford: Three Complete Novels
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 725 pages, hardcover  
ISBN 0-399-14007-7

A slumlord in Minneapolis, a politician in New York City, and a judge in Oklahoma City are all murdered in the same way.  All are connected back to Minnesota’s Native American community, where Lucas Davenport must find the elusive Shadow Love to avoid becoming the next victim.

With the arrival in Minneapolis of Lily Rothenberg, a female police lieutenant from New York City, we begin to gain more insight into the character of Lucas Davenport. First, an FBI man tells Lily about Lucas: 

“He’s gunned down six people. Killed them. I don’t believe there’s another officer in Minnesota, including SWAT guys, who has killed more than two. No FBI man has. Maybe nobody in the country has. And you know why? Because in most places, if a guy kills two people, he goes on a desk. They won’t let him out anymore. They worry about what they’ve got on their hands. But not with Davenport. He does what he pleases. Sometimes that’s killing people.” (p. 331)

Later, Lucas and Lily discuss his womanizing:

“Hey, look. I’ve been through this,” Lucas said. “I feel bad about it sometimes, but I can’t stay away from women. A shrink would probably find something weird is wrong with me. But I just …want women. It’s like you said, I get hungry. I can’t stop it. It’s a drug, you crave it.” (p. 412)

And when Lucas and Lily set up a 17-year-old on a drug bust so they can squeeze some information out of the kid’s mother, Lily asks Lucas if he feels bad about what they’ve done. “Actually, not that bad,” Lucas tells her, and Lily replies:

“I don’t feel that bad myself. And I think we should. It makes me a little sad that we don’t feel worse,” Lily said. “We’re missing some parts, Davenport.” (p. 396)

© 1997 by Mary Daniels Brown

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