Putnam, May 10 2011, $27.95
In 1985, Lucas Davenport was still in uniform when two young girls, Nancy and Mary Jones disappeared while playing outside. After a search of their usual haunts, the police assumed that a sexual predator kidnapped, raped and killed the girls. A tipster, later known to be John fell, called the cops twice implicating homeless schizophrenic Sharpe in their abduction; evidence pointed in his direction. When the alleged culprit died, the police closed the case while Davenport argued to keep searching for Fell as he had doubts that Sharpe was the culprit.
In the present, a sidewalk is being dug up when the bodies of the Jones sisters are found; their bodies mummified and recognizable. Lucas is now in a law enforcement position to hunt a predator who has killed other children. He and his partner on the original Jones case Del intensely search for a psychopath. When one of his cherished friends goes down in the line of duty by this perpetrator, the case turns personal as Lucas struggles not to do something he will regret when he catches this vicious beast as he knows he will.
John Sandford shows why readers love his Prey police procedurals as he gets deep into the psyche of his hero who is already over the top of Eagle Mountain with anger towards the serial killer preying on the young, but goes stratospheric with rage when a close friend falls victim. Besides his struggle to control his feelings, readers also gets a chance to see Lucas as a young but experienced rookie who retains the same values he displays as a veteran including his efforts to do what he believes is right even if it means bending the law. Series fans will enjoy Davenport’s internal battle to stay in control as this case is an emotional dynamo.