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CHARLIE POPE TRUDGED down the alley with the empty garbage can on his back, soaked in the stench of rancid meat and rotten bananas and curdled blood and God knew what else, a man whose life had collapsed into a trash pit—and still he could feel the eyes falling on him.
The secret glances and veiled gazes spattered him like sleet from a winter thunderstorm. Everyone in town knew Charlie Pope, and they all watched him.
He’d been on the front page of the newspaper a half dozen times, his worried pig-eyed face peering out from the drop boxes and the shelves of the supermarkets. They got him when he registered as a sex offender, they got him outside his trailer, they got him carrying his can.
Pervert Among Us, the papers said, Sex Maniac Stalks Our Daughters, How Long Will He Contain Himself Before Something Goes Terribly Wrong? Well—they didn’t really say that, but that’s exactly what they meant.
Charlie tossed the empty garbage can to the side, stooped over the next one, lifted, staggered, and headed for the street. Heavy motherfucker. What’d they put in there, fuckin’ typewriters? How can they expect a white man to keep up with these fuckin’ Mexicans?
All the other garbagemen were Mexicans, small guys from some obscure village down in the mountains. They worked incessantly, chattering in Spanish to isolate him, curling their lips at the American pervert who was made to work among them.
CHARLIE WAS A LARGE MAN, more fat than muscle, with a football-shaped head, sloping shoulders, and short, thick legs. He was bald, but his ears were hairy; he had a diminutive chin, tiny lips, and deep-set, dime-sized eyes that glistened with fluid. Noticeable and not attractive. He looked like a maniac, a newspaper columnist said.
He was a maniac. The electronic bracelet on his ankle testified to the fact. The cops had busted him and put him away for rape and aggravated assault, and suspected him in three other assaults and two murders. He’d done them, all right, and had gotten away with it, all but the one rape and ag assault. For that, they’d sent him to the hospital for eight years.
Hospital. The thought made his lips crook up in a cynical smile.
St. John’s was to hospitals what a meat hook was to a hog.
CHARLIE PUSHED BACK the thought of St. John’s and wiped the sweat out of his eyebrows, wrestled the garbage cans out to the truck, lifting, throwing, then dragging and sometimes kicking the cans back to the customers’ doors. He could smell himself in the sunshine: he smelled like sweat and spoiled cheese and rotten pork, like sour milk and curdled fat, like life gone bad.
He’d thought he’d get used to it, but he never had. He smelled garbage every morning when he got to work, smelled it on himself all day, smelled it in his sweat, smelled it on his pillow in that hot, miserable trailer.
Hot and miserable, but better than St. John’s.
Charlie was across the park from the famous Sullivan Bank when the chick in the raspberry-colored pants went by. The last straw? The straw that broke the camel’s back?
Her brown eyes struck Charlie as cold raindrops, then flicked away when he turned at the impact; he was left with the impression of soft brown eyebrows, fine skin, and raspberry lipstick.
She had a heart-shaped ass.
She was wearing a cream-colored silk blouse, hip-clinging slacks, and low heels that lengthened her legs and tightened her ass at the same. She walked with that long busy confident stride seen on young businesswomen, full of themselves and still strangers to hard decision and failure.
And honest to God, her ass was heart shaped. Charlie felt a catch of desire in his throat.
Her hips twitched sideways with each of her steps: like two bobcats fighting in a gunny sack, somebody had once said, one of the other perverts at St. John’s, trying to be funny. But it wasn’t like that at all. It was a soft move, it was the motion of the world, right there in the raspberry slacks, with the slender back tapering down to her waist, her heels clicking on the sidewalk, her shoulder-length hair swinging in a backbeat to the rhythm of her legs.
Jesus God, he needed one. He’d been eight and a half years without real sex.
Charlie’s tongue flicked out like a lizard’s as he looked after her, and he could taste the garbage on his lips, could feel—even if they weren’t there at this minute, he could feel them—the flies buzzing around his head.
Charlie Pope, thirty-four, a maniac, smelling like old banana peels and spoiled coffee grounds, standing on the street in Owatonna, passing eyes like icy raindrops, looking at a girl with a heart-shaped ass in raspberry slacks, and telling himself,
“I gotta get me some of that. I just gotta...”
Posted December 9, 2008
The first body that of Angela Larson was found in a posed position, her body scourged, her neck sliced open, and ligature marks on her hands. The second corpse Adam Rice is found in the same manner with his young son killed as an afterthought. Lucas Davenport, who was at both crime scenes, concludes that the same person did the killings. When the news leaks to the media, parole officer Mark Fox Calls Davenport and tells him he thinks his parolee Charlie Pope, who was just released from St. John¿s mental institution for raping and strangling a woman was the perpetrator....................... Charlie is nowhere to be found. His trailer is deserted, he failed to show up for his job and the electronic surveillance bracelet he was forced to wear was cut open. He gets in contact with newspaper reporter Russell Ignace of the Star Tribune and tells him that he has a third victim that he will kill next. When Lucas learns of this, he leads a massive search to find the perpetrator but he is too late. Now Lucas really is determined to do whatever it takes to find and cage the killer...................... John Sandford writes the best police procedurals on the market today. The killer is playing a diabolical game, constantly shifting the evidence so it falls on the wrong person and Lucas doesn¿t catch on to the scheme until three innocent lives are lost. Even when he figured out what is happening, there is so many viable suspects that he and the readers will find it near impossible to identify of the killer. This who-done-it is one of the best Lucas Davenport tales in this long running series.................... Harriet Klausner
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 31, 2013
You see, I love Lucas Davenport, and John Sandford's development of this character over time has given the Davenport Books a richness not often found in plain old mystery novels. And the plot is great - lots of twists and turns and OMG! moments. Great read. And he doesn't short you for pages as do some authors.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 20, 2013
Posted March 4, 2012
I'm making my way thru the J.S. "Prey Series" from start-to-finish & this is my favorite of the 16 I have read to-date. It's such a well-crafted story, told in a breathtaking way. There's not a single wasted word in this showcase of his writing style. I know this borders on cliche, but I literally couldn't put it down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 29, 2012
I found the beginning of this book a little disconcerting as it chopped and changed a fair bit. However, once I got into the story, I was hooked. The author maintains a good level of suspense throughout and the plot has more twists and turns than you would find in a maze. Interestingly, I was completely unable to pick the culprit until the author was ready for me to do so, which is fairly rare these days. If you like murder mysteries, you will love this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 20, 2010
I decided to give this author a go when I read a reference about him in another book I was reading. I was enjoying that one, so I decided to try this author. I very much enjoyed reading my first book by him, and I hope to purchase others to read. A good story, human, realistic and believable.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 27, 2010
Posted September 19, 2009
Everything that John Sandford has written is riveting, thrilling and edge-of-your-seat, have to keep reading terrific. Broken Prey is no exception. For those of you who may not have had the pleasure of reading John Sandford, I recommend that you buy any of his 'Prey' books and prepare yourself for a good read.
In "Broken Prey", Lucas Davenport, seasoned investigator for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in Minnesota, is brought into a series of particularly heinous crimes where the body is put on display and left in a place that would be easily and quickly discovered. It goes on from there with the mystery stacking one on top of the other with Lucas one step behind the next murder. This is a definite read for those of us that love a good mystery/thriller.
Posted August 31, 2009
I have not read or listened to any of John Sanford's writings, until Broken Prey. I was drawn from the beginning. Captured and kept captive to see what turn or trick was next. The Charater Davenport is just the kind of agent you would imagine more of the special crime agent would be like. I am only sorry that I started with a book towards the newest. I am loooking for the first 15 in the series to start from the beginning. I love them on CD so I can listen from my laptop or while in my car driving.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 20, 2009
Posted June 28, 2008
I almost thought I was reading a different author. This book is fantastic. It actually has a few twists which in his past books were pretty rare. They were so straight ahead and too easy to figure out. This one however makes you think just a bit and its a hell of a story. I hope Sandford stays this way. He was very creative and his characters were fantastic. I loved when you read a book and you dont want to put it down and this was definitely one of themWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 21, 2006
I found this to be a tremendous work. The running tally of the greatest songs is great. The plot is just far fetched enough to be interesting without being completely insane. However, I fear the history of the best recurring in recent memory is about to come to an end. Given the financial situation of Lucas (which has been a great asset throughout)I do not see how he can continue to put his life on the line with a wife and small child. It is illogical and the Davenport is nothing if not logical. For all that I feel this book indicates it is a great read. The plot is dark and disturbing with moments of great levity. If you have never read a Prey book do not start with this one but it is well worth the time.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 30, 2006
John Sandford has done a phenomenal job at keeping me on the edge of my seat! I never knew I could be so interested in horrific mystery novel until I picked up this book. Being farmiliar with the Twin Cities area was also a plus when reading this novel. I felt as if I had been traveling with Davenport the untire time. I will definitely read another book of his!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 19, 2006
Having read all of the Prey novels, as well as the 3 Kidd novels, Broken Prey is no doubt a great read. Being from the Twin Cities, I can really realated to the locations and descriptions in the books. I will pick one of these up and crank thru it, and be done reading before I know it. Always a great read, never a dull momentWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 17, 2006
Lucas forgot Roll On Down The Highway from Bachman Turner Overdrive. However, I am unable to pick one to replace. So, the list will just have to be 101 titles long. Would that help Lonnie turn the corner? I doubt it, but that's okay. Thanks for another great one John!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 8, 2006
The book was definitely not to be put down, and the obscene crime situations certainly kept you 'engrossed.' However, my favorite part was the extremely timid patient at the end of the book who ended up with the list of the 100 Best Rock and Roll Songs... 'where are the Beatles' he anxiously shares with the group almost beyond belief? I guess he was a snapper!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 10, 2006
Wow, John Sandford must have listened. He dumped Weather and the kiddies in London and Lucas was kinda back to his old self. Kinda missed the gratuitous sex and violence.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 17, 2005
Posted August 22, 2005
another great Lucus novel, however I think they would be much better if he got rid of Weather. She is such a controller which undermines his intellegence and charisma. I have visions of the son growing up to be one of the 'bad guys' in someones novel and profilers saying he turned out bad because he had such a controlling mother. If Lucas gets a different woman, give her a real name.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 22, 2005
The Lucas Davenport series just keeps getting better and better. The characters have grown and gotten more 'textured' with every new installment. John Sandford is as dependable read as there is out there. Read them all!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.