Winter Prey – John Sandford

Having made it to the start of World War I in Roy Jenkin’s monster biography of Winston Churchill, I picked up Winter Prey, the fifth installment in John Sanford’s Prey series (I think he’s up to twenty-one of them now).

I’m kind of late getting to know Sandford’s work having only started reading his books in the last couple of years.  And, while Prey has to be considered his flagship series, I actually started with one of his stand-alone novels, Dead Watch.  It was a good enough read that, within the next few months, I read a couple more and began buying others as I came across them.  Over the last year or two, I’ve managed to find #5 through #20 in the Prey series as well as some from other series he has written.

I still haven’t been able to find the 1st four of the Prey series and, as those of you who are paying attention know, I very rarely – if ever – read a series out-of-order. Fortunately, I did find an omnibus edition that contained the 1st three which finally allowed me to get started.  I then checked out the fourth one from the library.

I don’t know that this series of thriller/mysteries is much better or worse than other series in the genre that I read, but it does have one thing that sets it apart…it’s set primarily in Minnesota.  The typical setting for books like these are California (usually Los Angeles), New York City, or Washington, DC.  As a guy who is fascinated with different places and who doesn’t get to travel nearly as much as I would like, I find myself enjoying the literary journey to a place I’ve only spent a very little time.*

Published in 1993, Winter Prey is pretty dated almost twenty years later.  Having graduated from high school in 1992, though, this didn’t bother me.  In fact, I occasionally appreciate the opportunity to be reminded of this time in my life.  And, I’m enjoying getting to know Lucas Davenport, the main character in this series.  I look forward to seeing what Sandford makes of him in the next installments.

*It was a pretty good time, though.  I joined three other guys in Minneapolis for a weekend in September of 2010 to watch my beloved Texas Rangers take on the Minnesota Twins at the newly-opened Target Field.  Even though the Rangers lost both games, we had a thoroughly enjoyable time, both at the ballpark and at the Irish and English Pubs we found nearby.


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