Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wicked Prey by John Sandford *****

Wicked Prey by John Sanford is a richer and more complex thriller written from several points-of-view and with sympathetic characters on both sides of the law. In fact, the good guys seem to be on both sides of the law all by themselves. This is a novel of grays and subtleties, and a welcome respite from many thrillers that are so black and white that they seem to be written as partisan polemics and propaganda. This is especially remarkable since the narrative centers around politicians the the political process.

Set in Minneapolis/St. Paul during the 2008 Republican convention, the story intertwines revenge, stealing illegal campaign dollars, and a good old fashion heist. While the body count seems high (though under a dozen), the violence happens very quickly and doesn't detract from the story.

My favorite character is Letty, a young teenager who has seen plenty of violence in her short life. But she rises above her hardships to confront life strongly and decisively. While she does not shy away from violence, her confidence and attitude are excellent role models.

Any teenager who is already watching R-rated movies might enjoy and benefit from this story. I certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a fast read and several hours of pleasant diversion.

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