By: John Sandford
Release Date: August 2nd, 2005
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Series: Lucas Davenport
Another mystery/thriller series and another author who has impressed me stylistically. However, there were things I didn’t love in this book and when I look back I remember why I didn’t immediately start book two.
A quick note, the version of the book I read was published in 2005 but the original publication date for this book was in 1989. Yes, the book is as old as I am. Perhaps that explains some of the issues I was having with this book, given how dated it is.
Lieutenant Lucas Davenport is brought in to work on the case of the “maddog” murderer. Davenport has all the trademarks you expect in detective thrillers — he’s a tough guy, rogue cop that regularly takes some ridiculous risks.
While the crimes are interesting and Lucas Davenport is extremely smart, determined and admirable in his dedication to solving crimes he is, quite frankly, a dick. This was my first issue. While Sandford should be applauded for not giving us a “pristine” main character to cheer for as perfect characters are often extremely boring he made Lucas such a jerk that honestly I put this book down more than a few times just to remind myself he’s a character and not someone I know that I wish I could punch in the face.
From his ways of sleeping around (only with beautiful ones but not dumb ones, because he has “standards”) to his judgmental nature and how he even referred to one character as “the cripple”…well, I was pretty much fed up with Lucas Davenport.
Was the plot to solving the case interesting? Yes. Was that the only reason I finished the book? Also yes.
Finally I have this to say; John Sandford has written thirty (yes, thirty) books in this series alone. The man is a writing machine. Right now I’ll say that unless Lucas grows on me in book two I won’t be touching the rest of the series. Having someone so disagreeable as a main character made it hard for me to enjoy the mystery of who the “maddog” was.