Extreme Prey
John Sandford
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Buy *Extreme Prey* by John Sandfordonline

Extreme Prey
John Sandford
416 pages
April 2016
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Appropriately in an election year, John Sandford (a pseudonym for John Camp) writes a political thriller that goes to the heart of modern politics--in this case, the discontent of Midwestern farmers hit hard by the economic recession. Core groups like the Progressive Peoples’ Party are chronically unhappy with the way their livelihoods have been damaged and family legacies diminished. Michaela Bowden, a woman, currently leads the Democratic candidates; former Minnesota Governor Elmer Henderson--Lucas Davenport’s mentor--hopes for the second slot on the ticket, his colorful history too outrageous to merit a bid for the highest office.

No longer employed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and seeking a well-deserved respite from the bureaucratic entanglements of that organization, Davenport is called into service by Henderson, who has been made aware of a potential plot against Bowden. Henderson asks Davenport to investigate the validity of the plot before any harm comes to Bowden, a take-no-prisoners candidate currently barnstorming Iowa in a series of public appearances. Lucas will be walking a thin line in this investigation, no longer carrying a badge while straddling the camps of two competing politicians and tracking a plot with scant information, the only lead an elderly woman with curly white hair and frameless glasses and her distinctively grey-eyed son.

Locating the mother-and-son team as they put a plan into motion to take out the Democratic front-runner is an otherworldly experience for Lucas, interviewing long-term friends and politically homogenous groups deeply angry about the way their futures have been dimmed. While Lucas comes face to face with people who either lie or refuse to speak to him, the same folks remain in constant communication with each other, their activism going back generations, linking family to family in various plots of civil disobedience, some deadly. It is a solid network protected by silence and secrets, members of the PPPI now the target in a desperate attempt to locate the so-far nameless elderly woman and son with murderous intentions.

Local Iowa politics, the Midwestern farmers’ concerns, and a network of law enforcement agencies comprise a cast of believable characters--Sandford’s strong suit in making his “Prey” thrillers believable. Embarking on a new phase of his life, Davenport throws himself into this assignment with the same passion as his former work for the BAU, this time plunging into the heartland in search of two killers about to make a political statement, a classic showdown at a crowded state fair, the potential nest president of the United States in their crosshairs.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Luan Gaines, 2016

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