The popular protagonist of the prolific Sanford's Prey series, Lucas Davenport has recently made a career change. The former Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension director has shifted into the role of US Marshal, a job that not only expands the opportunities for more broad-ranging investigations but also exposes Davenport to the Washington, DC political hierarchy. Lucas is also able to request the use of his special team, Bob Matties and Rae Givens, reliable backup he trusts unconditionally. After years of working together, the trio have a particular bond of trust and friendship, examining a case and its inherent risks then following Davenport's directions.
Leaving his surgeon wife at home, Lucas meets with two Minnesota senators to discuss a potential calamity on the horizon. There is a viable threat to assassinate certain senators' children. Davenport's assignment: to determine if the plan is real. If so, he must locate the source of the threat and remove it before any children are harmed. The clock is ticking.
Given his many years at the Minnesota BAU, Lucas is prepared to tackle this bizarre case. He accepts the offer of assistance from FBI agent Jane Chase, needing a an experienced source of local information in gathering background, compiling a list of individuals who may have knowledge of the intended crime. This action sends Lucas in two different directions: first, a meeting with a powerful senator and her teen daughter; second, with a network of far-right groups with an aversion to government and interlopers, in that order. Leaving nothing to chance (Sanford throws in a few random outliers to further complicate Davenport's race against time), he calls for his backup team, Bob and Rae, should he be faced with more trouble than he can handle.
Masked Prey is another of Sandford's clever thrillers, a seemingly straightforward investigation that evolves into a deadly game of cat-and- mouse, the children of senators in an assailant's crosshairs. Never one to take things at face value, Lucas attempts to unravel the frustrating clues that draw him deeply into the world of right-wing fringe groups, each more suspicious than the last, a black hole of conspiracists disinclined to share private information or the names of members.
The US Marshall goes from meeting closed-mouthed strangers in dark rooms to equally nerve wracking interviews with a high-ranking female Senator's teenage daughter. A master of social networking with an eye for building her "brand", with assistance from her tech savvy boyfriend, the flirtatious teen may have her own agenda. After raising girls himself, Lucas doesn't underestimate the deviousness of a beautiful, spoiled adolescent determined to have her way, possibly more treacherous territory than his clandestine meetings with the pro-gun, anti-government fringe groups. Throw in complications from an unknown vehicle tracking Lucas' every move and the random murder of a man and his quilt-making sister and there is no shortage of twists as Davenport seeks to outwit and outplay his adversaries.
Growing more accustomed to the unique cases he is offered as a US Marshall, Lucas becoming more comfortable in his new career, with a wide range of investigations to pursue, cozying up to DC big shots when necessary, one of the least enjoyable aspects of his cases. The investigations offered as a Marshal are often intriguing, unusually challenging, Lucas using the skills he has mastered over many years, grateful for his reliable backup team and, in this latest adventure, the enthusiastic FBI agent, Chase. The Prey Series continues to challenge the seasoned lawman, with a myriad of investigations ahead for the new US Marshal. Waiting patiently for Sanford's next.