Twisted Prey: John Sandford
The political arena can be deadly at times and when opponents want the same thing it can lead to illegal actions, corruptions or murder. Porter Samuels is the target of an attempted assassination, as Taryn Grant will stop at nothing to become President at the expense of anyone who stands in her way. The attack did not kill Samuels but his girlfriend on their way back from their illicit affair. Deemed an accident after investigators looked at the scene and the vehicle involved, Samuels contacts US Marshall Lucas Davenport to investigate for him. Investigating the scene Lucas realizes that the accident was definitely a murder. Taryn Grant is dangerous and those connected with her work for Hercules a military contractor whose employees are ex-special forces members and who take orders from her. But, getting the goods on them would require teamwork with other law enforcement agencies including Jane Chase of the FBI whose a high ranking agent looking to get even higher up. Cecily Whitehead paid the ultimate price driving with Porter Smalls and Smalls will stop at nothing to avenge her death. Cecily was his political consultant among other things and driving back from Minnesota to Washington D.C. a pickup truck went right into them causing the car to go off the road and down a steep hill. Smalls was not injured that badly but Whitehead died.
Sen. Taryn Grant regaled in her somewhat victory as she made sure Smalls could not win the election for state senator by planting information what would cause him more than embarrassment but the election as well. Planting child porn was her what she did and made sure his it was on his computer before the race two years ago. Grant is desperate and viewed Smalls as a real threat to becoming president and her actions throughout the novel let readers know that she is a psychopath with her own self-absorbed issues as her primary concern. Murder does not phase her and committing three but with no proof as yet, Lucas and a team of agents from the Marshal services, the FBI and police will hopefully take down some very dangerous and powerful people. The vehicle is question was a Ford F 250 truck and the way they find evidence from this truck to try and nail her is ingenious. At first they think there is no sign of any such dents or impact on Samuel’s car but Lucas is relentless and won’t stop until he nails Grant.
With Rae Givens, Bob Matees, Lucas plans to take down Grant but her henchman, Jack Parrish is just as dangerous and follows her orders without question and killing does not faze him. Parrish was involved in discussions between the Army procurement people and a number of members of the House and the Senate. Their discussions resulted in Inter-Core Ballistics, getting higher procurement rates despite the lack of experience and markedly higher prices for the panels. Parrish was enlisted by Grant to find a way to take out Lucas. With the help of Carl Armstrong, Lucas hopes to learn more about the F-250 and how the driver got away clean. Heracles Personnel are at the heart of this and finding the vehicle might answer many unsolved questions. Someone tried to assassinate Samuels and did kill his friends. Lucas requested that local police, deputies and others help scour the forest and the area where the truck might have hidden some evidence and proving it was murder. Carl Armstrong was the sheriff in West Virginia and Russell Forte of the Marshall’s service. But the man who orchestrated it was James Ritter and when you meet him you will understand just how far Grant will go to get what she wants.
Parrish is as dangerous as Grant and manages to mug Lucas placing him in the hospital hoping to divert his attention from his primary goal. When Grant learns about the reports on CNN that a US Marshal is claiming that the accident was an assassination attempt, she goes into high gear. Her assistant, Tate covers for her, deals with whatever needs to be done and tries to allude that Samuels was drunk when he was driving. Wanting to discover the logs that might help prove it was not an accident, Forte, Lucas and others get busy with other members of different law enforcement agencies to do what some feel is an act of futility. But, Grant would make a serious error when she goes after Weather, Lucas’s wife and hopes to deter him from the investigation by sending him to the hospital to care for her. But, she is strong and her daughter, Letty shows up as well as a guest appearance by Virgil Flowers and Mattison, who will take care of Weather when he has to get back to the investigation.
Search warrants for those they realize are corrupt and have something to do with what is happening from Heracles, the company responsible and those in charge of Claxson, McCoy and Moore. Ritter is equally dangerous and makes one too many mistakes and with the aid of Parrish things turn in a different direction and Ritter never sees it coming. After going after him, warrants to check his apartment, his computer and records, just who decided to take him out?
Using the media to send his message out loud and clear, Grant realizes that she is the target of his investigation and going after him is her goal. A campaign to tarnish her reputation is just the beginning. But, when someone goes after him at his hotel and shoots things up just who is the elusive woman?
Entering the office of Claxon, John McCoy and Kerry Moore he is stonewalled. Claxon refused to answer his questions and lays out the rules leaving Lucas to hopefully get more from the other two. Telling him that they have enough evidence to arrest Ritter and the answer is not anything that I can print on this review.
Parrish is smart yet he’s never be apart of a direct hit so when ordered to take out Ritter he has to come up with something that seems foolproof and hopefully will not lead back to him. His creativity was good the end result well the author springs many surprises on readers and Parrish too. Lucas giving his statement and talked about what they learned as Detective Roger Clark from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department took Lucas’s statement and what he learned about the shooting or James Ritter. The killer tried to hide any way for them to take his prints but the author devised a method that would help identify him. The identification created using a belt which had an elaborate James Ritter written on it in black ink. But, a code was needed to be broken to break into his computer and when it was things moved even faster.
Jane Chase is tough and wants no part of Lucas but after listening to him and presenting her with the documents that they needed encrypted, she might change her mind. Claxon, Moore, McCoy but does he have enough to bust Moore who seems to have disappeared?
Finally getting all four men in and talking to each one in different rooms, they hoped to launch a raid on Heralces, Flamma and Inter-Core. They hoped Chase would purse a murder charge but would they grant any of them immunity? Chase stated: These papers open the possibility of putting the whole illegal weapons trade under the microscope. No immunity yet but deals you know are always made.
Author John Sandford devises a creative method of getting McCoy and taking him down, but Lucas, Chase and Rae and the young agent along with them manage to follow him, find out where his attorney is having coffee and the entire scene is right out of a Criminal Minds episode.
Things spiral out of control and the final scene is explosive but not before more lives are sacrificed and Grant tries to foil anyone in her wake who dares to try and stop what she has orchestrated and put into place. An ending that makes you wonder just what is next and is this over yet. Voices were heard and some admissions made but the ending will explain the term: Unfinished Business as there are many still out there and Lucas Davenport and his team won’t stop until they take them all down. What happens to Grant? Who is the elusive, Suzie, Wendy or Carol? Who else is sacrificed and what plan does Grant have to let everyone think she is innocent and not capable of multiple murders? Find out when you read this multi-complex, multi-plot novel and learn the true meaning of someone like Taryn Grant who deserves the term TWISTED PREY! But will they get her?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine/MJ network
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