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Chosen Prey by John Sandford
Published by Simon & Schuster, U.K, 2002

This is the latest book by John Sandford in the PREY series, which are all set in Minneapolis and feature Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport as the central character. This time the story concerns the hunt for a serial killer when the discovery of the body of a young woman leads to a further six bodies being unearthed. We follow the course of the investigation from the police point of view, but we are also given an insight into the mind of the killer. The killer is a monster, but a clever one who has been able to maintain a veneer of respectability while indulging his murderous tastes. His total self-obsession and his feelings of rejection and being misunderstood are very well described - from his point of view he does not have a choice in killing his victims. They 'ask' to be killed because they have in some way let him down or not lived up to his standards. The killer has a superficial charm but is fundamentally a cold, unfeeling psychopath, incapable of relating to anyone on a human level.

His pursuer is the opposite - he likes women and women like him. Lucas Davenport's life is a bit disorganised - he has a relationship with a surgeon whose biological clock is ticking and who wants to have a child. He is drawn as the sort of person you would like to have on your side in a crisis. The progress of the investigation is well described. Overall, for those who like gory thrillers with a seasoning of psychological thrills, this is a book to keep you awake at night.

Reviewed by a Clare County Library staff member.