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A killer. A murder. A witness. A cop. A hunt. Probably but not necessarily in that order.
When a victim is slain, murdered to death by killers, the local law enforcement agencies are brought in, because that's the kind of thing they cover. But they don't have sufficient evidence to bring the guilty party to justice; if they did, it would be a very short book.
But the protagonist is no ordinary cop: he or she has a reputation for being somewhat more violent than is reasonable for a law enforcement professional, along with a willingness to work outside the letter of the law to get results. This protagonist quickly figures out, with the help of team members with appropriate talents, the most likely series of events that led to the crime, along with a strategy to move the case forward.
But then an unexpected complication arises that introduces more difficulties into the case, nullifying a large number of assumptions that the police had made. The protagonist feels that they're closer than ever, and yet it appears that they may be at a dead end.
And then there's the matter of the unresolved B-plot that may or may not involve romantic tension: will it interfere with the protagonist in such a way as to negatively influence their abilities with regard to the case, or will it grant them an insight into the true nature of what is happening? The answer, of course, is "maybe."
With time and pages running out, the protagonist has to resort to unconventional tactics and deal with the bureaucratic stonewalling of the law enforcement agency they work for to bring the criminal or criminals to justice. The only loose ends are those required for verisimilitude or to allow a sequel.
With the kind of scenes and writing that will appeal to the sort of people who like things like this, it's no wonder a critic has said, "Of all of the author's books, this, truly, is one of them." (Newspaper Review of Books)
April 1, 2015
5 April 2018
The Prey series, the Virgil Flowers series, the Kidd series, The Singular Menace, The Night Crew, Dead Watch, The Eye and the Heart: The Watercolors of John Stuart Ingle, and Plastic Surgery: The Kindest Cut are copyrighted by John Sandford. All excerpts are used with permission.
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