Broken Prey - John Sandford There seems to be a new rule in American crime fiction that all perps have to be really evil, nothing subtle or conflicting. It’s not enough to murder someone, they have to murder in multiples, and if that weren’t enough, they must mutilate the body too, and to top it off, brag about it to the cops. It’s as if we can’t root for the cops if the perp is your ordinary killer. These are the antithesis of Simenon, Mankell, and many other very good writers who display their talent through an examination of the subtleties of crime.

In Broken Prey, another in the Lucas Davenport series, the cop who has millions from designing a computer game but just loves to go after bad guys in his Porsche, there is another portrayal of crime in its most excruciating detail. Is it really necessary that we must participate in the sordid details of the butchery of victims? Frankly, it turns me off and makes me wonder about Mr. Sandford and perhaps those who enjoy reading that stuff. What ever happened to the imagination which can be gory enough.

OK, now that I have that off my chest, the Prey series still remains pretty decent in its investigatory plots if wildly unrealistic. Talk to any cop and see if any of them recognize themselves in these stories. Never happen. Tearing around town in a luxury car and truck and rarely doing any paperwork. The Lone Wolf as superhero while pretending to be sensitive in his girlfriend relationships, one of whom is a nun-psychologist for God’s sake. Hmm, slipped back on my chest, didn’t I.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit I enjoy listening to these books especially when read by Richard Ferrone. They do make satisfying listening while mowing or driving (as long as my wife or anyone under 21 isn’t around.)