Currently I am reading John Sandford's latest novel, "Field of Prey", starring one of the better literary detectives, Lucas Davenport, out to solve yet another mystery from the great state of Minnesota. Apparently this particular state is a seething cesspool of criminal activity, and it is up to Davenport to put the criminals where they belong, which is usually dead, because it's more dramatic that way.
I love Sandford's style of writing. The pace is quick, with events and clues happening at a rapid enough pace to keep the reader interested. For the sake of the story, Sandford doesn't keeps us waiting for pages and pages, but cuts to the chase and moves the action along quickly. There isn't a great deal of introspection by the characters; Davenport knows who he is and he accepts that, even if he doesn't always like it. In this edition, however, Davenport is contemplating retirement. He's been on the job for awhile, and there are other things he would like to do.
But first, there is a mystery to solve! An abandon cistern was discovered by some teens on a midnight romp, and inside are bodies. Lots of bodies. Where did they come from? Who put them there? Finding the answers ends up involving actual police work--knocking on doors, interviewing the usual suspects, and waiting for lab results. But Davenport is intuitive about his detecting, and he is on the case.
The very best thing about Sandford's books involve dialogue. Davenport is sarcastic, and that tone comes through loud and clear. However, the people around him are right there with him. The snappy comebacks are realistic; we have all had similar types of conversations at least a few times. Sandford uses the every day language of real people to fill in his characters, and they step off the page as people you might know, or might want to know. I certainly would feel safe with a guy like Davenport on the police force.
If you like mysteries, if you like interesting characters, then John Sandford is a great author to read on a rainy day. Or any other sort of day.
4)Something you're reading.