Sandford's latest book, Silken Prey, is a fascinating
insight into the world of politics. He has the ability to
blend strong characterizations with a very powerful plot.
His dialogue is very realistic and often times funny. For
anyone who is disgusted with politics as usual this is a must
story begins when Lucas Davenport, the Minnesota Bureau of
Criminal Apprehension Agent (BAC) is asked by the state's
Governor to investigate a campaign scandal. Senator Porter
Smalls is running for re-election and is accused of having
child pornography on his office computer. The trail leads
to the disappearance of a political fixer, the involvement
of the Minneapolis police department, and more troublingly
to the dirty tricks of his opponent, Taryn Grant. She has
hired as bodyguards two trained killers, who will protect
her at any cost. This book is not a "who done it,"
but more in the tradition of Columbo, a "how done it."
states that he wrote it because, "In a nut shell I was
fed up with both sides, Republican and Democrat. The problem
with politicians is that they are stuck with ideology and
can't get around it, which explains why nothing ever gets
done. They can't seem to compromise for the better good. There
is no longer any grey, only black and white. There is a take-no-prisoner
attitude surrounding politics. Politics is no longer congenial,
with the fighting both political and personal. They have no
respect for each other on the other side of the aisle. People
are spending a large amount of money and there are no limitations
on what they will do to get elected, so I just pushed that
to its natural conclusion."
the book to entertain but also to get his readers to think
about politicians, how they have blind spots and are out of
touch with the average working person as they live in their
own Washington, DC world. This message is emphasized with
his powerful character development.
Grant could give Machiavelli lessons with her ideas about
the way the world should work through her use of money, ruthlessness,
and desire. Grant has a narcissistic personality with an oversized
ego, extravagant plans for her political future, and someone
who wants one day to be the first woman elected President.
She is a new type of politician: smart, attractive, ambitious,
and very wealthy. Sandford is hoping that readers will find
"Taryn likeable. I gave her qualities you would want
in a politician: tough, independent, and smart; but she is
also a killer. I tried to balance readers going from admiring
to hating her."
Senator Porter Smalls, is an old-school politician who has
a clear agenda. He is more of a supporting character with
the main characters being the hero, Lucas Davenport and the
antagonist, Grant. Davenport is a cool-headed investigative
officer that is intelligent and sexy, a family man, someone
who takes things to its limits and can connect the dots.
commented that he is pondering Davenport's future since he
is very dependent on the good graces of Minnesota Governor
Elmer Henderson. "I thought about what Davenport might
do after he leaves the BAC. Maybe the current Governor will
become Vice-President and the new Governor makes Lucas feel
uncomfortable so he leaves his position. Thanks to the Vice-President
he becomes a free lance US Marshall and is able to just take
cases of his choice. He tracks down unsolved cases and can
travel anywhere in the world."
character in the book, who makes a cameo appearance, is Virgil
Flowers. Sandford intentionally puts him in the story to remind
people of the Flowers series, and a new book is due out in
the fall. He gsve a heads-up about the plot. It will be a
comedic satire surrounding a Minnesota minister who steals
a stone while on an archeological dig in Israel. A number
of groups are trying to buy it, from the Turkish Government
to Hezbollah, as Israel attempts to get it back. Lucas Davenport
will also have a small role in this next book.
Silken Prey is his 23rd thriller featuring Lucas Davenport,
how does he continually come up with such fascinating plots?
Sandford responds, "Pay attention to the news. For example,
the three girls kidnapped in Cleveland allows for a great
crime scenario. I enjoy playing off of a story by taking an
idea from the news and using it as an inspiration for a plot.
Of course, it should not to be too specific so that it interferes
with real peoples lives. You don't want them to think you
are writing an entertainment book out of their misery. You
put a riff on it which allows for the feeling of the plot
being real without really being real."
Prey is one of those plots that appear realistic. It
is a very suspenseful book that combines murder and politicians.
A riveting story that readers, regardless of party affiliation,
will want to read if they are disgusted with today's politics
and want a thriller with many twists and turns.