Just when the reader is thinking that John Sandford's "Secret Prey," is going to be a somewhat predictable story, the author provides his magic touch and the novel soars to a most dramatic and memorable thriller.
Bank president Daniel Kresge is murdered while on a hunting trip. He was in the process of leading his bank into a merger that would have made him rich but would cost many of his employees their jobs. Kresge was also in the midst of a costly divorce so there were endless possibilities to be the murderer.
The two employees who were in line to take over the bank are Susan O'Dell and James Bone. They begin maneuvering for control while placing Wilson McDonald in charge during the transition.
It's almost as if the story was an afternoon soap opera with the various conspirators and Bone having an affair with Kresge's wife.
Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport is leading the investigation. Just as he and his team begin to feel they are making progress, another bank executive is murdered and they are back to the chalk board. The hunt for the killer intensifies as Davenport takes certain steps and the killer counters his progress, it's almost a dance of the dead.
Sandford does a masterful job, at first, making the reader wonder who the killer is, then, when Lucas has it narrowed down to one person, he must get the evidence to stop the killing and get the evidence to convict a habitual and ruthless killer.
The characters are excellent and well developed. The author describes the Minnesota countryside nicely so that the reader can get a mind picture of what the setting must look like.
I enjoyed the novel and recommend it highly.
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