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Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Lucas and Russian Spies

Hidden Prey - John Sandford

Yeah this book actually deals with Russian spies. Who knew how timely a read this would be for a book that was published back in 2004. The whole Russia thing was a non-starter for me. It just doesn't work and it feels like Lucas is going through the motions. He has a new female Russia spymaster (or whatever she is) along for the ride as Lucas investigates why a man was murdered with ties to Russia. The only interesting to me in this one was commentary that Lucas had on the current composition of police forces. I really hated the ending and the fact that most people in this book seemed to forget or not care that a homeless woman was murdered. 


"Hidden Prey" has Lucas being called into help out the Governor or Minnesota and the FBI when a man who is the son of a Russian oil man is found dead. There are talks of our spies doing it, but everyone is supposedly being honest and saying, nope not us. From there Lucas walks a tangled web to figure out what is going on when some other families nearby are being targeting by an unknown assailant. Lucas is bored with the work he is doing so now it seems he may go off to do something else. There is talk of his new son with his wife and their ward they took in after the events of the last book. Lucas even calls up the mother of his first kid to get help from her. Weirdly Sandford doesn't provide us any details on Lucas's daughter (she rarely appears or is mentioned) but does bring up the woman is pregnant so I assume she's still with the guy from the earlier books? I just thought everything in this one was too hodgepodge. 


Sandford provides us looks into the assailant's POV, but I have to admit I started skipping over it after a while. It just read as pointless to me. It was not gripping at all and it's pretty obvious the person in question has a lot of problems based on how he was raised. 


The Russian woman was annoying to me after a while. She doesn't seem to understand anything and definitely seems to be playing Lucas. 


There are some other characters from previous books like Marcy and Del and we just get quick updates into them. I wish the core team was back together again.


As I said above, the only thing I found really interesting in this book was that Lucas realizes that "peace" officers are a thing of the past. He blames it on the FBI and how they treat civilians and other law enforcement bodies (with suspicion) and he thinks that has leaked down into local police forces which are not about helping people anymore, but are about putting people they are supposed to protect in harm's way. Little surprise that Lucas would think this since we know he got suspended for beating up a pimp in the first books, but you know, irony.

Writing is okay, I just thought the flow was stilted. I don't know why Sandford wanted to write a spy novel. This felt like a rough first draft of The Americans and I didn't care for it at all.

The ending was a whatever to the 10th power. We know what really happened (since we get another POV in this one, but don't want to spoil) so we know that Lucas hasn't really been able to fully figure things out. Considering it's always told to us how smart and tenacious Lucas is, it's a surprise he muffed the ending in this one.