Righteous Prey

by John Sandford
G.P. Putnam's Sons, October 2022, $29.95

Righteous Prey, John Sandford’s latest entry in his ever popular Prey series, teams up both of his main series characters, Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers, for an explosive hunt for a powerful vigilante group proclaiming their plan to “murder people who need to be murdered.”

The group known as The Five target incredibly unsympathetic public figures they deem a blight on society through social media and press releases. The first two murders go off without a hitch and after each one, the group offsets the murders by donating Bitcoin money to charities whose work is in direct opposition to the work of the murder victims.

Then a third body drops, this time in Minnesota. Still working as a US Marshal Lucas Davenport is brought into the FBI's investigation and brings along Virgil Flowers. Like the first two murders, the victim was a complete scumbag and the killing was carefully choreographed, so there's little to go on. But as Davenport and Flowers dig deeper, they begin to build a case to bring down a group of deluded sociopaths bent on serving as judge, jury, and executioner.

John Sandford does a superb job creating a villainous, modern-day group. Tech savvy, rich, and suffering from situational ethics, The Five are more than just some fly-by-night group looking for a quick thrill-kill. Sandford imbues the group with a wide-ranging set of traits that lead them down this murderous path and will keep you interested in learning how they got to this point.

As for Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers, their buddy cop movie dialogue is razor sharp and at times hilariously profane. Pushed into the case by higher-ups and resented by any number of FBI agents, they hurtle full speed toward an explosive confrontation with The Five.

The 32nd book in a long-running series, Righteous Prey is a sharply drawn story with a crackling plot, sparkling dialogue, and the kind of narrative fireworks that draw enthusiastic readers back to John Sandford's searing thrillers each and every time out.

Jay Roberts
Teri Duerr
October 2022
G.P. Putnam's Sons