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THE INVESTIGATOR
by John Sandford
G.P. Putnam's Sons, April 2022
392 pages
$29.00
ISBN: 059332868X


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Letty Davenport is bored out of her gourd sitting at a desk for a US Senator. She is just about ready to quit when he offers her exactly the kind of work she loves and is very well suited for. He wants her, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, to do boots on the ground investigating in Texas. Some oil companies are complaining that relatively small quantities of their crude oil are disappearing. They want to know if it's an error in paperwork, or if the oil is really being stolen. DHS wants to know where the oil is going, and just as important to them, what the money is being used for. It's not a large amount of money to the oil companies, and the accumulated total is enough to raise eyebrows at DHS. Because this is a thriller, readers know fairly early on that Jane Jael Hawkes is the mastermind behind the entire scheme. She is very much off the radar, off the grid, one of those mostly invisible people. Jane is very unhappy with that for a number of reasons. She has assembled a small army of like-minded people called the Land Division, and has something in mind. The mystery, for the reader, is exactly what kind of protest or public display Jane has in mind.

THE INVESTIGATOR is first in a new series for Sandford, a spin-off of his very popular and long-running PREY series. Letty is the adopted daughter of Lucas Davenport and shares a great many of his characteristics, traits, and most definitely his mindset. She is good at what she does. As a character, she builds on what readers have come to know of her through the PREY books. There is enough back-story in this book to set her up for those readers who haven't read any other Sandford works. The secondary characters are well constructed; Sandford hasn't been writing all these years without learning how to build believable people. Settings are also believable. Jane's motivation rings true, especially for anyone with any knowledge of the kinds of people in militias and/or white supremacy groups. As is common in Sandford's works, lots of people are killed. There isn't a lot of truly gratuitous violence in this book; the same can't be said for some of the other series Sandford writes. If you've read any of the PREY books, this novel will read very much like those. If you have never read Sandford, this is actually a pretty good introduction to what kinds of books he writes.

P.J Coldren: I have been reading and reviewing mystery fiction for over a quarter of a century and read broadly within just about all genres and sub-genres. I live in Northern lower Michigan with my spousal unit, one large cat, and 2 fairly small dogs.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, May 2022

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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