The death of the doctor's wife horrifies the Twin Cities, especially what the killer did to her eyes. A report comes in of a troll-like man near the murder scene, his face a patchwork of scars, but that bizarre clue is all Lieutenant Lucas Davenport has to go on as he attempts to sort out the murder. Still trying to recover from a pair of particularly brutal cases, bone-weary, his nerves fraying, Davenport isn't sure he's up to it -- until it happens again, the same savagery, the same mutilation of the eyes, and he realizes he has no choice. Little by little, Davenport is drawn into the web of a man of extraordinary intelligence and evil, a master manipulator fascinated with all aspects of death: the dark mirror of Davenport's own soul. As the hunt winds through darker and ever more frightening events, Davenport knows there is no turning back. This is the case that will lift him back to life -- or push him irrevocably over the edge.
Sandford creates "one of the most horrible villains this side of Hannibal the Cannibal" (*Richmond Times-Dispatch) in this chilling entry in the Prey series. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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August 12, 2005
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Excerpt from Eyes of Prey by John Sandford
Carlo Druze was a stone killer.
He sauntered down the old, gritty sidewalk with its cracked, uneven paving blocks, under the bare-branched oaks. He was acutely aware of his surroundings. Back around the corner, near his car, the odor of cigar smoke hung in the cold night air; a hundred feet farther along, he'd touched a pool of fragrance, deodorant or cheap perfume. A Mýtley Crýe song beat down from a second-story bedroom: plainly audible on the sidewalk, it had to be deafening inside.
Two blocks ahead, to the right, a translucent cream-colored shade came down in a lighted window. He watched the window, but nothing else moved. A vagrant snowflake drifted past, then another.
Druze could kill without feeling, but he wasn't stupid. He took care: he would not spend his life in prison. So he strolled, hands in his pockets, a man at his leisure. Watching. Feeling. The collar of his ski jacket rose to his ears on the sides, to his nose in the front. A watch cap rode low on his forehead. If he met anyone -- a dog-walker, a night jogger -- they'd get nothing but eyes.
From the mouth of the alley, he could see the target house and the garage behind it. Nobody in the alley, nothing moving. A few garbage cans, like battered plastic toadstools, waited to be taken inside. Four windows were lit on the ground floor of the target house, two more up above. The garage was dark.
Druze didn't look around; he was too good an actor. It wasn't likely that a neighbor was watching, but who could know? An old man, lonely, standing at his window, a linen shawl around his narrow shoulders... Druze could see him in his mind's eye, and was wary: the people here had money, and Druze was a stranger in the dark. An out-of-place furtiveness, like a bad line on the stage, would be noticed. The cops were only a minute away.
With a casual step, then, rather than a sudden move, Druze turned into the darker world of the alley and walked down to the garage. It was connected to the house by a glassed-in breezeway. The door at the end of the breezeway would not be locked; it led straight into the kitchen.