With sunny skies and warm days, summer reads call out to me. Leave the wave-running and stomach-grazing boogie boards to the youngsters. I long for a huge bottle of sunscreen, an iced drink and a comfortable chair at the shore, good book in hand.


What makes a good summer read? For me, it’s a book that’s quickly paced with enough plot to keep me reading. These are ‘brain candy’ books, the ones we look forward to, dependable reads from long-standing authors. I know I will not be hit over the head figuring out long-winded philosophical treatises. I will be treated to a satisfying, if somewhat predictable, read. After all, most stories have already been told; it’s how they’re told that captures a reader. Give me a romance, which I don’t read most of the year, or a good thriller.  Over the next weeks I’ll share some of my current reads with you.

Let’s start your summer reading with John Sandford’s long-running ‘Prey’ series, the largest of his three, which  continues to be a roller-coaster of a satisfying read. You get to be in everyone’s mind in his novels,  including the bad guys, as Sandford shows that their motivations combined with their general stupidity in some area will lead to their downfall.  Although there is some fancy detecting and policing going on, the actions of the criminals say it all. In Storm Prey, this thesis holds true.


Protagonist Lucas Davenport’s wife, plastic surgeon Weather Karkinnen, has the misfortune to see one of three robbers who storm her hospital’s pharmacy for the drugs. One of the pharmacy workers dies, starting a spiraling out of control of the robbery team, and the murders start to mount up.

Protecting Weather is not as simple as it seems: she’s part of a team mounting an intricate separation of conjoined twins. The surgery has to be performed in stages, over several days, due to the cardiac problems of the baby girls.  A second set of siblings, the Mack brothers, form the basis of the criminal side of things. Petty thieves and drug dealers, motorcycle gang members and bar owners, the brothers get themselves in way too deep before seeing a way out.

One of Sandford’s strengths is his realistic telling of the story, gritty and raw, the pace getting faster and faster. Members of his team talk to each other as though they’ve worked together for years. This is Sandford’s 20th Prey novel and each one is filled with his trademark suspense and multi-layered characters.