Monday, March 16, 2015
Lucas Davenport Goes to the Republican National Convention
Reviewed by James L. Thane
Four out of five stars
It's the summer of 2008, and the Republicans have selected Minneapolis as the host city of the convention where they will nominate John McCain for the presidency. Inevitably, the convention will bring to the Twin Cities, in addition to all the politicians, a gaggle of protestors, potential assassins and terrorists, street people, con artists, grifters and other assorted crooks. The cops will have their hands full, as will Lucas Davenport's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Slipping into town amidst the lesser criminal talents is a high-powered gang of robbers headed by Rosie Cruz and Brutus Cohn. They have several targets mapped out, including a number of political operatives who will be sitting in their luxury hotel rooms with suitcases full of cash--in each case, over a million bucks. This is dirty money that will be passed out in blocks of untraceable cash to be used for paying street expenses during the campaign. The men with the money are sitting ducks and the best part is that, once the crew has ripped them off, they can't even report the crime because what they're doing is illegal.
Davenport, though, is alerted to the presence of the crew in town and begins the process of trying to track them down. But it won't be easy, especially in the general chaos that surrounds the convention, and when bodies start falling unexpectedly, the task becomes all that more urgent.
And, as if Davenport weren't busy enough, an old nemesis and Davenport's young ward, Letty, combine to cause even more trouble. Some years earlier, a small-time pimp named Randy Whitcomb, disfigured one of Davenport's snitches, who was a hooker in Whitcomb's stable. In retaliation, Davenport beat Whitcomb within an inch of his life and for that Davenport was forced to leave the Minneapolis PD, at least temporarily. Later, Whitcomb was shot and paralyzed by another police officer, but Davenport was on the scene for that development as well, and Whitcomb has been seething with rage ever since.
Now confined to a wheelchair and attended to by his one remaining hooker and a drug-addled sidekick, Whitcomb decides to take his revenge on Davenport by attacking Letty. Letty, who is now fourteen going on thirty-seven, trips to the plan. She's afraid that if she tells her father, Lucas will go ape-shit and kill Whitcomb, something that she thinks would not be good either for Lucas or for herself. She thus decides to handle the Whitcomb problem on her own.
All of this makes for a hugely entertaining book that's at times both terrifying and hilarious. Sandford is the master of mixing these elements, and as usual, the characters and dialog are great; the plot rolls along at a rapid clip, and