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Broken Prey (Anglais) Relié – mai 2005
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CHARLIE POPE TRUDGED down the alley with the empty garbage can on his back, soaked in the stench of rancid meat and rotten bananas and curdled blood and God knew what else, a man whose life had collapsed into a trash pit—and still he could feel the eyes falling on him.
The secret glances and veiled gazes spattered him like sleet from a winter thunderstorm. Everyone in town knew Charlie Pope, and they all watched him.
He’d been on the front page of the newspaper a half dozen times, his worried pig-eyed face peering out from the drop boxes and the shelves of the supermarkets. They got him when he registered as a sex offender, they got him outside his trailer, they got him carrying his can.
Pervert Among Us, the papers said, Sex Maniac Stalks Our Daughters, How Long Will He Contain Himself Before Something Goes Terribly Wrong? Well—they didn’t really say that, but that’s exactly what they meant.
Charlie tossed the empty garbage can to the side, stooped over the next one, lifted, staggered, and headed for the street. Heavy motherfucker. What’d they put in there, fuckin’ typewriters? How can they expect a white man to keep up with these fuckin’ Mexicans?
All the other garbagemen were Mexicans, small guys from some obscure village down in the mountains. They worked incessantly, chattering in Spanish to isolate him, curling their lips at the American pervert who was made to work among them.
CHARLIE WAS A LARGE MAN, more fat than muscle, with a football-shaped head, sloping shoulders, and short, thick legs. He was bald, but his ears were hairy; he had a diminutive chin, tiny lips, and deep-set, dime-sized eyes that glistened with fluid. Noticeable and not attractive. He looked like a maniac, a newspaper columnist said.
He was a maniac. The electronic bracelet on his ankle testified to the fact. The cops had busted him and put him away for rape and aggravated assault, and suspected him in three other assaults and two murders. He’d done them, all right, and had gotten away with it, all but the one rape and ag assault. For that, they’d sent him to the hospital for eight years.
Hospital. The thought made his lips crook up in a cynical smile.
St. John’s was to hospitals what a meat hook was to a hog.
CHARLIE PUSHED BACK the thought of St. John’s and wiped the sweat out of his eyebrows, wrestled the garbage cans out to the truck, lifting, throwing, then dragging and sometimes kicking the cans back to the customers’ doors. He could smell himself in the sunshine: he smelled like sweat and spoiled cheese and rotten pork, like sour milk and curdled fat, like life gone bad.
He’d thought he’d get used to it, but he never had. He smelled garbage every morning when he got to work, smelled it on himself all day, smelled it in his sweat, smelled it on his pillow in that hot, miserable trailer.
Hot and miserable, but better than St. John’s.
Charlie was across the park from the famous Sullivan Bank when the chick in the raspberry-colored pants went by. The last straw? The straw that broke the camel’s back?
Her brown eyes struck Charlie as cold raindrops, then flicked away when he turned at the impact; he was left with the impression of soft brown eyebrows, fine skin, and raspberry lipstick.
She had a heart-shaped ass.
She was wearing a cream-colored silk blouse, hip-clinging slacks, and low heels that lengthened her legs and tightened her ass at the same. She walked with that long busy confident stride seen on young businesswomen, full of themselves and still strangers to hard decision and failure.
And honest to God, her ass was heart shaped. Charlie felt a catch of desire in his throat.
Her hips twitched sideways with each of her steps: like two bobcats fighting in a gunny sack, somebody had once said, one of the other perverts at St. John’s, trying to be funny. But it wasn’t like that at all. It was a soft move, it was the motion of the world, right there in the raspberry slacks, with the slender back tapering down to her waist, her heels clicking on the sidewalk, her shoulder-length hair swinging in a backbeat to the rhythm of her legs.
Jesus God, he needed one. He’d been eight and a half years without real sex.
Charlie’s tongue flicked out like a lizard’s as he looked after her, and he could taste the garbage on his lips, could feel—even if they weren’t there at this minute, he could feel them—the flies buzzing around his head.
Charlie Pope, thirty-four, a maniac, smelling like old banana peels and spoiled coffee grounds, standing on the street in Owatonna, passing eyes like icy raindrops, looking at a girl with a heart-shaped ass in raspberry slacks, and telling himself,
“I gotta get me some of that. I just gotta...”--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche.
Revue de presse
'A really readable and convincing police procedural from a favourite author on top form' IRISH INDEPENDENT 4/06
'An exciting and superbly elegant demonstration of the intelligent crime writing that has helped John Sandford to sell an estimated 33m books' GUARDIAN 2/7 --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
He is also a ferocious foe to the bad guy and will stop at nothing to get him, including illegal entry and trickery.
With its twists and turns through the antique dealers world and political nastiness, this book has it all.
Lucas, let's his old pal and cohort, Virgil Flowers in on the action and, typical of Virgil, he does it completely Virgil's way.
I'm prejudiced in favor of all John Sandford's books, the Pre series, the Virgil Flowers and the Kidd books. I've never been disappointed.
Personally I enjoyed this story because my two main childhood hometowns are featured. Well, at least they are mentioned as being the hometowns of nutcases. Maybe that was not phrased well. I was born in Owatonna. At age 10 my family moved to Rochester where we lived four years. Unfortunately Sandford forgot to mention some of the key important industries in Owatonna that sort of place it on the map: Jostens Jewelry originated here. They make commemorative rings like Class Rings and Superbowl Rings and even made the plaque NASA gave me on retirement. Owatonna Canning Company started the famous "Dinty Moore Beef Stew" and a few other products grown in the fields around the town. Owatonna Tool Company has made many types of farm equipment and ground-working equipment like loaders, bulldozers, etc. Unfortunately all of these successful companies were taken over by other large compamies and current factories are in other cities. The Wenger Musical Equipment Company is based in Owatonna. They make stands and equipment to set up and display performing bands and choral groups. As a musician in Owatonna, my dad knew Harry Wenger. Dad conducted the park band every summer. Dad was also a high school math teacher and taught math to most residents living there in the years 1940 to 1953. The town has many parks and a good activity program for youth. I have always had some pride for that town.
So in the book, as in life, nothing much happens in Owatonna. But it is mentioned.
The same goes for Rochester. Sandford does mention that it is the city with the highest per capita income in Minnesota. But you have to be in the right capita to benefit. The richest part is "Pill Hill" in the Southwest where the doctors from the Mayo Clinic live. We lived in the Northeast, as far from Pill Hill as we could get. I had a lot of nice-looking sport coats and slacks to wear to church. Got them at the Thrift Shop in Southwest. Truthfully, it is the best small city I ever lived in, much better than other cities in the Midwest, East and South in the US.
The Killer may have passed through Rochester.
So the story is really a pretty good mystery but this reader was frustrated when Lucas had to keep finding a new Prime Suspect. The ending was quite something when all of a sudden things came together. Of course, you know Lucas survived - the big gun fight but almost not when he lied to his wife about being shot. His good buddy Sloan who has helped him in many stories finally had enough and retired at the end. He runs a bar populated by a bunch of young and well-endowed waitresses.
One reviewer described Broken Prey as "boring." You have to get used to the way Sandford writes. He pauses the action at times and fills in some character info. Many characters continue from story to story. It's his style. I have found some of his stories close to boring. But I enjoy the background info. This probably has more action per chapter than most of his books. But I do get tired of Lucas. Time for some Flowers.
The subplots involving Sloan and the "list" are also well organized. They don't "take over" or interfere with the main plot; in fact, their inclusion adds a couple mini-mysteries to the story.
Broken Prey rates a close second to Rules of Prey (my favorite Davenport book).
Be careful, as I said, once you start reading Broken Prey, you won't want to put it down.