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Book by Sandford John
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WHEN THE FIRST MAN WOKE UP THAT MORNing, he wasn’t thinking about killing anyone. He woke up with a head full of blues, a brain that was too big for his skull, and a bladder about to burst. He lay with his eyes closed, breathing across a tongue that tasted like burnt chicken feathers. The blues rolled in through the bedroom door.
Coming down hard.
He had been flying on cocaine for three days, getting everything done, everything. Then last night, coming down, he’d stopped at a liquor store for a bottle of Stolichnaya. His bleeding brain retained a picture of himself lifting the bottle off the shelf, and another picture of an argument with the counterman, who didn’t want to break a hundred-dollar bill.
By that time, the coke high had become unsustainable; and the Stoli had been a bad idea. There was no smooth landing after a three-day toot, but the vodka turned a wheels-up belly landing into a full crash-and-burn. Now he’d pay. If you peeled open his skull and dumped it, he thought, his brain would look like a coagulated lump of Campbell’s bean soup.
He cracked his eyes, lifted his head, and looked at the clock. A few minutes past seven. He’d gotten four hours of sleep. Par for the course with coke, and the Stoli hadn’t helped. If he’d stayed down for ten hours, or twelve he needed about sixteen to catch up he might have been past the worst of it. Now he was just gonna have to suck it up.
He turned to his left, where a woman, a dishwater blonde, lay facedown in her pillow. He could only see about half of her head; the rest was buried by a red fleece blanket. She lay without moving, like a dead woman but no such luck. He closed his eyes again, and there was nothing left in the world but the blues music bumping in from the next room, from the all-blues channel, nine-hundred-and-something on the TV dial. Must’ve left it on last night. . . .
Gotta move, he thought. Gotta pee. Gotta take twenty aspirins and go down to Country Kitchen and get some pancakes and link sausages. . . .
The man didn’t wake up thinking about murder. He woke up thinking about his head and his bladder and a stack of pancakes. Funny how things work out.
That night, when he killed two people, he was a little shocked.
Green-eyed Alie’e Maison stood in the hulk of a rust-colored Mississippi River barge. She was wrapped in a designer dress that looked like froth over a reef in the Caribbean Sea an ankle-length dress the exact faded-jade color of her eyes, low-cut and sheer, hugging her hips, flaring at her ankles. She was large-eyed, barefoot, elfin, fleeing down a pale yellow two-by-twelve-inch pine plank, which stretched like a line of fire out of the purple gloom of the barge’s interior.
Behind her, a huge man in a sleeveless white T-shirt, filthy Sears work pants, and ten-inch work boots blew sparks off a piece of wrought iron with an acetylene torch. He was wearing a black dome-shaped welding helmet, and acrid gray smoke curled around his heavy, tense legs. The blank robotic faceplate, in combination with his hairy arms, the dirty shirt, the smoke, and the squat legs, gave him the grotesque crouching power of a gargoyle.
A fantasy at three thousand dollars an hour.
And not quite right.
“That’s no fucking good. NO FUCKING GOOD!”
Amnon Plain moved through the bank of strobes, his thick black hair falling over his forehead, his narrow glasses glittering in the set lights, his voice cutting like a piece of broken glass: “Alie’e, you’re freezing up at the line. I want you blowing out of the place. I want you moving faster when you come up to the line, not slower. You’re slowing down. And I want you to look pissed. You look annoyed, you look petulant ”
“I am annoyed I’m freezing,” Alie’e snapped. “I’ve got goose bumps the size of oranges.”
Plain turned to an assistant: “Larry, move the heater into the back. You gotta get some heat on her.”
“We’ll get the fumes,” Larry said, arms akimbo, a deliberately effeminate pose. Larry wasn’t gay, just ironic.
“We’ll deal with the fucking fumes. Huh? Okay? We’ll deal with the fucking fumes.”
“You gotta do something. I’m really cold,” Alie’e said. She clasped her arms around herself and shivered for effect. A man dressed in black walked out from behind the lights, peeling off his cashmere sport coat. He was tall, thin, his over-the-shoulder brunette hair worn loose and back. He had a thick hammered-silver loop earring in his left ear and a dark soul-patch under his lower lip. “Take this until they’re ready again,” he said to Alie’e. She huddled in the coat. Turning away from them, Plain rolled his eyes. “Larry move the fuckin’ heater.”
Larry shrugged and began wheeling the propane heater farther into the barge. If they all died of carbon monoxide poisoning, it wouldn’t be his fault.
Plain turned back to Alie’e. “Jax, take a hike, and take your coat with you. . . .”
“Hey ” the man in black said, but nobody was looking at him, or paying attention.
Plain continued: “Alie’e, I want you pissed. Don’t do that thing with your lips. You’re sticking your lips out, like this.” Plain pursed his lips. “That’s a pout. I don’t want a pout. Do it like this. . . .” He grimaced, and Alie’e tried to imitate him. This was one of her talents: the ability to imitate expression, the way a dancer could imitate motion.
“That’s better,” Plain said to Alie’e. “But make your mouth longer, turn it down, and get it set that way while you’re moving. Do it again.” She did it again, making the changes. “That’s good, but now you need some mouth.”
He turned back to the line of lights and the small crowd gathered behind them an account executive, a creative director, a makeup artist, a hairdresser, a couture rep, a second photo assistant, and Alie’es parents, Lynn and Lil. Plain did not provide chairs, and the inside of the barge was not a place you’d want to sit down, not if your hand-tailored jeans cost four hundred and fifty dollars. To the makeup artist, Plain said, “Fix her mouth.” And to the second assistant: “Jimmy, where’s the fucking Polaroid? You got the Polaroid?”
Jimmy was fanning a six-by-seven-centimeter Polaroid color print, which was used to check exposure. He glanced at the print and said, “It’s coming up.”
Behind him, the creative director whispered to the account executive, “Says ‘fuck’ a lot,” and the account executive muttered, “They all do.”
Plain peered at the Polaroid, looked up at an overhead softbox. “Move that box. About two feet to the right, that way.” Jimmy moved it, and Plain looked around. “Everybody ready? Alie’e, remember the line. Clark, are you ready?”
The welder said, “Yeah, I’m ready. Was that enough sparks?”
“Sparks were fine, sparks were good,” Plain said. “You’re the only fucking professional working here this morning.” He looked back at Alie’e. “Now, don’t fucking pout blow right through the line. . . .”
Alie’e waited patiently until her mouth was fixed, staring blankly past the makeup artist’s ear as a bit of color was patched into the left corner of her lower lip; Jax said into her ear, “Love you. You’re doing great, you look great.” Alie’e barely heard him. She was seeing herself walking the plank, the vision of herself that came from Plain’s mind.
When her mouth was done, she stepped back to her starting mark. Jax got out of the way, and when Plain said, “Go,” Alie’e got her expression right, started down the plank with a lanky, hip-swinging stride, and blew past the exposure line, the green dress swirling about her hips, the orange-yellow welder’s sparks flashing in the background. The stink and smoke of the burning metal curled around her as Plain, standing behind the camera, fired the bank of strobes.
“Better,” Plain said, stepping toward her. “A little fuckin’ better.”
They’d been working for two hours in the belly of the grain barge. The barge was a gift: a pilot on the Greek-owned Mississippi towboat Treponema had driven it into a protective abutment around a bridge piling. The damaged barge had been floated to the Anshiser repair yard in St. Paul, where welders cut away the buckled hull plates and prepared to burn on new ones. Plain spotted the disemboweled hulk while scouting for photo locations. He made a deal with Archer Daniels Midland, the barge owner: Delay repairs for a week, and ADM would make Vogue. The people who ran ADM couldn’t think of a good reason why the company would worry about Vogue, but their publicity ladies were wetting their pants, so they said okay and the deal was made.
They were still working with the green dress when a team from TV3 showed up, and they all took a break. Alie’e goofed around, for the camera, with Jax, showing a little skin, doing a long, slow, rolling tongue-kiss, which the camera crew asked them to redo twice, once as a silhouette. The interviewer for TV3, a square-jawed ex-jock with bleached teeth and a smile he’d perfected in his bathroom mirror, said, after the cameras shut down, “It’s a slow day. I think we’ll lead the news with this.”
Nobody asked why it was news: they all lived with cameras, and assumed that it was.
Two hours for four different shots, with and without fans, two rolls of high-saturation Fujichrome film for each of the shots. The Fuji would make the colors pop. Plain pronounced himself satisfied with the green dress, and they moved on.
The next pose involved a torn T-shirt and a pair of male-look women’s briefs, complete with the vented front. Alie’e and Jax moved against the far hull and a little shadow, and Alie’e turned her back to the photo crowd and peeled off the green dress. She’d been nude beneath the dress; anything else would ruin the line.
She was aware of her nudity but not self-conscious about it, as she had been at first. Her first jobs had been as one model in a group, and they usually changed all at once; she was simply one naked woman among several. By the time she started up the ladder to stardom, to individual attention, she’d become as conditioned to public nudity as a striptease dancer.
Even more than that. She’d worked in Europe, with the Germans, and total nudity wasn’t uncommon in fashion work. She remembered the first time she’d had her pubic hair brushed out, fluffed up. The brusher had been a thirty-something guy who’d squatted in front of her, smoking a cigarette while he brushed her, and then did a quick trim with a pair of barber scissors, all with the emotional neutrality of a postman sorting letters. Then the photographer came over to take a look, suggested a couple of extra snips. Her body might as well have been an apple. . . .
You want privacy? You turn your back. . . .
Alie’e Maison “Ah-Lee-Ay May-Sone” had been born Sharon Olson in Burnt River, Minnesota. Until she was seventeen, she’d lived with her parents and her brother, Tom, in a robin’s-egg-blue rambler just off Highway 54, fourteen miles south of the Canadian line. She was a beautiful baby. She won a beautiful-baby prize when she was a year old she’d been born just before Halloween, and her costume was a pumpkin that her mother made on her Singer. A year later, Sharon toddled away with a statewide beautiful-toddler trophy. In that one, she’d been dressed as a lightning bug, in a suit of black and gold.
Dance and comportment lessons began when she was three, singing lessons when she was four. At five, she won the North Central Tap-Fairies contest for children five and younger. That was the pattern: Miss Junior North Country, International Miss Snow (International Falls and Fort Frances, Canada), Miss Border Lakes. She sang and danced through her school days. Miss Minnesota and even her parents, Lynn and Lil, barely dared to dream it Miss America was possible. Until she was fourteen, anyway.
When the breast genes were passed out in heaven, Alie’e had been in line for an extra helping of eyes instead. That became obvious in junior high when her friends began to complain about bra straps cutting into their necks. Not Alie’e. As the Olsons’ best friends, Ellen and Bud Benton, said Bud said it, anyway “Ain’t no Miss Minnesota without the big bumpers, y’know.”
As it happened, the breasts didn’t matter. In the summer of her sixteenth year, Lynn and Lil took her to a model agency in Minneapolis, and the agent liked what she saw. Alie’e had knife-edge cheekbones and those jade-green eyes. They came straight from God in a perfect package with white-blond hair, a flawless complexion, delicate fuck-me shoulder blades, and hips so narrow she’d have trouble giving birth to a baling wire.
Between Minneapolis and New York, Sharon Olson vanished and Alie’e Maison stepped into her size-six dress. She was so famous that the second-most-famous person in Burnt River was a lawn-care service operator named Louis Friar. Friar, one night in tenth grade, nailed Alie’e in the short grass beside the first-base line of the American Legion baseball diamond on Bergholm Road, on an air mattress that he’d brought along for that express purpose.
Louis never talked about it. He never even confirmed that it happened. He held the memory of the event in a beery reverence. Alie’e, on the other hand, talked to everyone; so everyone in Burnt River knew about it, and how, at the critical moment, Louis had cried out, “Oh God oh God oh God oh God,” which was why everybody in town called him Reverend. Friar himself thought the nickname was based on his last name, as if the residents of Burnt River were universally fond of puns; nobody ever told him different.
“You don’t think they’re getting too close to porno?” Lil now asked, under her breath to Lynn, as they watched Amnon Plain push their daughter around the set. “I don’t want any goddamned porno.” Lil had a thing about porno.
“You know they’re not going to do any porno,” Lynn said placatingly. He was wearing black-on-black, with wraparound Blades.
“They better not. That’ll kill you in a minute.” She refocused. “Look at Jax. I think he’s so good for her.”
Jax he had no last name was peering around the set through the viewfinder of a Nikon F5. He thought of himself as a photographer, although he hadn’t yet taken many photographs. But how hard could it be? You look through the hole, you push the button. When Alie’e said, “You got anything?” Jax let the camera drop to his side, tipped his head, and they moved together against the hull of the barge. Jax took a plastic nose-drop bottle from his pocket and passed it to her. Alie’e unscrewed the top, slipped the end into a nostril, and squeezed the bottle once, twice. “Whoa, whoa,” Jax muttered. “Not too much, it’ll kill the eyes.” If you had eyes as green and large as Alie’e’s, you didn’t want them dilated.
Amnon Plain was moving lights around as his assistants refilled the camera backs with Kodachrome. Alie’e would be wearing a torn pale-blue T-shirt that was meant to show just a hint of rouged nipple within the tear, and the film had to hold the subtlety of the pink-against-blue. With the Kodachrome, the flare of the torch behind her wouldn’t pop as it would on the Fuji, but that wasn’t so important in this shot.
Plain was juggling the color equities in his mind when Alie’e said, past his head, “Hello, Jael.”
Plai...Revue de presse :
Praise for EASY PREY:
'The 12th entry in Sandford's ever-entertaining Prey series finds Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief Lucas Davenport again rambling through a murky case with his unique combination of gutsy intelligence and aw-shucks attitude... As always, it's a joy to follow this rare cop who gets led more often by his gut instinct than by clues. His humour, understated and perverse, can be wildly funny, and the people he runs across are shrewdly conceived originals, cut from fabric way at the back of the bin' Publishers Weekly
SUDDEN PREY: 'A gripping and brutal tale about revenge... A page-turning, visceral rollercoaster of a ride... SUDDEN PREY delivers explosive, heart-stopping action scenes that make compulsive reading' CRIME TIME
'Fine and chilling... Complete with gross cop humour and villains who, for all their vicious resolve, have credibly redemptive traits: another winner for the accomplished Sandford and his growing legion of fans' KIRKUS REVIEWS
'The stakes are high, the characters rich, the action relentless - here's a thriller that will make your hair stand on end' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
'This tightly wound thriller is action-packed' LIBRARY JOURNAL
'Fans of previous Sandford novels will be thrilled by the clever plotting and fully developed killers... Entertaining reading for thriller fans' BOOKLIST
THE NIGHT CREW: 'Few do it better than Sandford' DAILY TELEGRAPH
'There's no doubt that Sandford is a master thriller writer, and here, his ability shines' CRIME TIME
'A winning and suspense-filled combination' KIRKUS REVIEWS
MIND PREY: 'John Sandford is a brilliant writer' GUARDIAN
'Gripping, satisfying thriller' DAILY EXPRESS
RULES OF PREY: 'John Sandford whips his ingredients into a fresh and satisfying dish, the mark of a born storyteller. The result is a first-rate thriler, fast and furious, with an offbeat hero we'd like (and are likely) to see more of' SAN DIEGO UNION
'Sandford has crafted the kind of trimmed-to-the-bone thriller that is hard to put down. A classic test of wills and wile. With a reporter's eye for detail and an evident disdain for stereotypes, Sandford surrounds the Maddog and Davenport with an intriguing array of cops, journalists, potential victims and possible witnesses -- then he lays out a logical yet unpredictable pattern for crime detection' CHICAGO TRIBUNE
'Sandford is a cunning writer and he consistently avoids the routine or expected with intelligent and surprising new wrinkles. RULES OF PREY is a big, suspenseful thriller, and with it John Sandford has established himself as a writer from whom we want to see more' WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
'RULES OF PREY is so chilling that you're almost afraid to turn the pages, so mesmerising you cannot stop... A haunting, unforgettable, ice-blooded thriller' CARL HIAASEN
'Pulse-quickening, irresistibly readable...as effective as it is brutal' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
SHADOW PREY:'Sandford creates a cracklingly authentic atmosphere, a you-are-there sense of place, a sharp and sympathetic feeling for the details of the police at work' LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW
'Davenport is back and in rare form. In fact, his appearance here quickly establishes him as one of the most engaging characters in contemporary fiction' DETROIT NEWS
'The writing is spare, bitter and harsh. The pace is relentless. The result is a classic example of the genre, American to the core' BOSTON GLOBE
'Lucas Davenport is one of the best hard-case cops on the crime scene today' HOUSTON POST
'In a crowded market Sandford shines at the quality end' DAILY TELEGRAPH'
'Grabs you by the shirt from the start... You'll probably read it iPraise for EASY PREY:
'The 12th entry in Sandford's ever-entertaining Prey series finds Minneapolis Deputy
Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.
Description du livre Hardcover. Etat : New. N° de réf. du vendeur 039914613X-11-9852248
Description du livre Hardcover. Etat : New. N° de réf. du vendeur 039914613X-11-17341035
Description du livre Hardcover. Etat : New. N° de réf. du vendeur 039914613X-11-18561950
Description du livre Etat : New. book. N° de réf. du vendeur M039914613X
Description du livre Hardcover. Etat : New. 2000-First Edition/First Printing. Book and dustjacket are in excellent condition. Hardback. SKU-6132804 2000-05-08. N° de réf. du vendeur SKU-6132804
Description du livre Hardcover. Etat : New. Etat de la jaquette : New. 1st Edition. E Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A.: Putnam Pub Group, 2000. Book. New. Hardcover. 1st Edition. First Edition; HB in new condition; Dust Jacket in new condition. N° de réf. du vendeur 040655
Description du livre Hardcover. Etat : New. Investigating the murder of supermodel Alie`e Maison, Lucas Davenport finds complications in the victim`s drug habits and secret sex life, as well as the suspicion of one of Davenport`s own men and the discovery of a second body in the house. 400,000 fir. N° de réf. du vendeur OM-BK-2020-06-08-13
Description du livre Etat : New. Investigating the murder of supermodel Alie'e Maison, Lucas Davenport finds complications in the victim's drug habits and secret sex life, as well as the suspicion of one of Davenport's own men and the discovery of a second body in the house. 400,000 first printing. BOMC Main. N° de réf. du vendeur 9780399146138
Description du livre Hardcover. Etat : NEW CONDITION. Etat de la jaquette : NEW DUST JACKET. First Edition, First Printing. // NO REMAINDER MARK// NO PREVIOUS OWNER MARKS OF ANY KIND (no names or inscriptions, no bookplate, no underlining, etc) // NOT PRICE CLIPPED// NEW MYLAR COVER//. N° de réf. du vendeur 030574
Description du livre Hardcover. Etat : New. Etat de la jaquette : New. 1st Edition. SIGNED & DATED JUNE 3, 2000 by AUTHOR JOHN SANFORD on the Title Page - This is a 1st EDITION/1st PRINTING in NEW and UNREAD - This book was only opened at the signing event and then boxed and stored until now. A beautiful collectible copy of this title. Square, crisp copy of this collectible book. NOT REMAINDER MARKED OR PRICE CLIPPED. PHOTOS OF THE ACTUAL BOOK SENT UPON REQUEST. We combine shipping for multiple purchases. ALL BOOKS HAVE BEEN BOXED IN CLIMATE CONTROLLED STORAGE AND HAVE NOT BEEN TOUCHED BY ANY OTHER HUMAN THAN ME FOR AT LEAST THE LAST 10 YEARS - ALL BOOKS ARE SEALED AND BUBBLE WRAPPED AND SHIPPED IN BOXES - YOU CAN BUY HERE WITH CONFIDENCE KNOWING THAT A BUNCH OF STRANGERS HAVE NOT HANDLED YOUR BOOK -. Signed by Author(s). N° de réf. du vendeur 005186