Sandford's "PREY" series has been around for a long time - INVISIBLE PREY is the 17th book in the Lucas Davenport based books. In case you've never read any of the earlier ones - Lucas Davenport is a cop (and part-time software entrepreneur), a wealthy man in his own right, married to a eminent Plastic Surgeon now - working as a cop because it scratches an itch for him (or so it would seem).
INVISIBLE PREY starts out with robbery related bashing murder of two elderly women - one very wealthy matriarch of the city and the other her long-time housekeeper - for what initially seems to be a robbery for very small takings. It's not until Davenport digs a bit further that there seems there's a slight possibility that other - more valuable - less well known - items are missing from the house. Connections start to be drawn between this double murder and other killings of elderly victims, in their homes, in the surrounding areas. The connection seems to be part very valuable antiques, part something to do with a famous set of quilts.
Very early on in this book the reader knows who the murderers are, the book being more about Davenport's pursuit of these two and their attempts to stop him from getting too close. Alongside the main story there is also an ongoing investigation of a local Senator accused of child sex abuse, although the Senator claims he was really sleeping with the young girl's mother. Sound odd? Well it was.
Firstly the secondary thread - goodness knows really why it was there, except that to this reader at least, it seemed to be providing a bit of light relief or "amusement" as the investigating team tried to find a politically "comfortable" solution to the problem of the Senator. All in all - the tackiness of the way that everyone in that sub-story behaved hung, perched on the edge of the book, like an elephant in the corner of the room. Then there were the two murderers. Personally I think there's something profoundly more sinister about the seemingly normal gone bad and the murderers in INVISIBLE PREY are weird, creepy, obsessed with each other, obsessed with their bizarre sex lives, self-congratulatory, sinisterly cartoonish. It smacked of if you're going to be a serial killer than you just have to be weirder than weird about every other part of your life. Ultimately the caricature was too heavy handed and most of the potential tension was lost as a result. Oh and Davenport is really really wealthy - he drives a Porsche. The "Porsche" almost achieves character status in its own right.
All in all there was a heap of things that just didn't work in INVISIBLE PREY. Too many corners cut, too much opportunistic story telling, too many simplistic characterisations. It just fell flatter than a Porsche that the elephant finally sat on.