He owed me one. And he delivered. John Sandford is back in my good graces with his 20th book in the Lucas Davenport series, Storm Prey.
Although the storm doesn't hit until later in the book, it plays a pivotal part in the conclusion to a good heist-gone-wrong story mixed with a medical thriller. Davenport's surgeon wife, Weather, is part of a team of doctors tasked with separating conjoined twins. She's also an after-the-fact witness to a pharmacy robbery at the hospital where the operation is to take place.
The robbery is an inside job with some outside help from a gang of bikers. Things go wrong, a pharmacy assistant is killed by accident, and the gang has to deal with Weather the witness and evidence left at the scene. The brains behind the robbery suffers from an addiction to coke and bouts of stupidity. The bikers aren't exactly rocket scientists either. Add in a barely-out-of-his-teens hitman and the bad guys start dropping like flies.
In the meantime, Davenport tries to get ahead of the gang's self-implosion AND catch the inside guy, all the while trying to protect Weather. Weather, for her part, insists on doing her job. And she puts up with Virgil Flowers as her personal bodyguard. That's after she tried to smack down the hitman when he tried to kill her. One tough, and sometimes crazy, lady. Despite that, Davenport insists on Flowers' presence, which is always welcome. I'm already looking forward to the next Flowers book.
The storm of the title finally arrives to help bring the book to a conclusion. The good guys survive, the bad guys don't, and the babies make it through all the medical procedures, leaving the reader with a good feeling.
Sandford's back in my good graces.