(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

PREY is a fast paced detective and combat novel. Characters are almost always referred to by their full names. When any weapon is used, the reader learns its size, brand, and the type of ammunition. Settings include the Alaska wilderness, Yellowstone Park, Arizona, Florida, and Washington, D.C.

Henry Lightstone, a super agent, is introduced as a disaffected policeman seeking those responsible for nearly killing a friend on the San Diego force. His opposite, Gerd Maas, lives for the adrenaline rush he gets from killing the most dangerous animals in the most dangerous situations. Maas is a mercenary whose reaction time in simulated combat is more than three times faster than average. The large cast of good characters fits Lightstone’s pattern of motivation, just as the bad ones fit Maas’s pattern.

Maas is the most deadly member of the International Commission for Environmental Restoration (ICER) paramilitary force. Secretly funded by governments and businesses, ICER sees itself as a counter-terrorist group. Its function is to disrupt environmentalist organizations, causing death and destruction without leaving traces of its involvement.

Lightstone joins a crack team of undercover agents for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. When they accidentally come into contact with ICER, they are officially disbanded. ICER stills feels threatened by their knowledge and decides to kill them. Lightstone’s team regroups and works with old and new allies to put ICER out of business.

A good thriller, PREY draws readers in and offers enough surprise and humor to set itself apart.