Summary and book reviews of The Hanged Man's Song by John Sandford

The Hanged Man's Song

By John Sandford

The Hanged Man's Song
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  • Hardcover: Nov 2003,
    336 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 2004,
    352 pages.

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Book Summary

Prey fans everywhere have embraced the return of John Sandford's other charismatic hero, Kidd – artist, computer whiz, and professional criminal – and his sometime partner/sometime lover LuEllen.

"Crime fiction doesn't have nearly enough droll master thieves like Kidd and his stunning partner in righteous crime," said the Los Angeles Times. "Fast-paced action, high-intellect puzzle solving and dandy characters: Kidd and LuEllen have one helluva time," raved the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "With its quick plotting and clever story, The Devil's Code makes a strong case the Kidd and his pals deserve more chances to strut their stuff," wrote the Chicago Tribune.

And now here they are. In The Hanged Man's Song, a super-hacker friend of Kidd's named Bobby suddenly disappears from cyberspace, and Kidd knows that isn't a good sign. Going over to his house, he finds him dead on the floor, his head bashed in and his laptop missing – and Kidd knows that really isn't a good sign. The secrets on that laptop are potent enough to hang Kidd and everybody else in Bobby's circle – just to start with – so there's no question that Kidd and LuEllen have to try to track it down, not to mention that Kidd would dearly love to get his hands on the man who killed Bobby. But before he can get very far, the secrets start coming out anyway . . . and they're more staggering than even Kidd imagined. Because it's not just about the lives of a circle of friends and colleagues now, oh no – it's about something much, much bigger. And much, much scarier...

Filled with the atmosphere, characters, and exceptional drama that have made John Sandford one of America's best-loved thriller writers, The Hanged Man's Song is a masterpiece of suspense.

Chapter One

NOW THE BLACK MAN screamed No!, now the black man shouted, Get out, motherfucker, and Carp, a big-boy at thirty, felt the explosion behind his eyes.

Tantrum.

They were in the black man's neatly kept sick-house, his infirmary. Carp snatched the green oxygen cylinder off its stand, felt the weight as he swung it overhead. The black man began to turn in his wheelchair, his dark eyes coming around through the narrow, fashionable glasses, the gun turning, the gun looking like a toy.

And now it goes to slo-mo, the sounds of the house fading-the soprano on public radio, fading; the rumble of a passing car, fading; the hoarse, angry words from the black man, fading to inaudible gibberish; and the black man turning, and the gun, all in slo-mo, the sounds fading as time slowed down....

Then lurching to fast forward:

"HAIYAH!" James Carp screamed it, gobs of spit flying, one explosive syllable, and he swung the steel cylinder as hard as he could, as though he ...

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Media Reviews
Booklist - Wes Lukowsky

Ultimately, thrillers are defined by the scariness of the villains, and the bad guys Kidd contends with are a special breed indeed, capable of rendering lives meaningless by the thousands with a few key strokes. Clear a spot on the best-seller lists for this timely and entertaining thriller.

Publishers Weekly

The early entries in this series have aged badly because of the advances in technology, but this latest intelligent and exciting thriller proves a worthy addition to Sandford's overall body of work.

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