John Sandford's Prey Series

Image courtesy of Amazon.com
Image courtesy of Amazon.com | Source

An Addictive Crime Series

I am a huge fan of crime fiction. I grew up watching shows like Cannon, Police Story, Starsky & Hutch, The Rockford Files, and Columbo. So when I began making weekly trips to the local library, I'd load my arms down with books by Agatha Christie, Elmore Leonard, Sue Grafton, Sharon McCrumb, and Stuart Woods.

Then a few years ago I was browsing the clearance section of our local half price book store and came across Rules of Prey and Silent Prey by author John Sandford. Until then I was unfamiliar with Sandford or his work, but being a fan of police procedurals, I gave them a read. Right away I fell in love with the main character of the series, Lucas Davenport. I literally read the first book in one sitting, I was that enthralled by it. After that I couldn't wait to read more. I looked up the remaining books in the series. Those I couldn't find at the local bookstore I ordered from Amazon.

John Sandford recently published the twenty-third book in the series, Silken Prey. Somehow he manages to keep the character's fresh and the stories engaging. And after all these years, we're still learning about Lucas. If you're a fan of crime fiction and haven't given John Sandford's Prey series a try, I highly suggest you do. You won't be disappointed.

Who is Lucas Davenport?

  • Former detective with Minneapolis Police Dept; now an investigator for the Minneapolis Bureau of Criminal Apprehension division.

  • Made a fortune writing and developing computer role playing games to help train law enforcement.

  • Lucas is a clotheshorse. He wears Italian suits and shoes, and drives a Porsche.

  • Married to a surgeon, Dr. Weather Karkinnen.

  • Has three children - Sarah (by a former girlfriend), two children with his wife, Weather, and an adopted daughter, Letty.

  • Childhood friend Elle Kruger is now a nun who goes by the name Sister Mary Joseph.

  • Had a short affair with two of his former female partners, Lily Rothenburg and Marcy Sherill.




Lucas Davenport series in order

#1 Rules of Prey (1989)
Killer leaves "rules of murder" notes with each body.

#2 Shadow Prey (1990)
Lucas searches for a relentless assassin.

#3 Eyes of Prey (1991)
Two killers working in concert.

#4 Silent Prey (1992)
Rogue cops responsible for three dozen murders.

#5 Winter Prey (1993)
Lucas searches for a brutal killer called the Iceman.

#6 Night Prey (1994)
Killer carves initials into his victims.

#7 Mind Prey (1995)
Lucas' newest nemesis is more intelligent - and more deadly - than any he has tracked before.

#8 Sudden Prey (1996)
Davenport falls prey to the purest, simplest criminal motivation: revenge.

#9 Secret Prey (1998)
A routine investigation turns into a cat-and-mouse game with a killer who does not hesitate to take the fight to Lucas himself and those he loves.

#10 Certain Prey (1999)
A wealthy socialite is murdered and the killer is now after a witness and Lucas.

#11 Easy Prey (2000)
One of Lucas' own men is a suspected in a murder.

#12 Chosen Prey (2001)
A killer has some serious cleaning up to do to keep from getting caught--and Davenport's detection skills make him number one on his hit list.

#13 Mortal Prey (2002)
Lucas Davenport encounters his old nemesis, Clara Rinker, the best hit woman in the business.

#14 Naked Prey (2003)
Lucas Davenport investigates the lynching murder of an interracial couple in a small Minnesota town.

#15 Hidden Prey (2004)
When a Russian sailor is found shot to death on the shore of Lake Superior, everyone from the local authorities to a female cop flown in from Russia has a theory.

#16 Broken Prey (2005)
A sadistic psychopathic serial killer has been released from the state hospital for the criminally insane and horrific murders are popping up like bad pennies.

#17 Invisible Prey (2007)
A wealthy woman and her maid are murdered.

#18 Phantom Prey (2008)
Lucas finds himself hunting what appears to be a modern-day Jack the Ripper.

#19 Wicked Prey (2009)
Out of Lucas Davenport's past comes a psycho nursing a violent grudge. But why go after Davenport for revenge when Davenport's young daughter is so close-and so vulnerable?

#20 Storm Prey (2010)
When a simple robbery turns deadly, the thieves close in on the only witness: Lucas Davenport's wife.

#21 Buried Prey (2011)
A house demolition provides an unpleasant surprise for Minneapolis -- the bodies of two girls, wrapped in plastic. It looks like they've been there a long time. Lucas Davenport knows exactly how long.

#22 Stolen Prey (2012)
In the small Minnesota town of Deephaven, an entire family has been killed-husband, wife, two daughters, dogs.

#23 Silken Prey (2013)
Murder, scandal, political espionage, and an extremely dangerous woman. Lucas Davenport's going to be lucky to get out of this one alive.

#24 Field of Prey (2014)
Layton Carlson, Jr. picked the perfect spot to lose his virginity; an abandoned farmyard in the middle of a cornfield. The only problem was . . . something smelled bad—like, really bad. He mentioned it to a county deputy he knew, and when the cop took a look, he found a body stuffed down a cistern. And then another, and another.



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About the author, John Sandford

John Sandford is the pen name of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and best selling novelist John Roswell Camp. Camp was born February 23, 1944 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He received a Bachelor's in American History and a Master's in Journalism from the University of Iowa. Sandford has been referred to as "a master storyteller". He has written twenty-four books in the Prey series. He is also the author of two other crime series; one featuring Virgil Flowers, who was first introduced in the Prey series, and the Kidd novels. He is also the author of several non fiction books.

Physical Description of Lucas Davenport

"Lucas was tall, lean, but not thin, broad-shouldered and dark-completed. A scar sliced across one eyebrow onto his check, and showed as a pale line through his summer tan, like a vagrant strand of white thread. Another scar showed on the front of his neck, over his windpipe, just above the V of his royal blue golf shirt. He took a .45 out of his desk drawer and clipped it inside his pants, under his jacket. He did it unconsciously, as another man might put a wallet in his back pocket."

Hollywood version of Lucas Davenport

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Prey series in TV and Movies

In 1998, Mind Prey, the seventh of the Prey series, was made into a movie. It starred Eriq LaSalle, who also served as a producer on the film. There was an uproar from fans over the casting of LaSalle, whom they didn't believe fit the description of Davenport in the books. Dark complexioned and African-American were clearly not the same in most fans eyes. Some sent hate mail to the author, blaming him for the choice. It was soon made clear by Sandford himself that he had no creative control over the casting of the tv movie. The ratings were extremely low.

Mark Harmon fared better portraying Lucas in the 2011 USA version of Sandford's Certain Prey. Some fans felt that Harmon was too old to play Lucas. Others felt Harmon's portrayal was too much like his NCIS character, Jethro Gibbs. Either way, ratings wise Certain Prey was a success.

Certain Prey starring Mark Harmon

Have you read any of the Prey series, and if not, are you considering the series now?

  • Yes, I am
  • No thanks, I'll pass
  • I'm intrigued
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