Revisiting Lucas Davenport of the Prey Series


In between my mammoth reading of Texas, I have been revisiting one of my favorite detective series – The Prey series penned by John Sandford. Starring the maverick detective Lucas Davenport from the Minneapolis Police Department, this is an excellent thriller series.

I first read these books obsessively about 10 years ago before drifting off into other books. But last week, a craving for nostalgia prompted me to pick up these 2 books:

  • Mind Prey
  • Invisible Prey

Mind Prey by John  Sandford

I think Mind Prey is the 7th book in the Prey series. This was a re-read because I had completely forgotten where I had discontinued reading the Prey books. Once I started reading it, I realized that I had read this before but in no way did it hamper my reading enjoyment again.

This is a thrilling fast-paced tale of a psychiatrist and her two daughters who get kidnapped by a psychopath. Lucas Davenport has to race against time to catch the culprit and free them all with no loss of life. There is also a traitor in the midst of the rescuers, which hampers the search and rescue operation.

There follows many mind games that are played between the kidnapper and Lucas Davenport until the final dramatic showdown. Lucas Davenport resorts to some pretty unorthodox tactics to close down on the kidnapper.

I loved the thrill ride.

Note: There are many disturbing and graphic scenes in the book, so make sure you are okay with that before you pick it up. I didn’t find the violence gratuitous, but I am a hardened thriller case anyway 😉 .

The next book I picked up was Invisible Prey.

Invisible Prey by John Sandford

This is the 17th book in the Prey series and one that I am reading for the first time. This is a much slower book, but no less thrilling. Here, a brutal murder of a rich, elderly widow and her maid is the chief puzzle. The reason for the murder appears to be robbery. But is this murder also tied to a sexual harassment case that Davenport is also investigating? Is there something connecting the two cases?

The technique Sandford uses to write this book is curious. It’s at the same time, a high-octane action-packed thriller, while also being a mystery with emphasis on clues and deduction. Although the reader is very quickly made aware of the killer’s identity, it’s a whole different story for Lucas. Without help from an awesome researcher in the police department, and the fortuitous help from one of the victim’s relatives, this one could so easily have been one of Davenport’s failures.

But of course, this is a Lucas Davenport story, so justice always has to triumph and it eventually does although after quite a bit of head scratching on Davenport’s part. Again, a very enjoyable read and perfect for rainy, dull days when one is in a bit of a reading funk.

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  • Just finished reading Buried Prey for the 2nd time. Brilliant! My all time favorite Prey book is Mortal Prey, closely followed by Secret Prey and Certain Prey. Bravo, John Sandford. Some of his Prey series have let me down, but he rises to the challenge of longevity with a masterpiece like Buried Prey.

    • @Peter: The only grumble I have against his books is that the titles are so similar that I can never remember which books I have read and which I haven’t. I have probably read Buried Prey but for the life of me can’t remember which one it is. Am now on a mission to re-read all Lucas Davenport 😀

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