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Invisible Prey (Lucas Davenport Mysteries) Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 15, 2007

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Product Details

  • Series: Lucas Davenport Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (May 15, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 0399154213
  • ASIN: B001UE7DIM
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,113,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Sandford opts for a contemplative procedural rather than a high-octane nail-biter for his 17th novel to feature Minneapolis detective Lucas Davenport (after 2005's Broken Prey). The brave and intelligent Davenport, one of contemporary crime fiction's more congenial sleuths, is working a politically sensitive case—state senator Burt Kline is on the edge of being arrested for having sex with a minor—when he's called in to investigate the beating death of wealthy widow Constance Bucher and her maid. Bucher lived in a mansion stuffed with antiques, though it's unclear if robbery was the motive for the murders. Several run-of-the-mill suspects are dealt with before the reader learns the identity of the two killers, who continue to murder a string of folks all variously connected to the Bucher slaying. Eventually, the Bucher and Kline cases come together in an unexpected way. Interesting and unusual supporting characters, good and bad guys alike, enhance an intriguing puzzle. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Constance Bucher is in her eighties, wealthy, and lives in a lovely Twin Cities home brimming with antiques. Bucher and her maid slip into past tense when intruders bludgeon them to death and trash the house. The victim's social standing is enough for the governor to assign his top investigator, Lucas Davenport, to investigate. The easy solution would be to label the crime a junkie killing, but when a painting stored in the attic (and worth a cool half-million) turns up missing, it's clear that this was no random attack. Aided by an imaginative intern, Davenport uncovers a series of similar crimes across the Midwest in which the victims were all old, wealthy art collectors. Concurrently, Davenport is working on a politically sensitive case in which a local politician has been accused of having sexual relations with a 15-year-old. And maybe her mother. Or maybe they're angling for a civil payday as opposed to criminal justice. The latest in the Preyseries is more thriller than mystery; the villains are revealed early, and the plot is advanced through the bad guys' point of view. Davenport unravels their scheme by pulling on a small thread, and it's his immersion into the murky world of art, antiques, museums, and donors that gives this one its cachet. As always for Sandford, entertaining and intelligent reading. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

John Sandford was born John Camp on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended the public schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. He then spent four years at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor's degree in American Studies in 1966. In 1966, he married Susan Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, a fellow student at the University of Iowa. He was in the U.S. Army from 1966-68, worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian from 1968-1970, and went back to the University of Iowa from 1970-1971, where he received a master's degree in journalism. He was a reporter for The Miami Herald from 1971-78, and then a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press from 1978-1990; in 1980, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis. From 1990 to the present he has written thriller novels. He's also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art. He is the principal financial backer of a major archaeological project in the Jordan Valley of Israel, with a website at In addition to archaeology, he is deeply interested in art (painting) and photography. He both hunts and fishes. He has two children, Roswell and Emily, and one grandson, Benjamin. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007, and is greatly missed.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Saperstein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is Sanford's 17th novel featuring Lucas Davenport. All of them have been good reading by a master of the police procedural. A few have been slightly better than the others. "Invisible Prey" comes close to being the best of the lot.

As always Lucas Davenport, a Special Agent for Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is called in when a situation is too tough for a local police department or too politically sensitive. "Promoting" Lucas to this job from his former job with a police department was a brilliant move by Sandford, as it lets Davenport roam the landscape without being bothered by jurisdiction. Clever guy, Mr. Sanford.

The story opens with two women, an elderly heiress and her maid, being brutally bludgeoned on a dark and rainy night in a home in St. Paul's most element neighborhood. (Yes, Sanford really does set the scene on a dark and rainy night. Also, inexplicably, the dustjack puts the opening murders in Minneapolis, rather than St. Paul.)

Lucas is dealing at the moment with a very politically sensitive investigation of a local politician who may have had just a bit too much to do with the minor daughter of his current paramour. But the old woman's murder, especially because of it's brutality, carries some poltical weight too, so Lucas looks in on the scene.

The two disparate investigations - a sex scandal and a double murder - ultimately become involved.

Sanford writes some of the best police procedurals to be found. His characters are solid and have depth. Lucas Davenport's wealth, acquired in an accidental second career as a software developer, is helpful in giving the character wider latitude in his social millieu and in setting him apart from his law enforcement officer peers.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of the Prey series by John Sandford over the years. But lately the titles haven't captured my attention as much as they used to. In the latest, Invisible Prey, I once again find myself thinking that it was an enjoyable read, but the excitement and edge isn't there any more.

Lucas Davenport is pulled into a case where an older lady and her maid are brutally murdered. The trashed house makes it look like it could be a burglary gone bad, but something doesn't quite ring true for Davenport. He's able to find a couple other crimes that have somewhat the same characteristics, and the common element has to do with antiques and a particular set of quilts. You find out very quickly who the guilty parties are in the killings, and the story revolves around the desperation of the killers and their need to eliminate Lucas from the case in order to avoid being run down. There's a subplot involving an accusation of improper behavior with a minor and a state senator. Lucas is also involved in this case, and the killers attempt to mess up that case, also to draw Lucas in a different direction.

In many of the earlier Prey stories, there was a strong element of how Lucas would use his intellect and gaming skills to anticipate and solve the crimes. But lately, that characteristic is more secondary, and too much time is spent dwelling on his new political position in the bureau. The story is fine as a typical crime novel, but the things that used to draw me to Davenport aren't there much now. I'll likely keep reading new installments in the series, but I don't know that I consider them a "must read" any more...
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Newt Gingrich THE on September 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
John Sandford does it again with Invisible Prey. Lucas Davenport, who is one of the most believable characters in modern crime fiction, continues his career in breaking a case that is deliciously complex, involves wonderfully convoluted and perverse characters and carries you from connection to connection until suddenly it will all make sense. This is a fine novel about interesting people, some of whom are doing violent and destructive things and others whom simply want to lead nice, decent lives and catches both the way in which the innocent can without cause be destroyed by evil, and the way in which good can in the end triumph. As an optimist, I find it always comforting to read John Sandford's novels and in particular I enjoy his Lucas Davenport pursuit of justice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stewart Salowitz on June 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Two of the consistently best things about the long-running John Sandford "Prey" series are 1) the hero and 2) some great villains.
As a now aging hero, Lucas Davenport is very human - he knows Xanax and Ambien personally, slugs down the Diet Coke and isn't such a know-it-all that he's not willing to find facts in a book about antiques. He is also tough and smart (in fact, using his brains a little more now that he's aging).
As villains go, those in "Invisible Prey" are creepy enough and certainly ruthless - but a far cry from some of the other Sandford weirdos in earlier books (Dr. Michael Bekker and Maddog" Vullion come to mind immediately).
References in this book to Davenport's home life are minimal as time is spent on the crimes and the solving of them. But Weather did come up with a suggestion that didn't occur to Lucas, so when she was in the book it was worthwhile.
I kept waiting for the Burt Kline part of the book to go away so Davenport could focus on the killings, but when Sandford wove the two together, it was an unexpected touch. Well done - the book is a solid new episode in Davenport's career.
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