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Rules of Prey (The Prey Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

John Sandford
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (703 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

The haunting, unforgettable, ice-blooded thriller that introduced Lucas Davenport is so chilling that you're almost afraid to turn the pages and so mesmerizing you cannot stop.

Books In This Series (24 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews

    From Publishers Weekly

    "Making his fiction debut, 'Sandford,' a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist using a pseudonym his real name is John Camp, has taken a stock suspense plot--a dedicated cop pursuing an ingenious serial killer--and dressed it up into the kind of pulse-quickening, irresistibly readable thriller that many of the genre's best-known authors would be proud to call their own," stated PW.
    Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    From Library Journal

    Lieutenant Lucas Davenport, highly touted killer detective, invents intricate video games that he sells for cash. Called in to aid the Minneapolis team scrambling to stop a psychopathic serial woman-slayer, Lucas almost meets his match. The self-styled "mad dog" murderer views his rape/stabbings as a game as well, setting up obstacles for the police, carefully selecting his victims, and priding himself on clever moves. Despite his largely deja vu plot, debut novelist Sandford ( also the author of The Fools Run due from Holt in September under the name John Camp; see Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/89) delivers tense action, chilling excitement, and thrilling suspense. Fast-moving prose and romantic sidelines add a little zest, too. BOMC featured selection.
    Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 1034 KB
    • Print Length: 372 pages
    • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (April 1, 1990)
    • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B000QUCO58
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #891 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    206 of 213 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Superb debut to my favorite new series! January 26, 2001
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    My wife bugged me for months to read this series and when I finally broke down, I kicked myself for not starting it sooner. Sandford's books following Minneapolis Police Detective Lucas Davenport are some of the best I've discovered in a long time. I'm working my way through the series and loving it!
    Davenport is a maverick, brilliant, somewhat-womanizing detective.  I wasn't sure at first whether or not I'd like the character, but I quickly found myself a big fan of his. He's a cocky loner on the surface, but the digger you deep, the more sensitivity and warmth you find. Sandford has done a wonderful job of creating a character who is both intriguing and believable. (If you're hoping to create a mystery series, you'd better come up with a compelling protagonist and Sandford has certainly done that.)
    This book finds Davenport on the trail of a cunning serial killer who sticks to a carefully thought-out set of rules in an attempt to escape capture (hence the title of the book). The mystery really kept me on my toes, wondering how Lucas would manage to capture this deranged murdered.
    John Sandford's Prey series is recommended to fans of Michael Connelly, Robert B. Parker, and anyone who enjoys a good detective novel.
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    122 of 126 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars RULE #1 -- START A SERIES WITH A "GREAT" BOOK September 30, 2001
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    A few years ago, I asked the owner of a bookstore to recommend some books for me. She said that she had been home sick for the past week and spent the time reading all of the "prey" books. At the time, I had no idea what she was talking about and thought they might have something to do with religion as in "pray" books. After some further discussion, I realized I had stumbled upon a great series by John Sandford. I started to buy the books then and it's taken me this long to finally read the first one. Since I read a lot of mysteries, many of which are part of a series, I'm pretty savvy when it comes to the most popular male protagonists out there at the moment. Now that I've been introduced to Lucas Davenport, my only regret is that I waited this long to begin my relationship with a now favorite character.
    The story is a good one and involves a serial killer whose identity is introduced to the reader at the beginning of the book. I like when an author does this as it enables me to get inside the killer's head and follow him around from place to place -- not only to the scene of his crimes but in his everyday life at work and home as well. I also love it when the moment arrives and I realize what the title of the book means. In Rules of Prey, the killer, referred to as "maddog", has certain rules that he follows so as not to get caught. For example, he never kills anyone he knows, he never uses the same weapon twice and he never has a motive. He always leaves a note at each crime scene communicating one of his rules. Not only does this serve as a challenge to our main character, Lucas Davenport, it is also the killer's "in your face" way of letting Lucas know that he is someone to be reckoned with.
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    60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Basic Formula Used Well June 4, 2002
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    There's a basic formula at play in most suspense novels or thrillers. It's not hard to figure out the components: one demented killer, one detective, usually above the law with some interesting quirk or hobby that makes him unique, a love interest or two, the hero's haunted past...I think you get the idea. I always wish that some writer somewhere would break out of that formula but very few do successfully. But on occasion, a writer uses that formula to his advantage and just writes a darn good book.
    Rules of Prey is the first novel in what has become a rather extensive series featuring Lucas Davenport, part playboy, part rogue cop, part vigilante. And the Davenport character is a good one. Throw in a generic psychopath playing the part of serial killer and you've got a decent but predictable thriller.
    Readers of thrillers are familiar with portrayals of the bad guys and usually writers delve deeply into the motivations behind their actions. One strange thing about Rules of Prey is that Sandford does not elaborate on the killer's motivations. While I was curious what was driving him, I must say that I found the lack of childhood flashbacks and psychological ramblings refreshing.
    Overall, the story was simple, neat and effective. The writing was good, the characters far more developed than those normally encountered in this genre, the action fast paced and the outcome surprising. I will definitely be continuing this series.
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    23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A non-stop suspensful read! January 1, 2002
    By Ben
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    The Killer calls himself the Maddog. When the urge siezes him, he goes and "collects" a new victim. With each woman he slays, he leaves a note. These notes are the Maddog's "rules".
    Every note says something different, such as: Never kill anybody you know; never have a motive; never carry a weapon after it has been used. After two murders and a third attempt, Detective Lucas Davenport joins the case. Lucas isn't like other detectives. Rather its the dozens of women he attracts, the games he invents, or the Porsche he drives, Lucas is something you've never seen before. Lucas Davenpport is out to get this crazed man who hunts these women. Lucas has a strong sense of justice and is cleaver enough to find him. This killer, however, is unlike any he has ever encountered. Because he's not just a killer, he's a player. Lucas will have to have all his wits about him if he plans on apprehending him, alive or dead.
    If your looking for a suspensful, fun book, then I suggest John Sandford's masterpeice, Rules Of Prey.
    Rules Of Prey Is the first book in John Sandford's extraordinary Prey series
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars A taste of things to come
    I'm a huge fan of the Prey series, so I really enjoyed this book that started it all. As a reader, I recognize how both the characters and writing style has evolved with greater... Read more
    Published 4 days ago by Ellen R. Diamond
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great book kept things interesting throughout the book so I was hard to put it down!
    Published 4 days ago by Starman
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    See previous reviews, highly recommended
    Published 6 days ago by MasterI
    5.0 out of 5 stars A good, fun thriller.
    I thought it to be a good crime thriller; I'll definitely be buying more in the series. I'm curious how Lucas Davenport ages (plot wise) through the years.
    Published 6 days ago by Gregory
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great book! Difficult to put down.
    Published 6 days ago by Terri Rousseau
    1.0 out of 5 stars One can write a good mystery without the constant use of that foul...
    I will never buy another one. One can write a good mystery without the constant use of that foul language e. g. David Baldachi.
    Published 7 days ago by Cecile Matelli
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    Just getting started
    Published 7 days ago by William L. Vanasse Jr.
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    some of the women in the book seem just a tad too tough.
    Published 7 days ago by pat barrick
    5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Protagonist
    I had read other Sandford books and decided to start at the beginning of the Prey series. I found it to be a page turner despite the pre-cell phone setting. Read more
    Published 9 days ago by Sharon Miner
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters and stories
    John Sandford is really a master when it comes to thrillers. A little way into the book and I don't want to put it down. Great characters and stories.
    Published 11 days ago by Roseann Ilstrup
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    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.

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    Worth the premium price for the Kindle version?
    i agree this is price management at the lowest level..
    Sep 22, 2012 by Rick |  See all 2 posts
    john sanford prey books
    They are written in order, beginning with Rules of Prey, but reading them out of order will not compromise your enjoyment of this thrill-packed series.
    Jan 6, 2009 by J. Ziemann |  See all 9 posts
    Prey Books
    Really? I got that a long time ago. Sometimes they're a little goofy with being able to find a title: UC Nightstalkers #3 is what I found when I was looking for Winter Prey. Good luck!
    Jan 19, 2011 by Elle Belle |  See all 4 posts
    J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) "... In Death" series with Eve Dallas belongs... Be the first to reply
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