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Silken Prey Hardcover – May 7, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* A tight race for a U.S. Senate seat is drawing to a close when Lucas Davenport gets a call. A volunteer aide to the Republican incumbent inadvertently has found a cache of kiddie porn on the candidate’s personal computer. Given the consequences of the discovery, Davenport, the lead investigator for Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, is asked by the Democratic governor to handle a quick, discreet inquiry. Though in the opposing party, the governor has known the accused since grade school and is adamant that his friend is innocent. Inevitably, the story leaks and the Democratic candidate begins making up ground in the polls. Her name is Taryn Grant. She’s in her mid-thirties, strikingly beautiful, and richer than God, and her ambition knows no limit. As the kiddie-porn scandal breaks, an amoral political operative disappears. When Davenport questions Grant about the scandal, he’s taken aback by her vehement denial of any involvement. Is she guilty and attempting to intimidate him, or genuinely offended? Sandford’s Davenport novels are always very good, and this is the best one in a long time. It’s suspenseful, witty, and wise in the ways of modern politics. And the conclusion is darkly unforgettable. A superb thriller. --Wes Lukowsky


Praise for SILKEN PREY
“Dirty political tricksters give Lucas Davenport his most satisfying case in years . . . Sandford keeps every stage of the investigation clear, compelling and suspenseful while peeling back layer after layer of a world in which “everybody was hot, everybody was rich."”—Kirkus (starred review)
“Sandford’s Davenport novels are always very good, and this is the best one in a long time. It’s suspenseful, witty, and wise in the ways of modern politics. And the conclusion is darkly unforgettable. A superb thriller.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Sandford expertly ratchets up the suspense and delivers some nifty surprises.”—Publishers Weekly

Praise for STOLEN PREY

“Sandford at his brilliant best.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“The climax will have you holding your breath—and the book’s very last line will leave you hoping for more.”—St. Louis Post–Dispatch
“The twenty-second Prey novel is the usual Sandford mix of tight plotting, gallows humor, and explosive action.”—Booklist
“Sandford smoothly blends action and suspense with a soupcon of humor.”—Publishers Weekly
“The master is at it yet again…Pure Sandford, the action never stops, and just when you think you’ve got it all figured out…surprise!  You’re not even close.”—Suspense Magazine

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Product Details

  • Series: Prey (Book 23)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399159312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399159312
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,048 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

140 of 159 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Lucas Davenport gets down and dirty in a thriller that mixes murder and politics, a piranha-filled fish tank where the stakes are high and the money flowing. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent gets pulled into a campaign scandal by the state's governor, who has political aspirations on the horizon and doesn't need any complications when Porter Smalls, a Republican running for US Senator gets catapulted into the headlines for child pornography on his office computer. The most likely candidate for pre-election dirty tricks is his democratic opponent, the bright, wealthy Taryn Grant, with an oversized ego and extravagant plans for her political future. Once Lucas starts digging, he finds not only carefully buried secrets, but the possible murder of a political operative-for-hire, Bob Tubbs, who has suddenly disappeared.

While the Lucas Davenport of the popular Prey series is adept at solving a wide variety of criminal cases in his position at the BAC, this particular scenario takes him into the rarified world of state politics, an equally comfortable venue for the sophisticated detective, where the anonymity of position and wealth provide cover for those who operate behind the façade of public service (strange bedfellows, indeed). Smalls is an old-school politician, a familiar figure with a clear agenda. His opponent, Grant, is one of a new wave of public servants, smart, attractive and ambitious. One of them is headed to Washington. And like the psychological environment that favors physical appearance over integrity, Grant appeals to the narcissistic cult that propels public personalities into positions of power.

No slacker, Davenport is tech savvy and eager to use resources he has cultivated over the years.
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60 of 70 people found the following review helpful By k.c. quinn on May 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I love this series and I particularly love the main character because he is smart, sexy, a family guy, a cop who drives a Porsche, and ultimately the coolest guy in law enforcement by a mile. Davenport does what he does because he likes it and he has a clearly defined code and sense of right and wrong-he also sees the shades of gray. The writing as always, flows smoothly, the descriptions of the people and places are vivid, and the author manages to make lifelike even the politicians that inhabit this book. Through this long running series we have come to know the characters (and they are that), that inhabit Davenport's world and it's like visiting with old friends when they take part in solving the political mystery/intrigue/thriller/suspense that takes place in a compressed period of time before election day. Davenport's friends are a motley crew of misfits but they get the job done every time. This book is recommended to all who like a smart mystery that is complex at times has many twists and turns and is hard to put down. I know that the author has said that Davenport will retire at some point, but he gives the reader so much enjoyment and downright fun I hope he goes on forever.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on May 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm not going to write a full story synopsis. This is a review, not a book report. You can get that synopsis on the product page.

Briefly, a political dirty trickster is murdered (as we learn in the opening chapter), his body hidden, and it appears to the world as if he's vanished for reasons unknown. A Republican senatorial candidate is framed with a kiddie porn scam, and the state's Governor assigns Lucas Davenport to get to the bottom of the mess during the closing week of a tight election between the victimized candidate and a sociopathic Democrat billionaire. Davenport has to wade through a morass of politics, murderous aides, bent cops, and other obstacles to learn the truth of the matter.

There are aspects of the book that I really liked. In many ways Sanford has returned to stylistic touches that made this series popular to begin with. A tougher Davenport, the brisk pace, well-realized characters, a couple of things like that.

But as I mentioned in my title, I think there are many things that outweigh those improvements.

First of all, though I like a complex plot in a mystery, I think Sanford went a bit too far this time around. It was almost a "who's on first" effort to keep things straight in my mind; I felt I needed a scorecard to keep track of who done what. Like seasoning food with pepper; some is okay, too much is a disaster.

I also think that Sanford let his own political views permeate the story to far too great an extent, to the point where it affected the story, and particularly the ending.

Which brings us to the most important problem I had with the book, which was this: I hated the ending! Without revealing any spoilers, all I can say is that the ending was about as emotionally unsatisfying as it could get. I deducted one complete star just for that, so what would have been a 4-star book ended up with 3 stars.

There you have it.
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49 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Suncoast TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating tale of how easily politics can get dirty and run out of control. Lucas Davenport, an agent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is asked by the State Governor to find out why child pornography was found on the office computer of the leading Senate candidate only days before the election.

Porter Smalls, a Republican running for US Senator is well ahead in the opinion polls when his campaign is sabotaged by child pornography being found on his office computer. Despite their opposite political views, the Governor believes that, despite some personal shortcomings, Smalls is incapable of having such an interest.

What Davenport doesn't know at the beginning is that Bob Tubbs, a political operative who can change sides like a chameleon for the right money, has disappeared. Davenport soon gets down into the mire of a thriller with an explosive combination of murder, money, blackmail and politics.

Davenport gets help from a notorious computer whiz, ICE who puts him in touch with Lucas Kidd who is a strange combination of artist and computer "expert". Davenport also becomes quickly aware that the Democratic candidate, the attractive and wealthy Taryn Grant, has an oversized ego and ambition that could catapult her into dirty tricks. I have to admit that I really didn't know the detailed explanation of a narcissist until Grant's character was exposed.

This thriller makes Davenport explore the grey side of politics and the contemporary world of technology to solve the case and reveals an ugly background to the machinations behind an important election. It is an interesting twist to the Davenport series of thrillers and is well recommended if you want to see things from a different aspect.
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