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Showing 1-10 of 3,233 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 4,243 reviews
on October 10, 2016
This was an interesting book as it contains some of John Sandford's greatest strengths (humour, easy to read style etc) but it did contain some issues that other reviewers have brought up and I felt were jarring.

Letty is a character who we have seen mature in the series over the years and there is no doubt she is a bright individual but for Lucas to bring her to a crime scene and for her to give her thoughts to the other investigators and police was really overreaching.

The subplots with Flowers and Del were strange as they added little to the plot but took up space in the novel that at 400 pages, it didn't need.

The ending with the karma and Lucas felt like he is being softened too much. We had touches earlier in the novel of the old Lucas (the scene where he smiled but it wasn't really a smile, this was a copy from Winter Prey) but to have this at the end of the novel with the homeless man felt forced.

The violence against Mattsson is something that I am sure will bring arguments for and against it in a Sandford novel. Personally I thought it was a bit over the top and unnecessary but I assume the author felt there was a valid reason for it.

Those were some of my issues with the novel but that being said, it was an easy to read time filler written by a writer with skills and the ability to harness a very solid fan base based on his work. He might be on cruise control now that he is famous and writing a few books a year but I think his fans will accept this by casting a fond glance back to the early Davenport books and a shrug of the shoulders with the recent work and say that Davenport and the author are evolving.
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on June 25, 2014
I’m a big fan of the Prey series but this is just weak. A pair of teenagers stumble onto a cache of corpses and we’re off and running. A little traction is gained initially but the bus gets lost and meanders around before skidding off the road into the obvious finale.

I’ll cite three flaws (Spoiler alert). Very early on, a little girl reports seeing a local postman near the scene of a crime. It doesn’t take Lucas long to figure out that wasn’t who she saw but rather someone who resembled him. The correct course should be evident. He’s dealing with a couple towns that contain maybe a few hundred families. Just take the photo of the postman around to shops, banks, etc. and ask who looks like him. But, this doesn’t occur to Lucas until the closing pages of the book, Sandwiched between those two events is a lot of filler.

And that’s the second issue. Lucas is distracted by cases that Del is working on in Texas and Virgil is investigating downstate. The digressions have nothing to do with the plot and appear to be boring filler to bloat this up to novel length.

Finally, there are a few things that just ring silly in the real world. For instance, a local policewoman, who obviously has personality issues through the book, is captured by the perpetrator, imprisoned and repeatedly raped and savagely beaten. Upon being liberated, she bashes his brains out with a crowbar after he’s been subdued. So, you have someone who had issues going into this case, failed to contribute much to the investigation, got herself captured, was traumatized beyond belief and kills a helpless suspect (not proven but it was evident). What does BCS do? Offer her a job! Every law enforcement unit I’ve had contact with uses psychological screening, with good reason. Apparently, it’s a concept beyond the grasp of BCS.

Much of the Prey series gives you an intellectual and emotional workout. This is simply chewing gum for the mind.
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on November 8, 2014
As a long-time fan of Sandford's Prey series who has read many of the books twice, I always love reading about Lucas Davenport's latest investigations and the killer he is forced to pursue. My favorite part of the Davenport books has always been learning about the dark, unique killers Davenport matches wits against, and seeing what trick Davenport pulls out of his bag to take the bad guy down. The Prey books have also always been notable for its great supporting cast, from Lucas' family, to his trusty right-hand man Del and the rest of the BCA crew, to Lucas' psychologist-nun BFF Elle.

However, Sandford has put Lucas through a lot of changes over the years, particularly by domesticating Lucas from the hard-boiled, womanizing young cop to the bureaucratic husband and father. It is this latter version of Lucas that Sandford has presented to readers for a while now, but after reading the latest Prey novel, it made me wish for the Lucas of yesteryear.

There are several problems with the novel. First, the main plot itself is thin--serial killer terrorizes women, and Lucas has to bring him down. Been there, done that with Lucas, and more than once. Sandford employs a schtick with this particular killer that isn't particularly surprising when it is revealed, and just seems forced. As I mentioned above, Sandford has a knack for developing interesting and unpredictable antagonists who aren't simply omniscient, Hannibal Lecter-type evil geniuses, and in a way are more terrifying because of how realistic they are. Yet the killer here is incredibly one-dimensional, and the aforementioned schtick just makes the killer's chapters rather silly.

Further hurting the book's plot is the fact that Sandord throws in nearly half-a-dozen subplots on top of the main plot, four of which are separate criminal investigations involving the rest of his BCA team. The one involving Virgil Flowers is simply a tie-in to Virgil's latest investigation, which I believe is the subject of the latest novel his own spin-off series. The other investigations don't really tie into the main story at all, and while Sandford has employed this tactic before, he has never introduced so many separate crimes in a single novel. None of these side-plots are particularly interesting, and apart from a dramatic moment involving a supporting character these amounted to little more than filler. Also, without giving too much away, Virgil actually ties into the story in more ways than one, and the resolution of the main story is actually moreso due to him than to Davenport's efforts. I like Virgil Flowers as much as the next Sandford fan, but I didn't get this to book to read about him. I wanted to read about Lucas. The tie-ins to Virgil were distracting, and unnecessary.

Davenport really just doesn't do much in this book. A lot of the focus is given to a new character (well, a newish character...I think she may have been introduced in a Virgil Flowers book, though I'm not sure)--police officer Catrin Matsson, who was one of the best parts of the book for me. A lot of focus was also given to Lucas' adopted daughter, Letty, whom I think Sandford still hasn't figured out how to utilize since introducing her in Naked Prey. While Letty was awesome in that book, I've always felt like Letty was either a non-presence or a distraction since then, with the exception of Stolen Prey. As other reviews mentioned, Letty just randomly inserts herself into the investigation in this book, and Lucas--nor anyone else--seems to have no problem with this whatsoever, even though she's only 18. It really took away from the believability factor for me, and the way Sandford ultimately deals with Letty at the end of the book comes across as if he's just getting rid of her so he doesn't have to worry about her anymore.

I kept wishing for the Prey books that covered the period from when Lucas met Weather and rejoined the Minneapolis PD to when he finally married Weather--from around Winter Prey to Mortal Prey, I think. Those are my favorite books in the series, featuring great moments from Lucas and the supporting cast and awesome villains. Unfortunately, almost none of those are to be found in this book. I almost got the sense that Sandford was bored writing about Lucas, as if he couldn't wait to get back to Virgil, or perhaps write a spin-off series about Letty or Matsson.

I hope that's not the case, because I would love to see Lucas Davenport back on his A-game. Here, we get about a C or D game. Still entertaining, but one of the weakest entries in the series.
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on August 25, 2014
Big Sandford fan - Lucas has become an acquaintance of sorts - in fact, I think I know more about him and his life than most of the folks I see every day. And that's a good thing, but it also means that since I like him, I cannot be fair and even-handed in my review so my only advice to anyone reading this review who has never read a Lucas Davenport novel is to skip back to the beginning and read the first Davenport and move forward in order. If you like the first one, you'll like this one.

One thing that Sandford does well is to make the horrific seem "business as usual" for Lucas and his partners. The contrast of the midwestern charm of Minnesota and the vile crimes is part of what makes these novels work - the "banality of evil" theme is ever-present.

So if you are a long-time fan of Sandford, this one will work for you. If you're new to his work, go back and read "Rules of Prey" and move on from there. You'll be glad you did.
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on May 15, 2014
What happened to my smart charming Lucas Davenport?? I've always felt that Lucas Davenport was one of the top five detectives in fiction novels (for me anyway), but clearly this was not his brightest moment. What annoyed the hell out of me is that when Lucas sat down with his informant, he gave him 3 names. Two were investigated immediately and the other one (who was the killer) was just ignored. Does John sandford want us to believe that smart competent Davenport dropped the ball on something this big? That he just chose to ignore a potential lead for the hell of it. Please don't insult the intelligence of your reader by leaving big gaping holes your story. This book was looonngg, not in page numbers but in me struggling to get through while trying to hold on to my respect for Lucas Davenport and the BCA.
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VINE VOICEon June 22, 2016
John Sandford has done it again with Field of Prey. A suspenseful quick paced book about a serial killer with Lucas Davenport helping with the investigation. As in other Prey novels, the characters are well developed and you seem to get in to their minds. A plus for the Prey novels is the familiarity of Lucas Davenport and his family and his friends/coworkers who work with him. We see them grow and develop from novel to novel and picking one of John Sandford's Prey novels is like reading a Christmas letter from an old friend. You know who they are and are very familiar with them. They add to the novel with their own personalities which make the Prey novels such a success.
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on August 16, 2016
John Sandford's characters come to life on each and every page (Who wouldn't love Lucas Davenport?). The suspense, the twists and the unpredictability along with the expected, make the story believable, enjoyable and readable. I have read each and every novel in his Kidd, Davenport and Flowers series. I impatiently await each release each year to continue to follow my beloved characters. Although "Prey" is a long running series, a person would not be required to start at the beginning to read any of the novels. Reading them out of order may not be as enjoyable but it would still be possible. (It was actually how I started, being given a copy of Certain Prey and went back and started at the beginning, learned of the other series and quickly collected every book) This book, Field of Prey, is well written, well plotted and I give it five stars. Now Mr. Sandford, are you opening the door for a series for Letty? Could we be so fortunate?
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on May 17, 2014
Unlike what some people say about Lee Child or James Patterson, John Sandford DOES WRITE HIS OWN BOOKS!! Please, anyone who has read all the Lucas Davenport books more than once like I have, will recognize John Sandford's writing style, HUMOR, and characterizations!!! Also, his books are always QUALITY and FEEL-GOOD!!! I may be biased.....I don't think so.....I don't know John Sandford......but his character, Lucas Davenport, is my favorite character of all time!!

That "~~~~ing Flowers" is amazing, also, in his Virgil Flowers books.

Now that we have that out of the way, I have to say I've enjoyed this book as much as Sandford's other books. His Lucas Davenport books stand alone, go back a long way, and are really more fun to read them in order. One of the things I like most about these stories is the complexity of the hunt and the humor. In "Field of Prey", the text about Layton having his first sexual encounter with his girlfriend, Ginger, is hysterically funny!! Genius funny!!

That's all you need to know, as I am sure that some of the other reviews have told you EVERYTHING about this book. For thrills, suspense, and fun, you really want to read this book and all the others by John Sandford.
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on June 7, 2014
I felt "Field of Prey" was not as good as his other Lucas Davenport novels. It was too gory for too long into the novel. There were glaring discrepancies. For instance--a 17year old kid would never be allowed at a bloody crime scene investigation in real life. Davenport got 3 names of possible criminals capable of these crimes from the guy who owned the firing range, but he only checked out 2 of them. The one he didn't check was the mass murderer. A smart investigator like Catrin would be unlikely to be stupid enough to open the door to the murderer right after he had called her. His message was that there was another body at the black hole. If that was indeed the case, the person was already dead, so why charge out the door right into the murderer's arms. At that point it should have occurred to someone, or to Catrin herself that she was his type, and to use extreme caution. There were other examples. All in all the plot was not well thought out. I was disappointed.
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on May 20, 2014
Got to agree with others. Not sure if Mr. Camp wrote this all himself or if he had help. There were flashes of Sandford but Lucas has turned into Alan Alda. He wasn't as sharp, wasn't as sure of himself, and the usual cop culture/humor was missing. There was just enough to keep me reading, but I didn't stay up all night to finish as I used to. Big holes in the plot. Fairly early on there was enough info on suspect that Barney Fife would have been on the trail, never mind a bunch of squared away cops and Davenport. I mean come on, there's one hardware store in town, the suspects name is provided early on as a lead, and nobody follows up on it? I'm still not sure why Del and Flowers kept coming up. They were distractions. I also agree with others about the whole guilt thing Lucas develops with a nut job that ends the book. What the heck is that there for? Is Sandford trying for depth and sensitivity in Lucas at this stage of the game? If so, then be kind to the readers and retire him or kill him off in fitting fashion.

Been a Sandford fan since the first book and have read every one, many of them twice. Hundreds of hours of enjoyment reading and I'm grateful. Money well spent. But, after the last few, the anticipation of a new Sandford release is worn off a bit. Guess that is what happens when you knock it out of the park time after time. The expectation is that you'll keep doing it. Probably not fair, but there you go.
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