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Hidden Prey Mass Market Paperback – April 26, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 294 customer reviews
Book 15 of 26 in the Prey Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Det. Lucas Davenport has battled some real demons over the past 15 Prey novels and drifted in and out of lust and love with a host of women. But now he's happily married to the lovely Weather; has a nine-month-old son, Sam; and takes care of his 12-year-old ward, Letty West. Sure, he's got a measure of the old angst, but he's growing accustomed to the good life, spending quality time alone on the couch drinking beer and watching TV golf. His new job is running the Office of Regional Research at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension where he looks into various crimes and "fixes shit" for the governor. So when a dead Russian shows up on the docks in Duluth, Lucas is assigned to shepherd the lady investigator, Nadya Kalin, being sent by the Russian government. From the very first pages, the reader knows it's teenager Carl Walther who has killed the Russian. What makes the book intriguing is the manner in which the sagacious Davenport goes about uncovering the rest of the co-conspirators-a gang of Minnesota-based Communist spies headed by Carl's grandpa, 92-year-old ex-KGB colonel Burt Walther. That Sandford makes this unlikely plot believable is a mark of his mastery of the technical aspects of the mystery form and a testament to his overall writing skills. Readers will be pleased with this relaxed version of the moody Minneapolis investigator. In past novels, the womanizing Davenport would have romanced the good-looking Russian lady, but the new Davenport is content to play the part of friend and protector and go back to his cozy family with an unstained and remarkably contented soul.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

A Russian sailor is the victim of a professional assassination on the docks of Duluth. Wary of international implications, the governor of Minnesota asks Lucas Davenport, the chief investigator for the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, to investigate. Major Nadezhda Kalin, a representative of Russian law enforcement, assists Davenport. The murder may be linked to the remnants of a dormant Soviet Union network established between the world wars but forgotten by the motherland. The descendants of the original network members have all melded into the American mainstream. Davenport and Kalin pursue the case through the rural mining towns of northern Minnesota even as they become the targets of the shadowy assassin. The sixteenth Prey novel is less harrowing and not as dark as many of its predecessors. It's also more humorous--even the suicide of a key character is accompanied by a sly, graveyard one-liner--with deft Davenport observations on the curious behavior of the opposite sex in general and on Russian women in particular. Similarities to previous Prey thrillers: high entertainment value; deftly rendered characterizations; and clever, believable dialogue. Expect another best-seller and stock up accordingly. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Prey (Book 15)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (April 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425199606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425199602
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've read all of Sandford's previous PREY novels as well as his KIDD novels; at this point, the KIDD novels, particularly the last two offerings, are easily the better reads, in my opinion. While the PREY novels are noted for simple yet intriguing storylines, HIDDEN PREY goes the opposite direction. Sandford decides to take an improbable storyline, a rather complex one at that, and tones down our hero, Lucas Davenport. In the end, this makes for a very apathetic read, particularly if you've enjoyed the sharp edge of Davenport in novels past.
HIDDEN PREY begins with the murder of a Russian merchant marine, or so it seems. Soon thereafter, a homeless woman is garroted, the site extremely gruesome. What appears to be two unrelated murders turns into an apparent murder/cover-up and Lucas Davenport is called in to begin an investigation. Lucas is partnered with a Russian "police officer," sent over by Moscow to oversee the investigation of the murdered Russian. Lucas smells a rat immediately and, throughout the book, peppers the Russian officer for information and "why" she's truly there.
So as not to spoil the remaining plot...Sandford is obviously sending Davenport through middle age. He is mellowing Lucas and dulling his previously sharp edge. And, while this may follow the chronology of 15 previous PREY novels (i.e. Lucas aging), it is not why most people read fiction. Although there are bursts of brutality and violence, the vast majority of the book traces the witness/suspect interrogation lines and a painfully slow amalgamation of puzzle pieces in an effort to solve the crimes. And, not to counteract the lack of suspense, even the climax fails to thrill.
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Format: Hardcover
We're admittedly big Sandford fans, having enjoyed the entire preceeding set of "Prey" adventures (and his "Kidd" books as well) starring Lucas Davenport. Promoted to a position where he works on anything with political overtones at the behest of the Minnesota governor (no, not that one!), Lucas is soon embroiled with the murder of a Russian stranger down at the docks, and in escorting Nadya, an "investigator" (read, spy) sent over from Russia to look into the matter. Her presence adds both a great deal of suspense to the story, as we're never quite sure whether she's "legit" or not, as well as many funny lines as she puzzles over American colloquialisms.
We readers soon know the shooter is young Carl, grandson of Grandpa Walther, a communist spy who has been running a ring of families engaged in Russian "assistance" in northern Minnesota for some six decades!! A clever analyst and fearless assassin in his own right, he's teaching teenager Carl the tricks of the trade, including heartless executions. So while there's no doubt whodunit, not to mention some more murders along the way, the clues and hunches Lucas pursues to uncover the spy ring and the killer keep the novel moving at a fun pace. A slightly moralistic twist at the end even gives one pause for thought about truth and justice.
It's surprising Sandford can keep these characters and stories fresh after some 16 or so in this series. While Lucas has settled down with wife Weather, and young son and adopted daughter (who got barely more than a mention), he is still a smart and clever fellow and one whose success we care about.
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Format: Hardcover
Picking up six months after "Naked Prey" the series continues with Lucas Davenport still with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BAC). Officially, he runs the Office of Regional Research within the BAC. Unofficially, he is the Governor's man for sticky problems where the worlds of politics and crime intersect. The murder of a Russian on the shores of Lake Superior has fast become a political problem and Davenport's talents are needed.
The dead man has finally been identified as Rodion Oleshev and he was shot three times-once in the heart and twice in the forehead. He died two weeks ago on a concrete slab next to a grain elevator on the shores of Lake Superior one night. The death of what apparently was at one time a KGB agent has become a major political problem. The dead man, not only was still a spy, but also was the son of a very high-ranking person in the Oil Ministry in Russia. The father has talked to Putin and the Russian Embassy has contacted the State Department. The ball has rolled downhill gathering steam and urgency and now Rose Marie Roux, Davenport's longtime boss, is handling the issue to Davenport. The Russians are sending someone to oversee the investigation and review it. Rose Marie wants Davenport to make sure that everything that could be done has been done and to make sure the Russian is happy. Send the Russian back home satisfied and make everyone look good, especially the BAC, because yet another budgetary cutback is in store for the new agency.
Davenport begins to investigate while awaiting the arrival of the Russian by talking to the Feds. The FBI is running the investigation, not as a homicide but as an intelligence operation trying to uncover possible Russian deep cover assets in the area.
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