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Naked Prey Hardcover – May 12, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 330 customer reviews
Book 14 of 26 in the Prey Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When twelve-year-old muskrat trapper Letty West stumbles on the naked bodies of Jane Warr and Deon Cash, deep in the snowy woods of northern Minnesota, it's more than another bizarre episode in her already unusual life, as Lucas Davenport discovers in this new outing in Sandford's popular series featuring the midwestern lawman who moonlights as a computer game designer. Lucas has a new wife, a new baby, and a new job as a political troubleshooter for his old boss Rose Marie Roux, but the blunt-spoken Davenport's instructions to hush the racially charged implications of what looks suspiciously like a lynching won't deter him from whomever left Warr and Cash twisting in the wind. The well-peopled plot, involving a hot car ring, an ex-nun who smuggles cancer drugs over the Canadian border, and the usual internecine wranglings between the FBI, the local cops, and Davenport, races to a satisfying denouement, but this time it's a little girl with a difficult past and an uncertain future who lingers in the reader's mind. Fortunately, Sandford comes up with an ending that makes it all but certain that his fans will meet her again. Meanwhile, all the author's usual trademarks are on display--excellent writing, an interesting scenario, and terrific pacing. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Sandford gets back to basics in this stellar 14th installment of his hugely popular Prey series, focusing on the long-standing duo of Davenport and Capslock. As the novel begins, the indomitable Lucas Davenport (now happily married, a contented father and bored out of his mind) is slogging through the northern tundra of Broderick, Minn., to inspect the naked dangling corpses of a white woman and black man ("They were frozen. Like Popsicles.") that have shocked the locals as well as Minnesota's governor with the ugly specter of a lynching. Davenport, now more or less a free agent for the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension ("I kick people's asses"), is unleashed by the governor, giving Davenport and his scruffy sidekick, Del Capslock, a chance to escape their square city lives and catch the villain(s) while staving off the media vultures, Sandford's trademark subplot. As in previous novels, the original crime (rendered in a truly horrific opening sequence) is merely the gateway to a deeper, more insidious criminal enterprise, this one an international labyrinth of stolen cars, drugs, gambling and kidnapping. Some truly vicious familial machinations in the small town contrast well with Davenport's staid and stable home life. Another pleasant surprise is the precocious Letty West, whose awakening teenage sensibilities make an impression on Davenport. Sandford's usual background details (readers will learn how to run a muskrat trapline and how an Indian casino operates) are deftly woven into the fabric. This latest installment in a series now a decade and a half old is vintage Sandford.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Prey
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (May 12, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399150439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399150432
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (330 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #474,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Quido VINE VOICE on June 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
with another entry in his fine "Prey" series, a group of books centered on Lucas Davenport, "the richest cop in Minnesota" (rich because he also designs video games).
Sandford set the stage for change at the conclusion of his last book, letting the reader percolate on what would be the differences in Lucas when he becomes an active father, and when he leaves the police department for a quasi-bureaucratic governmental position in a new state department headed by his old boss, Rose Marie Roux. Wisely, although Sandford went forward with these changes, the impact was streamlined by having 90% of the book's action happen in rural northern Minnesota, in the fictional small town of Broderick. Family man Lucas still has his best sidekick, Del, gainfully employed with him -- and married or not, he still can spot and appreciate a great looking woman. Some things never change!
The first two murders may be motivated by racial hatred - one victim is black, and his significant other is white...they are found brutally slain and hanging from a barren tree in the frosty Minnesota winter. There's so much odd and unusual "stuff" going on in Broderick, it's difficult for Lucas & Del to pin down the any information about the murders, and the killings continue.
Sandford manages to deftly interweave his social viewpoints -- his lack of respect for the media, his vague unsettlement with the way that federal, state and local authorities sometimes impede each other to solve a case that has generated media attention, and most importantly, his support of a little known grass roots campaign that is quietly smuggling prescription drugs from Canada to US patients who need and can't afford them.
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By A Customer on May 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A lot has changed for Lucas Davenport in the last year. He married the love of his life Weather and they have an infant son and have moved into a new home with a separate apartment for the nanny/housekeeper. Rose Marie Roux is still Lucas's boss but she is now the Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner and Lucas reports directly to her and the governor as the Director in the Office of Regional Studies which is a part of The Bureau of Criminal Apprehensions.
Lucas gets the police cases that the local departments are not equipped to deal with or are political hot potatoes. His latest case involves a white woman and a black man hung by a rope to a tree and strangled to death. Lucas doesn't take long to identify the killer but when he goes to arrest him, he finds someone already murdered the perpetrator and his wife. Lucas returns to the small Northern Minnesota town of Broderick to find another killer but he doesn't realize that the small bucolic town is a cesspool of crime and corruption, a place where his homicide is interrelated to a series of other felonious acts.
There is nobody who writes a police procedural better than John Sandford. His plots are so complex that readers find themselves unable to put the book down until the last page is turned and all the loose ends are sewn up. NAKED PREY is one of the best novels in the series because the hero has undergone some radical changes both in his personal and professional life and that keeps the series fresh. This is a must read for fans of cop thrillers.
Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
NAKED PREY is the thirteenth of John Sandford's Lucas Davenport mysteries, the thirteenth in thirteen years actually. The series has had its ups and, around WINTER PREY or NIGHT PREY, downs, but for the most part, Sandford has written consistently tight, suspenseful thrillers about the Minnesota police investigator who styles himself quite accurately as the state's richest cop. Nothing that has come before, however, will prepare Sandford's and Davenport's former and current fans for NAKED PREY.
NAKED PREY is far and away Sandford's best, a novel that succeeds on so many levels that it will leave readers shaking their heads in wonder. It begins and ends with brutal murders --- the first is a puzzle and the last is a given, but both are ultimately satisfying. What occurs in between --- the plotting, the characterization, the pacing --- will make you wish that NAKED PREY was twice as long.
NAKED PREY finds Davenport comfortably ensconced in a position known as "Director --- Office of Regional Studies," which in turn is part of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). Davenport reports directly to his old boss, former Minneapolis police chief Rose Marie Roux, and through her to the governor. Davenport's job is to fix things (the actual terminology that Sandford employs is a bit more, uh, graphic than that) when a crime on the local level becomes too complicated or touchy.
When a black man and white woman are found dead, victims of an apparent lynching in upstate Minnesota, the call goes out to Davenport to get the job done. Davenport and his running partner, Del Capslock, are soon in the tiny town of Broderick in rural Custer County investigating the deaths, and lives, of Jane Warr and Deon Cash.
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