- Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; Reprint edition (August 2, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425205819
- ISBN-13: 978-0425205815
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,184 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rules of Prey (Lucas Davenport, No. 1) Mass Market Paperback – August 2, 2005
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Praise for John Sandford’s Prey novels
“Relentlessly swift...genuinely suspenseful...excellent.”—Los Angeles Times
“Sandford is a writer in control of his craft.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“Excellent...compelling...everything works.”—USA Today
“Grip-you-by-the-throat thrills...a hell of a ride.”—Houston Chronicle
“Crackling, page-turning tension...great scary fun.”—The New York Daily News
“Enough pulse-pounding, page-turning excitement to keep you up way past bedtime.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“One of the most engaging characters in contemporary fiction.”—Detroit News
“Positively chilling.”—St. Petersburg Times
“Just right for fans of The Silence of the Lambs.”—Booklist
“One of the most horrible villains this side of Hannibal.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Ice-pick chills...excruciatingly tense...a double-pumped roundhouse of a thriller.”—Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
John Sandford is the pseudonym for the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist John Camp. He is the author of twenty-six Prey novels, most recently Extreme Prey; four Kidd novels; nine Virgil Flowers novels; three YA novels coauthored with his wife, Michele Cook; and three stand-alones, most recently Saturn Run.
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A serial killer makes the “rules”
The first surprise in this series about a cop who always gains the upper hand is that the “rules” of the title are not Davenport’s creation but the taunting challenges of a twisted serial killer. Davenport, a detective lieutenant in the Minneapolis Police Department, has already achieved a reputation as the smartest detective in town. (His senior job at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension lies somewhere in his future.) Davenport has a wide network of informants throughout the city, gained during years as a vice cop, and the chief of police holds him in high esteem. He seems to get whatever he wants — but it’s not enough to catch the brutal serial murderer who leaves numbered notes on his victims spelling out the “rules” he follows to avoid capture.
How a serial hero came to be
In an introduction to the Kindle edition, Sandford tells the diverting tale of how he turned to writing fiction to escape his increasingly tedious work as a newspaper reporter. (NB: he was no slouch. Sandford had won a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.) Rules of Prey was actually his second novel. He wrote it after his agent suggested, having sold his first, that he might be able to earn a living writing crime fiction. However, Sandford notes, “When I wrote Rules, it never really occurred to me that this one guy, Lucas Davenport, was going to be a second career for me.” But it’s not hard to see how this superior murder mystery gained the success on which he could build that career.
The Lucas Davenport in Rules of Prey bears some resemblance to the more mature man who appears in the later novels, but there are differences. Here, Davenport beds practically every attractive woman who crosses his path, quite in contrast to the securely married man of the later novels. He is also a bad-ass, and when he breaks the rules, it’s not just to wave a fist at feckless bureaucrats but to act out in ways that should get him arrested. As Sandford notes, “Cops don’t act like Lucas Davenport [in Rules of Prey] — they’d be fired or even imprisoned if they did. They aren’t rich, they don’t drive Porsches, most could give a rat’s ass about fashion. Lucas Davenport does all that.” However, though he does already drive a Porsche, Davenport in Rules is working hard, nights and weekends, to earn the fortune that gives him the independence he flaunts in the later novels.