Lucas Davenport is a police detective who creates computer video games in his spare time. He makes a lot of money. He drives a Porche. He dresses well. The ladies like him. His childhood friend is a psychologist nun who provides profiling information.
Louis Vullion is a serial killer attorney referred to as maddog. He kills women. He stalks, plans, attacks, ties them to a bed, rapes, and then stabs them in the heart. He leaves notes on the bodies stating different rules about killing. For example: never keep a weapon after using it.
This is a police procedural murder mystery suspense thriller. The main character Lucas is a police investigator and part vigilante. He breaks the law more than once to see that his version of justice is done. Although Lucas is shown to be very smart about all of this and does some smart things, the other cops and strange circumstances create “incredible luck” for the killer. One cop turned a corner too quickly accidentally squealing his tires which alerted the killer to get away. Another cop didn’t know his turn signal light was broken, so the killer was able to detect that he was being followed. They had a radio transmitter on the killer’s car, so why did the broken-light-cop-car have to follow the killer so closely and for so long? Not well done. About a dozen different things happened during the book which were simply “luck” helping the killer. There is one scene I would describe as “a perfect storm of bad luck and police incompetence.” I don’t mind occasional luck causing unusual things to happen, but here luck was a primary element for almost every single event. The events were predictable. Nothing surprised me.
Lucas is sleeping with two different women during the book, one woman one day and another the next. A third one wants to sleep with him, but he has requirements. She’s not smart enough. The main love interest Jennifer was selfish, smart, manipulative, and dishonest. She used whatever means necessary to get information out of Lucas and then broadcast it. She was a reporter. Without his knowledge or consent she tricked him into getting her pregnant. After suffering from her deceptions, he keeps talking to her and doing things for her as if nothing is wrong. Toward the end Jennifer didn’t require marriage, but she demanded that Lucas be faithful to her for two years because of the pregnancy, so she could pretend they were married. After that he could return to his bachelor ways and she would pretend they were divorced. He shrugs ok. Does this appeal to guys? Where is his spine? He appears to go along with whatever women want of him. I don’t mind having weak or negative female characters in a story. But somehow all of this felt like it was written for guys, appealing to their egos, identifying with Lucas - smart, lots of money, and lots of women wanting him. I didn’t enjoy the female characters. It didn’t help that the one female character that I thought was ok, Carla, later did something stupid putting herself in danger.
On balance, it kept my interest to know what would happen. But I wasn’t drawn to the characters. I wasn’t surprised or delighted. I didn’t smile. I was annoyed with the excessive use of luck, stupidity, and incompetence to move the plot.
The narrator Richard Ferrone was fine, but the editing was bad. At the end of each chapter, the last syllable in the last sentence was cut off by the narrator saying “chapter 3” or whatever the number it was. The editor needed to leave at least a half of a second pause before saying “chapter x.” At times I wondered if more than part of the last word was being cut off.
This is the first book in the Lucas Davenport series. There are at least 21 more.
Loved it. We are hooked on Lucas Davenport. Great extra by John Stanford. Audible works great.
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
Lucas Davenport is intelligent, macho, rich, and irresistible to women… a character strength and flaw. In other words, he’s the fantasy cop-character for guys who want to swagger away from a nasty adventure, just skirting the law, with knuckles sore from colliding with bad-guys’ multiply broken bones. If you want all of that manly-stuff in a thriller that usefully fast paced: This book works.
Richard Ferrone's voice is exactly right to capture the grit of Rules of Prey.
If you like John Sandford's character, Lucas Davenport, you'll like this book. It's not his best, but it's good. The narrator does an adequate job (although he's not so good doing women) so it's the story itself that gets the stars in this book(and I confess to being something of a Davenport fan for many years. This is the first one I have listened to, however, rather than read.)
The "Mad Dog" character is not just a convenient bad guy; he is drawn with depth and is believably gruesome, intelligent and seriously scary. He is also an excellent foil for Davenport, who is an unconventional cop in several ways. I won't give anything away, but I will say that he has been drawn with both interesting "baggage" and believable but intriguing "advantages" and this story puts them to excellent use.
I liked this book from the beginning. As it progressed, I thought that my iPod was skipping(something it never does). The last word of each chapter is clipped by the announcement of the next chapter. It jarred me so that by the middle of the book, I was taken out of the story each time it occurred. Audible should remaster the recording, giving it some breathing room between chapters to fix this sloppy error, as the book and the narrator are four-star material.
Good, economical, life-like writing, very well narrated. The only annoying aspect was a number of pop-culture references which I thought were "so 80s". Only later I learned the book actually was written in 1988. So, what's happening? Why is it the only one available of the obviously marvellous series? Please give more soon!
I thought that Rules of Prey was a good book and that Sandford is a good writer. However, listening to an audio book is quite different than reading a book. Having to listen to so much foul language made the audio book hard on the ears. I might choose to read his books in the future, but I don't think I'll buy another audio book from him.
I just finished this one, because I believe it's the first Lucas Davenport book and I wanted to start a new series but not in the middle. I'm not sure it's necessary to read them all but I'm looking forward to reading more. Even though the book was written in 1988 it was "dated" enough to matter and I'm glad I started from the beginning. The narrator is not great, esp. on the female voices, which all sounded really whiny, but he isn't bad enough to ruin the audio book.
I had finished all the Harry Bosch books and looking for another series to fill my time. I was put on to Sanford and his main guy, Davenport. I found this story very slow, especially in the middle and had a hard time getting to the end. Ive heard great things about Sandford so I think Im going to give him another try, it just wont be listening. This narrator made my top 10 list of bad narrators. You could not tell which character was speaking because he had one voice. The good narrators have a different voice for each of the main characters. This guy was pretty bad.