I love books!
Like some other series I've come across, I discovered John Sandford and his Lucas Davenport series many books into the series. I think I came across an Audible sale where I got this first book in the series on the cheap and thought why not go back to the beginning? It was entertaining and I'm glad I did. I don't really think of Minnesota the land of serial killers but it is an interesting setting. I'm sure I'll pick up a few more in the series before it's all said and done.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
This is definitely not my favorite Lucas Davenport book, but since it is the first, that is to be expected. The plot is a little more straight ahead and simple and Lucas lacks the human complexity which he develops later in the series. Nonetheless, it was good to check in at the beginning of the series to get some context. And the story movss along well enough and has enough of Sandford's trademark gritty texture and local flavor to make it worth the read. He has come a long way since these early days.
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.
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.
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.
I wanted to like this book much more than I did. Living in the Twin Cities it's fun to hear places referenced that you know. The killer is an interesting one, but this early Lucas is an underdeveloped caricature, and at least in the 1st half the cops proceed on the bizarre assumption that a serial killer who rapes and kills women would be gay. Yes the book was written in the late 80's, but even for then it's strange. Narration was O.K.
Long commutes have turned me into a dedicated Audible fan. Looking at my stats I can't believe I have 825 titles in my Library.
Davenport's earlier years when he was a freewheeling Police Lt and very much a ladies man. Good stuff although pretty profane.
A good, fast paced novel. The main character is a modern hero, cool dresser, Porsche, ladies man. The final chapters are very satisfying as he brings the case to a definate conclusion, one we all would like to see more often in real life I am sure. Definately movie material. More please.