The extraordinary new Lucas Davenport thriller from number-one New York Times best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner John Sandford.
The night after the fourth of July, Layton Carlson, Jr., of Red Wing, Minnesota, finally got lucky. And unlucky.
He’d picked the perfect spot to lose his virginity to his girlfriend, an abandoned farmyard in the middle of cornfields: nice, private, and quiet. The only problem was...something smelled bad - like, really bad. He mentioned it to a county deputy he knew, and when the cop took a look, he found a body stuffed down a cistern. And then another, and another.
By the time Lucas Davenport was called in, the police were up to 15 bodies and counting. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, when Lucas began to investigate, he made some disturbing discoveries of his own. The victims had been killed over a great many years, one every summer, regular as clockwork. How could this have happened without anybody noticing?
Because one thing was for sure: The killer had to live close by. He was probably even someone they saw every day....
©2014 John Sanford (P)2014 Penguin Audio
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 14-year-old daughter.
What I like about the Prey series is John Sandford's ability to continually create some pretty evil guys. He doesn't disappoint in this installment with the really oily dynamic duo of Horn and R-A. Neither of them have anything even resembling a redeeming social value. They are perfect bad guys. Sanford also introduces a new character, who I hope will appear in upcoming installments. Catrin Mattsson had a baptism of fire in this novel and is deserving of a Virgil Flowers kind of spinoff. I hope we at least see her in future Prey offerings. Finally, Richard Ferrone made this story come to life with his dead-on vocal interpretations. A musician could read music and lyrics from a new song and have an idea of what the finished product would sound like. But hearing the instrumentation and vocals would, for most of us, make for a better experience. Same goes with Audible books. Reading them would be fun but listening to them is much better. And with a narrator like Ferrone, the experience is kicked up a notch. A five-star winner. Keep 'em coming.
I like virtually everything that Sanford writes but certain parts of this story are pretty brutal. Unless you like reading about folks like the BTK killer, you might want to consider passing on this one. On the plus side, Davenport and Letty are as sharp as ever.
I have been reading/listening to the Prey novels since their beginning, back in the eighties, and for me, this was the most engrossing, the most maddening of them all. The whole novel felt like that exciting point that all the Lucas Davenport novels move toward, when all the figuring, all the questioning, all the digging suddenly starts to reveal what is what and who is who, and the action becomes a mad dash or avalanche towards the uncertain and usually pretty dicey ending. I guess one thing that made me feel that from the very beginning was the action of a very strong female character, responding to being attacked bound, and driven off into the night. I felt truly exhilarated by this beginning, and I rarely lost that sense of involvement, as the action and characters developed throughout, "Field of Prey."
I have always found that Sandford creates strong and complex women in his Prey books, and they are even stronger in this one. His daughter, Letty, in particular, is so enjoyable in this installment, that I am now hoping she completes her time at Stamford and comes back to the twin cities, to work with Lucas, a lot sooner than four years from now. I admit it, I have to remind myself, now and then, that these people are not real, I have been reading about them for so long. Yes, all the gang are here: Dell, Virgil, Sandy, Lucas's childhood friend, the psychologist nun, and of course, those responsible for something like twenty years worth of the disappearances and murders of young blonde women.The familiar voice of Richard Ferrone , with its tough guy edge, always adds to my enjoyment. Whoever chose him for the Prey series created a perfect marriage.
When I listen to the decisions Lucas makes, unaware of the big picture that Sandford shares with us, I feel like a kid at the matinee, wanting to shout out, "What the hell are you doing? Turn around; do not go home before you question that creep!" I say no more. No spoilers here. Oh yes, I loved this installment of Sandford's Prey series. What a great read!
The story did not develop any real suspense after the discovery of bodies in well. The characters were not interesting.
He was fine
I will try other books from John Sandford because I do think he's a great author.
I usually love John Sandford--I have most of his books in both hard copy and audible form. But this one just didn't satisfy my. The plot just didn't seem as developed as usual. It felt rushed and very surface in nature. It felt more like a way to set up a spin off for a book about Letty than an in-depth Davenport thriller. I don't want to spoil the plot but felt a lot of the violence was more gratuitous than essential. All in all, a disappointment from one of my favorite authors.
Richard Ferrone's voice is an excellent match for this mystery. The grittiness and deep tones of his voice says "get ready, a mystery" is being told here." I enjoyed the novel. My first read of John Sanford and the Prey series. There were a couple of points where I thought the author went off in a weird way, ie, getting his daughter too involved, etc. But overall, the book held my attention until the very end even though we knew who the killer was about mid-way or so into the story. I am not sure if I'll read another of the Prey series (kinda long) but since I tend to like novels in a series, I may read another one because you can get to know the repeat characters better, I just might try one more to see if it is a go with John Sandford's Prey series, especially since Richard Ferrone will be narrating!
I'm hearing teacher voices
I agree with the reviewer who thought the character development was a little light, esp. for Investigator Mattsson. I did enjoy Letty going on the road with Lucas (maybe that 50 Shades of Grey spoof on 4/1/13 wasn't so spoofy after all). Plenty of the patented Sandford tricks and twists. Maybe there are just too many characters to visit in a single book anymore.
John (Camp) Sandford is about 70 now - I'm not too far behind. So I especially appreciated the old folks with the RV overflowing with full-auto.
As is the case each May, when the new one reaches The End, I listen to 4-5 oldies, luxuriate in Richard Ferrone's awesome performances, and wait impatiently for October and Virgil coming down my driveway with the boat trailer hitched to the back of the truck.
(PS: Thanks for not killing off you-know-who.)
I stopped listening half-way through another one of my favorite authors so I could start listening to "Field of Prey". I am not disappointed. I'm only part way in to the story and I am loving it already! I will pre-order any of John Sandford's books and hopefully Audible will keep Richard Ferrone as the narrator. There is no finer combination.
S. J. Swan
I started listening to the Prey series years ago on audio tapes because of the narrator. He's my favorite narrator of all time. I also have a secret crush on Lucas Davenport. The characters of this series are like my friends. This is one of the better books Sandford has written in the last few years. It brought me back to living this series again.
John Sandford writes good books. if you are new to his books and you like murder mysterys you will like these series. lods of "F***n' cussin' but if you can get past that you will like them.
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