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Publisher's Summary

The "maddog" murderer who is terrorizing the Twin Cities is two things: insane and extremely intelligent. He kills for the pleasure of it and thoroughly enjoys placing elaborate obstacles to keep police befuddled. Each clever move he makes is another point of pride. But when the brilliant Lieutenant Lucas Davenport, a dedicated cop and a serial killer's worst nightmare, is brought in to take up the investigation, the maddog suddenly has an adversary worthy of his genius.
©1989 John Sandford (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"A police procedural as effective as it is brutal." (Publishers Weekly) "Sleek and nasty...a big, scary suspenseful read." (Stephen King)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • D
  • corona, ca United States
  • 08-31-11

I love this series

John Sandford Prey series is awesome but If your like me I have read/listened to a few out of order; it's really no big deal but here is the list in order just in case anyone wants to know:
. 1. Rules of Prey (1989)
2. Shadow Prey (1990)
3. Eyes of Prey (1991)
4. Silent Prey (1992)
5. Winter Prey (1993)
6. Night Prey (1994)
7. Mind Prey (1995)
8. Sudden Prey (1996)
9. Secret Prey (1998)
10. Certain Prey (1999)
11. Easy Prey (2000)
12. Chosen Prey (2001)
13. Mortal Prey (2002)
14. Naked Prey (2003)
15. Hidden Prey (2004)
16. Broken Prey (2005)
17. Invisible Prey (2007)
18. Phantom Prey (2008)
19. Wicked Prey (2009)
20. Storm Prey (2010)
21. Buried Prey (forthcoming, early 2011)

217 of 227 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Smart Start to a Series

I'm always looking for a new author of thrillers that I like, and I'm super picky. I need it to be psychologically gripping and this book had me. I liked it that we got in the mind of the killer, and it was a good police procedural. The womanizing was slightly annoying, and I hated the pregnant girlfriend, but I'm hoping she doesn't last through the whole series. But those were such a small part of the book they didn't really make me like the book less, and hey, he offset that with a nun for a friend. Overall very interesting and I'll keep reading this series.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 12-24-09

Later Davenport is better

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.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Gail
  • Effingham, SC, United States
  • 10-23-11

Clipped Recording

I enjoyed the book but, like Ron (Oct 14, 2009), was taken aback when, at the end of each chapter, the last word/words of the chapter were cut short by an over zealous editor, who, instead of completing the current chapter, chose to introduce the next chapter early. This may not be a issue for some, but I savor every word of the books to which I listen.

Good customer service suggests that this book be pulled from circulation, remastered without the clipping at the end of chapters and provided to those who paid their cash or utilized their credits for the faulty recording. After all, we specifically chose an UNABRIDGED recording, not one abridged by an editor's anxious hand. Ron's review is dated 2009. Shame on you, Audible, for not pulling the faulty recording before now, fall 2011. I am not suggesting that we "get something for nothing". I just propose that we "get what we paid for".

108 of 123 people found this review helpful

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  • adrienne
  • EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States
  • 05-21-13

Lucas Davenport vs Mad Dog

This is another “try something new” purchase for me. It is a decent listen. However, it is predictable with a formulaic bad guy terrorizing the cities, the need to identify him, and the chase to bring him to justice.

Lucas Davenport is a loner detective that doesn’t follow all the rules, but “catches” the evil doer. His personal life, loves, and interests make him unique character.

I always enjoy Richard Ferrone as a narrator.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 12-07-11

This Works

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Barry
  • Katy, TX, United States
  • 03-31-08

The first and the best

This first novel in his "Prey" series in still the best. You get a look into the life and mind of the serial killer and an introduction to Lucas Davenport. Narration is well done, and the story moves very fast. Sandford's knowledge of police and detective procedures is incredible. And it gives his "Prey" books more plausibility than other books of the genre.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful

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A First of Many Prey

These 'Prey' stories are a little addictive. Over the top Lucus starts his jouney here. That is why I downloaded this audiobook.
He does not need the money. He loves dressing well and women. And he is a detective of sorts. Serial killer yarns, with graphic detail, are not light listening. The stories do get better as John Sandford finds his stride in the later stories.
Apart from from following the development of Sandford's writing. there is not a lot to recommend in 'Rules of Prey'.
Some of his stories are better than others. Ferrone reads well. For your credit I suggest starting later in the series of Prey. They are stand alone stories. And Lucus Davenport is a curious character.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Stevon
  • Tempe, AZ, United States
  • 03-12-12

the first prey

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.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Best of the best

John Sandford is just about the best crime/thriller writer I've read. And Richard Ferrone, as a narrator, brings the 'Prey' series of books to life like no other narrator can.

A great audiobook experience. Better than reading the book. Better than watching a movie.

Now lets have more of the series made available on Audible!

17 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • JohnA
  • 05-26-06

One of the best I have heard

The difficulty with an audio book is judging which authors will come across well in a slightly different medium. I have explored widely and despite thrillers being my prefered reading,in audio I have until now prefered ancient history. This book was however very well paced and involving at just the right level. Perhaps not a great book but certainly a great listen and kept me involved for the full 12 hours.
My only problem is that I cannot now find another although Sandford has written an entire series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • ThePuss
  • 01-30-08

An excellent listen for Sandford fans

Being a 'Prey' fan for many years I was delighted to find this on Audible. It used to be difficult to get the books in the UK but that has changed. Now if only Audible UK can make it easier to get audio versions (as the US site has at least a half a dozen titles).

This is quite a long unabridged version, but the reader (Ferrone) is excellent. I don't think I've ever come across an audio reader who has made the novel sound exactly like I felt it should - given that I have read most of the other books in the Prey series myself.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anthony
  • 01-25-07

rules of prey

This is one of the only 'prey' books i have not yet listened to, and i wasn't disappointed. Its just a pity there is only this book by John Sandford on the UK site. The 'PREY' series in my opinion are well written crime thrillers,and come across on audio very well thanks to a good narrator Richard Ferrone,who does the book justice. Sandford sets out with good pace an keeps you mainly wondering what twists the criminals will take and how 'Davenport' will eventually catch them. Once into the story its hard to turn it off as you want to know what will happen next.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Tillers
  • 03-11-15

Awesome !!!

The story had me riveted, could not wait to have an opportunity to listen to some more. loved the narrator