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Mind Prey (Lucas Davenport Series #7)

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Overview

"Run for it." It was raining when psychiatrist Andi Manette left the parent-teacher conference with her two young daughters, and she was distracted. She barely noticed the red van parked near her, barely noticed the van door slide open as they dashed to the car. The last thing she did notice was the hand reaching out for her and the voice from out of the past - and then the three of them were gone. Hours later, Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport stood in the parking lot, a bloody shoe in his hand, the ground stained pink around him, and knew,
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Mind Prey (Lucas Davenport Series #7)

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Overview

"Run for it." It was raining when psychiatrist Andi Manette left the parent-teacher conference with her two young daughters, and she was distracted. She barely noticed the red van parked near her, barely noticed the van door slide open as they dashed to the car. The last thing she did notice was the hand reaching out for her and the voice from out of the past - and then the three of them were gone. Hours later, Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport stood in the parking lot, a bloody shoe in his hand, the ground stained pink around him, and knew, instinctively, that this would be one of the worst cases he'd ever been on. A man who could steal children . . . With an urgency born of dread, Lucas presses the attack, while in an isolated farmhouse, Andi Manette does the same, summoning all her skills to battle an obsessed captor. She knows the man who has taken her and her daughters, knows there is a chink in his armor, if only she can find it. But for both her and Davenport, time is already running out.

Detective Lucas Davenport knows he has met his match. For his newest nemesis is more intelligent--and more deadly--than any he has tracked before. A kidnapper. A violator. A pure, wanton killer who knows more about mind games than Lucas himself. "His seventh, and best, outing in the acclaimed Prey suspense series."--People.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Minneapolis PD Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport, seen last in Night Prey, carries on as a smart, quirky hero in the seventh ``Prey'' book. When psychiatrist Andi Manette and her two young daughters are kidnapped, Lucas must discover whether it's a ransom snatch, the work of one of Andi's ex-patients or the ruse of someone in her life who might benefit from her death. (Her father, stepmother, estranged husband and medical partner are all good suspects.) Readers know the kidnapper is John Mail, a scary ex-patient who's entertained nasty dreams of Andi for years. He enacts his violent sex fantasies with the imprisoned Andi; it seems only a matter of time before he will go after the girls. Lucas, meanwhile, draws on all available resources, including his own computer game company, to flush out Mail, a gamer who enjoys taunting Lucas with phone calls. During this time, Andi has been trying to maintain an element of control and contrive an escape. Sandford expertly ratchets up the suspense from beginning to the brutal finish. Lucas does get his villain, but no one comes out of this experience unscarred. Literary Guild main; Doubleday Book Club alternate. (May)
Library Journal
The seventh in the author's best-selling "Prey" series (e.g., Night Prey, LJ 5/15/94).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399142918
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Series: Lucas Davenport Series , #7
  • Product dimensions: 20.00 (w) x 20.00 (h) x 20.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Sandford is the pseudonym of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist John Camp. He is the author of the Prey novels, the Kidd novels, the Virgil Flowers novels, The Night Crew, and Dead Watch. He lives in New Mexico.

Biography

John Camp (better known to readers as thrillmeister John Sandford) began his career as a journalist -- first as a crime reporter for The Miami Herald, then as a general reporter, columnist, and features writer for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch. In 1986, he won the Pulitzer Prize for "Life on the Land: An American Farm Family," a five-part series examining the farm crisis in southwest Minnesota.

Camp's interests turned to fiction in the mid-1980s, and he took time off to write two novels which were ultimately accepted for publication: The Fool's Run, a techno-thriller featuring a complex con man known as Kidd, and Rules of Prey, a police procedural starring maverick Minneapolis detective Lucas Davenport. When both books were scheduled (by different publishers) to be released three months apart in 1989, Camp was persuaded to adopt a pseudonym for one. He chose his paternal grandmother's maiden name, "Sandford" for Rules of Prey, and the nom de plume has remained attached to all the books in the series.

Less Dick Tracy than Dirty Harry, hard-boiled, iconoclastic Lucas Davenport is a composite of the cops Camp met while working the crime beat as a reporter. Intelligent and street smart, Davenport is also manipulative and not above bending the rules to get results. And although he has mellowed over time (something of a skirt chaser in his youth, he is now married with children), he remains one of the edgiest and most popular protagonists in detective fiction. Fans keep returning to the Prey books for their intelligently hatched plots, high-octane pacing, and deft, fully human characterizations.

From time to time, Camp strays from his bestselling series for standalone thrillers (The Night Crew, Dead Watch), and in 2007 he introduced a new series hero, Virgil Flowers of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, who debuted in Dark of the Moon. Although he is no longer a full-time journalist, Camp contributes occasional articles and book reviews to various publications. He is also a passionate archaeologist and has worked at a number of digs, mainly in Israel.

Good To Know

Don't confuse John Sandford with John Sanford -- it's one of Sandford's pet peeves. Sanford (without the "d") is a Christian philosophy writer.

The Sandford pseudonym has caused a few problems for Camp in the past. At an airport once, his ticket was reserved under Sandford, while all of his identification, of course, had the name Camp. Luckily, he had one of his novels with him, and thanks to the book jacket photo, he was able to convince airport security to let him on the plane.

The books in Camp's less successful Kidd series (The Fool's Run, The Empress File, The Devil's Code, and The Hanged Man's Song) have been re-released under the Sandford pseudonym.

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    1. Also Known As:
      John Roswell Camp
    2. Hometown:
      St. Paul, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 23, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    1. Education:
      State University of Iowa, Iowa City: B.A., American History; M.A., Journalism
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

1

The storm blew up late in the afternoon, tight, gray clouds hustling over the lake like dirty, balled-up sweat socks spilling from a basket. A chilly wind knocked leaves from the elms, oaks, and maples at the water’s edge. The white phlox and black-eyed Susans bowed their heads before it.

The end of summer; too soon.

John Mail walked down the floating dock at Irv’s Boat Works, through the scents of premix gasoline, dead, drying minnows and moss, the old man trailing behind with his hands in the pockets of his worn gabardines. John Mail didn’t know about old-style machinery—chokes, priming bulbs, carburetors, all that. He knew diodes and resistors, the strengths of one chip and the weaknesses of another. But in Minnesota, boat lore is considered part of the genetic pattern: he had no trouble renting a fourteenfoot Lund with a 9.9 Johnson outboard. A driver’s license and a twenty-dollar deposit were all he needed at Irv’s.

Mail stepped down into the boat, and with an open hand wiped a film of water from the bench seat and sat down. Irv squatted beside the boat and showed him how to start the motor and kill it, how to steer it and accelerate. The lesson took thirty seconds. Then John Mail, with his cheap Zebco rod and reel and empty, red-plastic tackle box, put out on Lake Minnetonka.

“Back before dark,” Irv hollered after him. The whitehaired man stood on the dock and watched John Mail putter away.

When Mail left Irv’s dock, the sky was clear, the air limpid and summery, if a little nervous in the west. Something was coming, he thought. Something was hiding below the treeline. But no matter. This was just a look, just a taste.

He followed the shoreline east and north for three miles. Big houses were elbow to elbow, millions of dollars’ worth of stone and brick with manicured lawns running down to the water. Professionally tended flower beds were stuck on the lawns like postage stamps, with faux-cobblestone walks snaking between them. Stone swans and plaster ducks paddled across the grass.

Everything looked different from the water side. Mail thought he’d gone too far, but he still hadn’t picked out the house. He stopped and went back, then circled. Finally, much farther north than he thought it would be, he spotted the weird-looking tower house, a local landmark. And down the shore, one-two-three, yes, there it was, stone, glass and cedar, red shingles, and, barely visible on the far side of the roof, the tips of the huge blue spruces that lined the street. A bed of petunias, large swirls of red, white, and blue, glowed patriotically from the top of a flagstone wall set into the slope of the lawn. An open cruiser crouched on a boat lift next to the floating dock.

Mail killed the outboard and let the boat drift to a stop. The storm was still below the trees, the wind was dying down. He picked up the fishing rod, pulled line off the reel and threaded it through the guides and out the tip. Then he took a handful of line and threw it overboard, hookless and weightless. The rat’s-nest of monofilament drifted on the surface, but that was good enough. He looked like he was fishing.

Settling on the hard bench seat, Mail hunched his shoulders and watched the house. Nothing moved. After a few minutes, he began to manufacture fantasies.

He was good at this: a specialist, in a way. There were times when he’d been locked up as punishment, was allowed no books, no games, no TV. A claustrophobic— and they knew he was claustrophobic, that was part of the punishment—he’d escaped into fantasy to preserve his mind, sat on his bunk and turned to the blank facing wall and played his own mind-films, dancing dreams of sex and fire.

Andi Manette starred in the early mind-films; fewer later on, almost none in the past two years. He’d almost forgotten her. Then the calls came, and she was back.

Andi Manette. Her perfume could arouse the dead. She had a long, slender body, with a small waist and large, pale breasts, a graceful neckline, when seen from the back with her dark hair up over her small ears.

Mail stared at the water, eyes open, fishing rod drooping over the gunwales, and watched, in his mind, as she walked across a dark chamber toward him, peeling off a silken robe. He smiled. When he touched her, her flesh was warm and smooth, unblemished. He could feel her on his fingertips. “Do this,” he’d say, out loud; and then he’d giggle. “Down here,” he’d say . . .

He sat for an hour, for two, talking occasionally, then he sighed and shivered, and woke from the daydream. The world had changed.

The sky was gray, angry, the low clouds rolling in. A wind whipped around the boat, blowing the rat’s-nest of monofilament across the water like a tumbleweed. Across the fattest part of the lake, he could see the breaking curl of a whitecap.

Time to go.

He reached back to crank the outboard and saw her. She stood in the bay window, wearing a white dress— though she was three hundred yards away, he knew the figure, and the unique, attentive stillness. He could feel the eye contact. Andi Manette was psychic. She could look right into your brain and say the words you were trying to hide.

John Mail looked away, to protect himself.

So she wouldn’t know he was coming. Andi Manette stood in the bay window and watched the rain sweep across the water toward the house, and the darkness coming behind. At the concave drop of the lawn, at the water’s edge, the tall heads of the white phlox bobbed in the wind. They’d be gone by the weekend. Beyond them, a lone fisherman sat in one of the orange-tipped rental boats from Irv’s. He’d been out there since five o’clock and, as far as she could tell, hadn’t caught a thing. She could’ve told him that the bottom was mostly sterile muck, that she’d never caught a fish from the dock.

As she watched, he turned to start the outboard. Andi had been around boats all of her life, and something about the way the man moved suggested that he didn’t know about outboards—how to sit down and crank at the same time.

When he turned toward her, she felt his eyes—and thought, ridiculously, that she might know him. He was so far away that she couldn’t even make out the shape of his face. But still, the total package—head, eyes, shoulders, movement—seemed familiar . . .

Then he yanked the starter cord again, and a few seconds later he was on his way down the shoreline, one hand holding his hat on his head, the other hand on the outboard tiller. He’d never seen her, she thought. The rain swept in behind him.

And she thought: the clouds come in, the leaves falling down.

The end of summer.

Too soon.

Andi stepped away from the window and moved through the living room, turning on the lamps. The room was furnished with warmth and a sure touch: heavy country couches and chairs, craftsman tables, lamps and rugs. A hint of Shaker there in the corner, lots of natural wood and fabric, subdued, but with a subtle, occasionally bold, touch of color—a flash of red in the rug that went with the antique maple table, a streak of blue that hinted of the sky outside the bay windows.

The house, always warm in the past, felt cold with George gone.

With what George had done.

George was movement and intensity and argument, and even a sense of protection, with his burliness and aggression, his tough face, intelligent eyes. Now . . . this.

Andi was a slender woman, tall, dark-haired, unconsciously dignified. She often seemed posed, although she was unaware of it. Her limbs simply fell into arrangements, her head cocked for a portrait. Her hair-do and pearl earrings said horses and sailboats and vacations in Greece.

She couldn’t help it. She wouldn’t change it if she could.

With the living room lights cutting the growing gloom, Andi climbed the stairs, to get the girls organized: first day of school, clothes to choose, early to bed.

At the top of the stairs, she started right, toward the girls’ room—then heard the tinny music of a bad movie coming from the opposite direction.

They were watching television in the master bedroom suite. As she walked down the hall, she heard the sudden disconnect of a channel change. By the time she got to the bedroom, the girls were engrossed in a CNN newscast, with a couple of talking heads rambling on about the Consumer Price Index.

“Hi, Mom,” Genevieve said cheerfully. And Grace looked up and smiled, a bit too pleased to see her.

“Hi,” Andi said. She looked around. “Where’s the remote?”

Grace said, unconcernedly, “Over on the bed.”

The remote was a long way from either of the girls, halfway across the room in the middle of the bedspread. Hastily thrown, Andi thought. She picked it up, said, “Excuse me,” and backtracked through the channels. On one of the premiums, she found a clinch scene, fully nude, still in progress.

“You guys,” she said, reproachfully.

“It’s good for us,” the younger one protested, not bothering with denials. “We gotta find things out.”

“This is not the way to do it,” Andi said, punching out the channel. “Come talk to me.” She looked at Grace, but her older daughter was looking away—a little angry, maybe, and embarrassed. “Come on,” Andi said. “Let’s everybody organize our school stuff and take our baths.”

“We’re talking like a doctor again, Mom,” Grace said.

“Sorry.”

On the way down to the girls’ bedrooms, Genevieve blurted, “God, that guy was really hung.”

After a second of shocked silence, Grace started to giggle, and two seconds later Andi started, and five sec- onds after that all three of them sprawled on the carpet in the hallway, laughing until the tears ran down their faces. The rain fell steadily through the night, stopped for a few hours in the morning, then started again.

Andi got the girls on the bus, arrived at work ten minutes early, and worked efficiently through her patient list, listening carefully, smiling encouragement, occasionally talking with some intensity. To a woman who could not escape thoughts of suicide; to another who felt she was male, trapped in a female body; to a man who was obsessed by a need to control the smallest details of his family’s life—he knew he was wrong but couldn’t stop.

At noon, she walked two blocks out to a deli and brought a bag lunch back for herself and her partner. They spent the lunch hour talking about Social Security and worker compensation taxes with the bookkeeper.

In the afternoon, a bright spot: a police officer, deeply bound by the million threads of chronic depression, seemed to be responding to new medication. He was a dour, pasty-faced man who reeked of nicotine, but today he smiled shyly at her and said, “My God, this was my best week in five years: I was looking at women.” Andi left the office early, and drove through an annoying, mud-producing drizzle to the west side of the loop, to the rambling, white New England cottages and green playing fields of the Birches School. Hard maples boxed the school parking lot; flames of red autumn color were stitched through their lush crowns. Toward the school entrance, a grove of namesake birch had gone a sunny gold, a brilliant greeting on a dismal day.

Andi left the car in the parking lot and hurried inside, the warm smell of a soaking rain hanging like a fog over the wet asphalt.

The teacher-parent conferences were routine—Andi went to them every year, the first day of school: meet the teachers, smile at everyone, agree to work on the Thanksgiving pageant, write a check to the strings program. So looking forward to working with Grace, she’s a very bright child, active, school leader, blah blah blah.

She was happy to go to them. Always happy when they were over.

When they were done, she and the girls walked back outside and found the rain had intensified, hissing down from the crazy sky. “I’ll tell you what, Mom,” Grace said, as they stood in the school’s covered entry, watching a woman with a broken umbrella scurry down the sidewalk. Grace was often very serious when talking with adults. “I’m in a very good dress, and it’s barely wrinkled, so I could wear it again. Why don’t you get the car and pick me up here?”

“All right.” No point in all of them getting wet.

“I’m not afraid of the rain,” Genevieve said, pugnaciously. “Let’s go.”

“Why don’t you wait with Grace?” Andi asked.

“Nah. Grace is just afraid to get wet ’cause she’ll melt, the old witch,” Genevieve said.

Grace caught her sister’s eye and made a pinching sign with her thumb and forefinger.

“Mom,” Genevieve wailed.

“Grace,” Andi said, reprovingly.

“Tonight, when you’re almost asleep,” Grace muttered.

She knew how to deal with her sister.

At twelve, Grace was the older and by far the taller of the two, gawky, but beginning to show the curves of adolescence. She was a serious girl, almost solemn, as though expecting imminent unhappiness. Someday a doctor.

Genevieve, on the other hand, was competitive, frivolous, loud. Almost too pretty. Even at nine, everyone said, it was obvious that she’d be a trial to the boys. To whole flocks of boys. But that was years away. Now she was sitting on the concrete, messing with the sole of her tennis shoe, peeling the bottom layer off.

“Gen,” Andi said.

“It’s gonna come off anyway,” Genevieve said, not looking up. “I told you I needed new shoes.”

A man in a raincoat hurried up the walk, hatless, head bowed in the rain. David Girdler, who called himself a psychotherapist and who was active in the Parent- Teacher Cooperative. He was a boring man, given to pronunciations about proper roles in life, and hard-wired behavior. There were rumors that he used tarot cards in his work. He fawned on Andi. “Dr. Manette,” he said, nodding, slowing. “Nasty day.”

“Yes,” Andi said. But her breeding wouldn’t let her stop so curtly, even with a man she disliked. “It’s supposed to rain all night again.”

“That’s what I hear,” Girdler said. “Say, did you see this month’s Therapodist? There’s an article on the structure of recovered memory . . .”

He rambled on for a moment, Andi smiling automatically, then Genevieve interrupted, loudly, “Mom, we’re superlate,” and Andi said, “We’ve really got to go, David,” and then, because of the breeding, “But I’ll be sure to look it up.”

“Sure, nice talking to you,” Girdler said.

When he’d gone inside, Genevieve said, looking after him, from the corner of her mouth like Bogart, “What do we say, Mom?”

“Thank you, Gen,” Andi said, smiling.

“You’re welcome, Mom.”

“Okay,” Andi said. “I’ll run for it.” She looked down the parking lot. A red van had parked on the driver’s side of her car and she’d have to run around the back of it.

“I’m coming, too,” Genevieve said.

“I get the front,” Grace said.

“I get the front . . .”

“You got the front on the way over, beetle,” Grace said.

“Mom, she called me . . .”

Grace made the pinching sign again, and Andi said, “You get in the back, Gen. You had the front on the way over.”

“Or I’ll pinch you,” Grace added.

They half-ran through the rain, Andi in her low heels, Genevieve with her still-short legs, holding hands. Andi released Gen’s hand as they crossed behind the Econoline van. She pointed her key at the car and pushed the electronic lock button, heard the locks pop up over the hissing of the rain.

Head bent, she hurried down between the van and the car, Gen a step behind her, and reached for the door handles. Andi heard the doors slide on the van behind her; felt the presence of the man, the motion. Automatically began to smile, turning.

Heard Genevieve grunt, turned and saw the strange round head coming for her, the mop of dirty-blond hair.

Saw the road-map lines buried in a face much too young for them.

Saw the teeth, and the spit, and the hands like clubs.

Andi screamed, “Run.”

And the man hit her in the face.

She saw the blow coming but was unable to turn away. The impact smashed her against her car door, and she slid down it, her knees going out.

She didn’t feel the blow as pain, only as impact, the fist on her face, the car on her back. She felt the man turning, felt blood on her skin, smelled the worms of the pavement as she hit it, the rough, wet blacktop on the palms of her hands, thought crazily—for just the torn half of an instant—about ruining her suit, felt the man step away.

She tried to scream “Run” again, but the word came out as a groan, and she felt—maybe saw, maybe not—the man moving on Genevieve, and she tried to scream again, to say something, anything, and blood bubbled out of her nose and the pain hit her, a blinding, wrenching pain like fire on her face.

And in the distance, she heard Genevieve scream, and she tried to push up. A hand pulled at her coat, lifting her, and she flew through the air, to crash against a sheet of metal. She rolled again, facedown, tried to get her knees beneath her, and heard a car door slam.

Half-sensible, Andi rolled, eyes wild, saw Genevieve in a heap, and bloody from head to toe. She reached out to her daughter, who sat up, eyes bright. Andi tried to stop her, then realized that it wasn’t blood that stained her red, it was something else: and Genevieve, inches away, screamed, “Momma, you’re bleeding . . .”

Van, she thought.

They were in the van. She figured that out, pulled herself to her knees, and was thrown back down as the van screeched out of the parking place.

Grace will see us, she thought.

She struggled up again, and again was knocked down, this time as the van swung left and braked. The driver’s door opened and light flooded in, and she heard a shout, and the doors opened on the side of the truck, and Grace came headlong through the opening, landing on Genevieve, her white dress stained the same rusty red as the truck.

The doors slammed again; and the van roared out of the parking lot.

Andi got to her knees, arms flailing, trying to make sense of it: Grace screaming, Genevieve wailing, the red stuff all over them.

And she knew from the smell and taste of it that she was bleeding. She turned and saw the bulk of the man in the driver’s seat behind a chain-link mesh. She shouted at him, “Stop, stop it. Stop it,” but the driver paid no attention, took a corner, took another.

“Momma, I’m hurt,” Genevieve said. Andi turned back to her daughters, who were on their hands and knees. Grace had a sad, hound-dog look on her face; she’d known this man would come for her someday.

Andi looked at the van doors, for a way out, but metal plates had been screwed over the spot where the handles must’ve been. She rolled back and kicked at the door with all her strength, but the door wouldn’t budge. She kicked again, and again, her long legs lashing out. Then Grace kicked and Genevieve kicked and nothing moved, and Genevieve began screeching, screeching. Andi kicked until she felt faint from the effort, and she said to Grace, panting, three or four times, “We’ve got to get out, we’ve got to get out, get out, get out . . .”

And the man in the front seat began to laugh, a loud, carnival-ride laughter that rolled over Genevieve’s screams; the laughter eventually silenced them and they saw his eyes in the rearview mirror and he said, “You won’t get out. I made sure of that. I know all about doors without handles.”

That was the first time they’d heard his voice, and the girls shrank back from it. Andi swayed to her feet, crouched under the low roof, realized that she’d lost her shoes—and her purse. Her purse was there on the passenger seat, in front. How had it gotten there? She tried to steady herself by clinging to the mesh screen, and kicked at the side window. Her heel connected and the glass cracked.

The van swerved to the side, braking, and the man in front turned, violent anger in his voice, and held up a black .45 and said, “You break my fuckin’ window and I’ll kill the fuckin’ kids.”

She could only see the side of his face, but suddenly thought: I know him. But he looks different. From where? Where? Andi sank back to the floor of the van and the man in front turned back to the wheel and then pulled away from the curb, muttering, “Break my fuckin’ window? Break my fuckin’ window?”

“Who are you?” Andi asked.

That seemed to make him even angrier. Who was he?

“John,” he said harshly.

“John who? What do you want?”

John Who? John the Fuck Who ? “You know John the Fuck Who.”

Grace was bleeding from her nose, her eyes wild; Genevieve was huddled in the corner, and Andi said again, helplessly, “John who?”

He looked over his shoulder, a spark of hate in his eyes, reached up and pulled a blond wig off his head.

Andi, a half-second later, said, “Oh, no. No. Not John Mail.”

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 94 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 28, 2014

    Wish I could tell you how much I love spending time with Lucas D

    Wish I could tell you how much I love spending time with Lucas Davenport and his co-workers...but there just aren't words to describe it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Great crime drama!

    The seventh Lucas Davenport book by John Sanford does a great job of making the react. Whether its to the brutality to a victim, fear for her daughter, angst towards the cops nears misses, etc. Davenport is a great leading man who has personality and flaws. His relationship with his girlfriend, Weather, is real and enjoyable. His friends and coworkers seem realistic. Overall, the book was very good but too brutal at times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Missed this one when it came out

    Pure adrenaline!

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  • Posted June 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent read

    I could not put this book down for even a minute! My opinion is this is the best book in the Prey Series thus far. I got caught up in the story and like always, my mind makes its own conclusions, but with so many twist and turns the ending is not the outcome I predicted....its so much better!!

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    Excellent read

    I've read 10 Prey novels now, and in many ways I think this one has been the best. The story line isn't that spectacular, but the way Mr Sandford puts the story together is riveting and spellbinding. This book has everything - suspense, action, mystery, closure. As I finished it I thought this one would make a great movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2010

    Should be listed under Horror/Terror

    There should be warnings on the cover of this "novel". I love detective, crime series but this is beyond what the average reader would enjoy. Brutality, torture, repeated rape scenes, cops who discuss each others sexual conquests and what would now be considered sexual harassment. I hoped to start reading another series where when each book ended you couldn't wait for the next. Not so. Very disturbing read. One star rating because zero stars not allowed.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    mind prey

    this book was nail biting from beginning to end really enjoyed every minute of reading it. Im about to read the whole prey seriers now!

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bumpy Thrill Ride

    Number seven in the Davenport series, this is the best one so far. Plot and characters are deep and REAL. This is a thrill ride from page one and carries on throughout. Regarding those who have written the violence is extreme in this book, it is disturbing, but there is a raw reality feel to it. Absent that key element, the story would without a doubt lose its edge. You go into this book knowing to some level what the plot is; you can not then expect it to be anything less than intense....and Sanford has shown that is his style on most, if not all, of these Davenport episodes.

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

    Extremely intense....

    I have read several books by John Sandford and enjoy his style of writing very much. Mind Prey was a disturbing read as it protrayed a maniac that kidnapped a woman and her 2 daughters. The torture that this lunatic put these women through was truly a suspenseful experience but thanks to our hero Lucas Davenport who methodically uncovers the identity of the criminal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2008

    Not bad.....Could have been better

    It wasn't bad but boy could it have been better. Sandfords novels just seem so lacking to me. Nothing much happens for a long time but standard day by day routines that do not to be so boring but they are. Davenport is a manic of a cop but hes a great character. The killers in the prey series have been getting weaker to me and the fact that nothing groundbreaking happens in this series. They are so straight to the point, it can get boring until Lucas enters the picture again. Sandford wont play with your mind, the stories always go one way, always. If you like alot of suspense or twists, Sandford wont do it for you. Great characters though.....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2005

    A perfect novel!

    Yes. I thought John Sanford could do no better than the first six novels of the series. I was happy with them, I loved all of them. And I read 'Mind Prey' and fell of my couch. What a novel! What a trip! Threre was no way to put the book down. I was reading until 4 in the morning and could not quit but I had to sleep. Too bad. In any case, I finished the book and now have troubles coming back to earth. John Sandford's characters are living people. All of them. There is no way to escape. Once Sanford hooks you - which he does in the first two or three sentences - you are a prisoner until the last page.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2005

    One of the best ever!

    Definetly one of the best books I have ever read. I found John Sandford to be one of the best crime fiction writers of all time. This was one the first prey novels I have ever read and it blew my mind. Now ever since I have read Mind Prey, I have read almost all of the prey novels. I hope John will keep writing these novels for years to come. Now that you heard from me go out and get the book and find out how you will like it. I think you'll enjoy it like I did. Keep up the good work John!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2004

    Not Open Minded

    The novel as a whole is very entertaining. Fast paced and humorously written, it is a fine sample of good fiction writing. However, the more we learn about Davenport, the more tarnished his image becomes. Why is it that someone so skilled, intelligent and intuitive is also so closed-minded? His black and white morality where one size fits all (as long as he can determine the size) is very unbecoming. This mind set seems to be a popular trend in America.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2001

    One of the best books I have ever read

    Mind Prey one of seven Prey Books by John Sandford was by far the most thrilling book I have ever read. The series character Lucas Davenport comes to the rescue again. Yes he does it again and this time it's for the well to do psychiatrist Andi Manette and her two daughters that were kidnapped by an old patient John Mail. After Lucas questioned everyone whom he thinks in involved in her disappearance he realizes that the kidnapper is a gamer and uses it to his advantage to trap him or so he thinks. Meanwhile at a small barn and Andi is trying to stay sane after the many beatings a rapes that were given to her almost everyday. Having her one daughter with her Grace to keep her company, she wonders if Geneva was dropped off at the shopping area like John told her that's what he was going to do. In the mist of all the chaos Lucas stays calm and proves that he can over come anything. Lucas did it he solved another case and got engaged to his long time girlfriend. As you can see this book is a page-turner and a half so I suggest you pick it up next time you want something to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2001

    OUTSTANDINGLY MIND BLOWING

    MIND PREY I LISTENED TO THE AUDIO VERSION, AND IT WAS SO VIVID ALMOST LIKE YOU WERE THERE. I COULDN'T STOP , UNTIL I HAD FINISHED IT. THIS WAS THE BEST BOOK I HAD EVER LISTENED TO, AND CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR THE OTHER BOOKS BY JOHN SANDFORD ....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2001

    LUCUS COMES THROUGH AGAIN!!!

    Winter Prey was the best Prey book I had read until now. I believe Mind Prey may be the best one yet. In Mind Prey, John Mail kidnapes a women and her two daughters. The woman is a Dr. who has treated John before for depression. John takes them to a old farm house and there begins to do bad things to the woman. He then takes the younger girl to a Wal-Mart and turns her loose, or does he???? Lucus is called in to find Mail and the other three. The mind games they play with each other is great. I an almost say that you won't want to put this down when you start to read it. I really liked the ending. Goody, Goody. Lucus did not jump into bed with several women this time and I liked that. Also, during the story, Lucus is trying to ask Weather to marry him. Does he ever get up the nerve????? If you like scary books full of suspence, you will like this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2000

    Non stop suspense

    This Prey, grips you at the very 1st page and never lets go! One of his best yet!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2000

    If you like reading about lots of rape...

    I've enjoyed Sanford's other Prey series, but not this one. Yes, it has twists, turns, action, etc., but the brutality of the constant rape passages was not entertaining. Buyer beware -

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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