Naked Prey (Lucas Davenport Series #14)

( 79 )


In Naked Prey, John Sandford puts Lucas Davenport through some changes. His old boss, Rose Marie Roux, has moved up to the state level and taken Lucas with her, creating a special troubleshooter job for him for the cases that are too complicated or politically touchy for others to handle. In addition, Lucas is now married and a new father, both of which are fine with him: he doesn't mind being a family man. But he is a little worried. For every bit of peace you get, you have to ...

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Naked Prey (Lucas Davenport Series #14)

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In Naked Prey, John Sandford puts Lucas Davenport through some changes. His old boss, Rose Marie Roux, has moved up to the state level and taken Lucas with her, creating a special troubleshooter job for him for the cases that are too complicated or politically touchy for others to handle. In addition, Lucas is now married and a new father, both of which are fine with him: he doesn't mind being a family man. But he is a little worried. For every bit of peace you get, you have to pay—and he's waiting for the bill.

It comes in the form of two people found hanging from a tree in the woods of northern Minnesota. What makes it particularly sensitive is that the bodies are of a black man and a white woman, and they're naked. "Lynching" is the word that everybody's trying not to say—but, as Lucas begins to discover, in fact the murders are not what they appear to be, and they are not the end of the story. There is worse to come—much, much worse.

Filled with the rich characterization and exceptional drama that are his hallmarks, this is Sandford's most suspenseful novel yet.

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Editorial Reviews

Patrick Anderson
Naked Prey is vintage Sandford, which is to say it is all but impossible to put down. As the story races along, Sandford finds time for various digressions, some more inspired than others. Brash young Letty West becomes Davenport's new best pal; she is handy with a .22, takes no guff from anyone and inevitably finds herself in deadly peril. The author introduces a publicity-hungry civil-rights activist who barges in to denounce the supposed lynching, then just as abruptly returns to Chicago.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Sandford gets back to basics in this stellar 14th installment of his hugely popular Prey series, focusing on the long-standing duo of Davenport and Capslock. As the novel begins, the indomitable Lucas Davenport (now happily married, a contented father and bored out of his mind) is slogging through the northern tundra of Broderick, Minn., to inspect the naked dangling corpses of a white woman and black man ("They were frozen. Like Popsicles.") that have shocked the locals as well as Minnesota's governor with the ugly specter of a lynching. Davenport, now more or less a free agent for the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension ("I kick people's asses"), is unleashed by the governor, giving Davenport and his scruffy sidekick, Del Capslock, a chance to escape their square city lives and catch the villain(s) while staving off the media vultures, Sandford's trademark subplot. As in previous novels, the original crime (rendered in a truly horrific opening sequence) is merely the gateway to a deeper, more insidious criminal enterprise, this one an international labyrinth of stolen cars, drugs, gambling and kidnapping. Some truly vicious familial machinations in the small town contrast well with Davenport's staid and stable home life. Another pleasant surprise is the precocious Letty West, whose awakening teenage sensibilities make an impression on Davenport. Sandford's usual background details (readers will learn how to run a muskrat trapline and how an Indian casino operates) are deftly woven into the fabric. This latest installment in a series now a decade and a half old is vintage Sandford. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Lucas Davenport (Mortal Prey) is now Director of Regional Studies in the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is a fancy name for the job of investigating difficult crimes as quickly as possible and answering to the governor of the state. Known for his ability to solve the unsolvable, he goes to a remote area of the state to discover why a black man and a white woman were hanged in a groove of trees. They were found by Letty West, a precocious 12-year-old trapper who helps Davenport and his partner, Del Capslock, understand the dynamics of the rural communities of Broderick and Armstrong and in so doing, places herself in harm's way. Fast paced and full of surprises, this may be Sandford's best novel yet. The plot twists and turns reveal the complexity of the characters and the well-concealed motivation for the crimes. Most public libraries should buy several copies to meed popular demand. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/03; BOMC, Literary Guild, and Mystery Guild main selections.]-Jo Ann Vicarel, Cleveland Heights-University Heights P.L., OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
By the time a series gets appreciably past its salad days, the signs of writer fatigue are usually unmistakable. Which is what makes this 14th outing from Sandford so remarkable: the brilliant Prey series goes bopping along, taking steps two at a time, acting like your basic spring chicken. Series hero Lucas Davenport (Mortal Prey, 2002, etc.), self-styled "richest cop in Minnesota"-with a fortune derived from the design of beautifully complex computer games-has a new job, crime-solving for Governor Elmer Henderson: that is, taking on those hot-potato assignments deemed political dynamite. When Deon Cash, a black man, and Jane Warr, a white woman, are found naked and dead, dangling from a tree in backwater Broderick, the Governor's men hurriedly summon Lucas, the word "lynching" much in the air. But it's not a lynching. To begin with, Broderick, a six-hour drive from St. Paul, simply doesn't have that kind of problem. Moreover, it doesn't take long for the real motive to surface: vengeance. Cash and Warr, it turns out, kidnapped and killed the young daughter of prominent Minnesota businessman Hale Sorrell. Acting as judge, jury, and hangman, Sorell has meted out vigilante justice, and savvy Lucas nails him for it-but before Sorrell can be arrested, he, too, is gunned down. Now Lucas surmises that more than Cash and Warr were involved in the kidnap plot. Back to Broderick he goes, where the evidence leads in an unforeseen direction. And where 12-year-old Letty West, freckled and gritty ("she might have been a female Huckleberry Finn") does a lot to capture a sociopathic killer-as well as Lucas's unexpectedly susceptible heart. Nonstop drive, dialogue that amuses and surprises, deftcharacterizations. But most notable of what Sandford continues to do-better, perhaps, than anyone in crime fiction-is humanize his monsters: that makes for a special kind of creepiness.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425195444
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/4/2004
  • Series: Lucas Davenport Series , #14
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 107,965
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 4.14 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

John Sandford

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.

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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


Thursday night, pitch black, blowing snow. Heavy clouds, no moon behind them.

The Buick disappeared into the garage and the door started down. The big man, rolling down the highway in a battered Cherokee, killed his lights, pulled into the driveway, and took the shotgun off the car seat. The snow crunched underfoot as he stepped out; the snow was coming down in pellets, rather than flakes, and they stung as they slapped his warm face.

He loped up the driveway, fully exposed for a moment, and stopped just at the corner of the garage, in a shadow beneath the security light.

Jane Warr opened the side door and stepped through, her back turned to him as she pulled the door closed behind her.

He said, “Jane.”

She jumped, her hand at her throat, choking down a scream as she pivoted, and shrank against the door. Taking in the muzzle of the shotgun, and the large man with the beard and the stocking cap, she screeched: “What? Who’re you? Get away . . .” A jumble of panic words.

He stayed with her, tracking her with the shotgun, and he said, slowly, as if speaking to a child, “Jane, this is a shotgun. If you scream, I will blow your heart out.”

She looked, and it was a shotgun all right, a twelvegauge pump, and it was pointing at her heart. She made herself be still, thought of Deon in the house. If Deon looked out and saw them . . . Deon would take care of himself. “What do you want?”

“Joe Kelly.”

They stood for two or three seconds, the snow pellets peppering the garage, the big man’s beard going white with it. Then, “Joe’s not here.” A hint of assertion in her voice—this didn’t involve her, this shotgun.

“Bullshit,” the big man said. He twitched the muzzle to the left, toward the house. “We’re going inside to talk to him, and he’s gonna pay me some money. I don’t want to hurt you or anybody else, but I’m gonna talk to Joe. If I have to hurt the whole bunch of you, I will.”

He sounded familiar, she thought. Maybe one of the guys from Missouri, from Kansas City? “Are you one of the Kansas City people? Because we’re not . . .”

“Shut up,” the big man said. “Get your ass up the steps and into the house. Keep your mouth shut.”

She did what he told her. This was not the first time she’d been present when an unfriendly man flashed a gun—not even the second or third time—but she was worried. On the other hand, he said he was looking for Joe. When he found out Joe wasn’t here, he’d go. Maybe.

“Joe’s not here,” she said, as she went up the steps.

“Quiet!” The man’s voice dropped. “One thing I learned down in Kansas City—I’ll share this with you— is that when trouble starts, you pull the trigger. Don’t figure anything out, just pull the trigger. If Joe or Deon try anything on me, you can kiss your butt good- bye.”

“All right,” she said. Her voice had dropped with his. Now she was on the stranger’s side. She’d be okay, she told herself, as long as Deon didn’t do anything. But there was something too weird about this guy. I’ll share this with you?—she’d never heard a serious asshole say anything like that.

They went up the stairs onto a back porch, then through the porch into a mudroom, then through another door into the kitchen. None of the doors was locked. Broderick was a small town, and it doesn’t take long to pick up small- town habits. As they clunked into the kitchen, which smelled like micro wave popcorn and week- old carrot peels, Deon Cash called from the living room, “Hey,” and they heard his feet hit the floor. A second later he stepped into the kitchen, scowling about something, a thin, five- foot- ten- inch black man in an Indian- print fleece pullover and jeans, with a can of Budweiser in one hand.

He saw Warr, the big man behind her, and then, an instant later, registered the shotgun. By that time, the big man had shifted the barrel of the shotgun and it was pointing at Cash’s head. “Don’t even think about moving.”

“Easy,” Cash said. He put the can of Budweiser on a kitchen counter, freeing his hands.

“Call Joe.”

Cash looked puzzled for a second, then said, “Joe ain’t here.”

“Call him,” the big man said. He’d thought about this, about all the calling.

Cash shrugged. “HEY JOE,” he shouted.

Nothing. After a long moment, the man with the shotgun said, “Goddamnit, where is he?”

“He went away last month. He ain’t been back. We don’t know where he is,” Warr said. “Told you he wasn’t here.”

“Go stand next to Deon.” Warr stepped over next to Cash, and the big man dipped his left hand into his parka pocket and pulled out a clump of chain. Handcuffs. He tossed them on the floor and looked at Warr. “Put them on Deon. Deon, turn around.”

“Aw, man . . .”

“It’s up to you,” the big man said. “I don’t want to hurt you two, but I will. We’re gonna wait for him if it takes all night.”

“He ain’t here,” Warr said in exasperation. “He ain’t coming back.”

“Cuffs,” the big man said. “I know what it sounds like when cuffs lock up.”

“Aw man . . .”

“C’mon.” The shotgun moved to Cash’s head, and Warr bent over and picked up one set of cuffs and the big man said, “Turn around so I can see it,” and Warr clicked the cuffs in place, pinning Cash’s hands behind him.

The big man dipped his hand into his pocket again and came up with a roll of strapping tape. “Tape his feet together.”

“Man, you startin’ to piss me off,” Cash said. Even with his hands cuffed, he managed to look stupidly fierce.

“Better’n being dead. Sit down and stick your feet out so she can tape you up.”

Still grumbling, Cash sat down and Warr crouched beside him and said, “I’m pretty scared,” and Cash said, “We gonna be all right. The masked man can go look at Joe’s stuff, see he ain’t here.”

The big man made her take eight tight winds of tape around Cash’s ankles. Then he ordered Warr to take off her parka and cuff her own hands. She got one cuff, but fumbled with the other, and the man with the shotgun told her to turn and back toward him, and when she did, clicked the second cuff in place. He then ordered both of them to lie on their stomachs, and with the shotgun pointed at them, he checked Cash’s cuffs and then Warr’s, just to make sure. When he was satisfied, he pulled on a pair of cotton gloves, knelt beside Warr, and taped her ankles, then moved over to Cash and put the rest of the roll of tape around his.

When he was done, Cash said, “So go look. Joe ain’t here.”

“I believe you,” the big man said, standing up. They looked so helpless that he almost backed out. He steadied himself. “I know where Joe is.”

After a moment’s silence, Cash asked, “Where is he?”

“In a hole in the ground, a couple miles south of Terre bonne. Don’t think I could find it myself, anymore,” the big man said. “I just asked you about him so you’d think that . . .” He shrugged. “That you had a chance.”

Another moment’s silence, and then Warr said, “Aw, God, Deon. Listen to his voice.”

Cash put the pieces together, then said, loud, croaking, but not yet screaming, “We didn’t do nothin’, man. We didn’t do nothin’.”

“I know what you did,” the big man said.

“Don’t hurt us,” Warr said. She flopped against the vinyl, tried to get over on her back. “Please don’t hurt us. I’ll tell the cops what ever you want.”

“We get a trial,” Cash said. He twisted around, the better to see the man’s face, and to test the tape on his legs. “We innocent until we proved guilty.”

Innocent.” The big man spat it out.

“We didn’t do nothin’,” Cash screamed at him.

“I know what you did.” The crust on his wounds had broken, and the big man began kicking Cash in the back, in the kidneys, in the butt and the back of his head, and Cash rolled around the narrow kitchen floor trying to escape, screaming, the big man wailing like a man dying of a knife wound, like a man watching the blood running out of his neck, and he kicked and booted Cash in the back, and when Cash flopped over, in the face; Cash’s nose broke with the sound of a saltine cracker being stepped on and he sputtered blood out over the floor. Across the kitchen, Warr struggled against the tape and the handcuffs and half- rolled under the kitchen table and got tangled up in the chairs, and their wooden legs clunked and pounded and clattered on the floor as she tried to inchworm through them, Cash screaming all the while, sputtering blood.

Cash finally stopped rolling, exhausted, blood pouring out of his nose, smearing in arcs across the vinyl floor. The big man backed away from him, wiped his mouth on his sleeve, then took a utility knife out of his pocket and stalked across the room to Warr, grabbed the tape around her ankles, and pulled her out from under the table. Warr cried, “Jesus, don’t cut me!”

He didn’t. He began slicing though her clothing, pulling it away in rags. She began to cry as he cut the clothing away. The big man closed his mind to it, finished, leaving her nude on the floor, except for the rags under the tape on her ankles, and began cutting the clothing off Cash.

“What’re you doing, man? What’re you doing?” Cash began flopping again, rolling. Finally, frustrated with Cash’s struggles, the big man backed away and again kicked him in the face. Cash moaned, and the big man rolled him onto his stomach and knelt between his shoulder blades and patiently sliced at Cash’s shirt and jeans until he was as naked as Warr.

“What’re you doing?” Warr asked. Now there was a note of curiosity in her voice, showing through the fear.

“Public relations.”

“Fuckin’ kill ya,” Cash groaned, still bubbling blood from his broken nose. “Fuckin’ cut ya fuckin’ head off . . .”

The big man ignored him. He closed the knife, caught Cash by the ankles, and dragged him toward the door. Cash, nearly exhausted from flopping on the floor, began flopping again, but it did no good. He was dragged flopping through the mudroom, leaving a trail of blood, onto the porch, and then down the steps to the lawn, his head banging on the steps as they went down. “Mother, mother,” Cash said. “God . . . mother.”

There wasn’t much snow on the ground—hadn’t been much snow all winter—but Cash’s head cut a groove in the inch or so that there was, spotted with more blood. When they got to the Jeep, the big man popped open the back, lifted Cash by the neck and hips, and threw him inside.

Back in the house, he picked up Warr and carried her out to the truck like a sack of flour and tossed her on top of Cash and slammed the lid.

Before leaving, he carefully scanned the house for anything that he might have touched that would carry a fingerprint. Finding nothing, he picked up the shotgun and went back outside. “Where’re we going?” Warr shouted at him. “I’m freezing.”

The big man paid no attention. A quarter- mile north of town, he began looking for the West Ditch Road, a dirt track that led off to the east. He almost missed it in the snow, stopped, backed up on the dark roadway, and turned down the track. He passed an old farm house that he’d thought abandoned, but now, as he went by, he saw a single light glowing in a first- floor window, but no other sign of life. Too late to change plans now, he thought; besides, with this night . . .

The wind had picked up, ripping the snow off the ground. He’d be far enough from the farm house that he couldn’t be seen. He kept moving, the light in the farmhouse window fading away behind him. In the dark, in the snow, there were no distinctive landmarks at all.

He concentrated on the track and the odometer. Four- tenths of a mile after he turned off Highway 36, he slowed, looking out the left- side window. At first, he saw nothing but snow. After a hundred feet or so, the tree loomed, and he pulled over, then carefully backed, pulled forward, and backed again until he was parked across the road.

“What?” Cash groaned, from the back. “What?”

The big man went around to the back of the truck, opened it, grabbed the thick wad of tape around Cash’s legs, and pulled him off the truck as if he were unloading lumber. Cash’s shoulders hit the frozen earth with a meaty impact. The big man got him by the tape and dragged him past the first tree into what had been, from the car, in the dark, an invisible grove of trees.

One of the trees, a pin oak, loomed at the very edge of the illumination thrown by the car’s headlights. Ropes were slung over a heavy branch fifteen feet above the ground. The big man, staggering under Cash’s weight, dropped him by one of the ropes, then went back for Warr. When he got her to the hanging tree, struggling and kicking against him, he dropped her beside Cash.

“Can’t do this, man,” Cash screamed. “This is murder.” The storm around them quieted for a moment, but the snow pellets still whipped through the trees, stinging like so many BBs.

“Please help me,” Warr called to Cash. “Please, please . . .”

“Murder?” The big man shouted back at Cash, raising his voice above the wind. He broke away from them, toward a tree branch that was sticking up out of the snow, ripped it off the frozen ground and staggered back to Cash. “Murder?” He began beating Cash with the long stick, ripping strips of skin off Cash’s back and legs, as the black man thrashed on the ground, gophering through the snow, trying to get away. “Murder, you fuckin’ animal, murder . . .”

He stopped after a while, too tired to continue, threw the stick back into the trees. “Murder,” he said to Cash. “I’ll show you murder.”

The big man led one of the ropes over to Cash, tied a single loop around his neck, tight, with strong knots. He did the same with the second rope, around Warr’s neck. She was now shivering violently in the cold.

When he was done, the big man stood back, looked at the two of them, said, “God damn your immortal souls,” and began hauling on the rope tied to Cash. Cash stopped screaming as the rope bit into his neck. He was heavy, and the big man had to struggle against his weight, and against the raw friction of the rope over the tree limb. Finally, unable to get him in the air, the big man lifted him and pulled the rope at the same time, and Cash’s feet cleared the ground by a meager six inches. He didn’t struggle. He simply hung. The big man tied the lower end of the rope around the tree trunk, and tested it for weight. It held.

Warr pleaded, but the big man couldn’t hear her— later couldn’t remember anything she said, except that there were a lot of whispered Pleases. Didn’t do her any good. Didn’t do her any good when she fought him, either, though it might have given her a brief thirty seconds of satisfaction.

He couldn’t get her high enough to get her feet off the ground, and as he struggled to do it, a space opened between the bottom of his coat sleeve and the glove on his right hand. The space, the warm flesh, bumped against her face, and quick as a cat, she sank her teeth into his arm, biting ferociously, twisting her head against his arm. He let go of the rope and she fell, holding on with her teeth, pulling him down, and he hammered at the side of her head until she let go.

She was groaning when he boosted her back up, and she ground out, “We’re not the only ones.” That stopped him for a moment: “What?”

“They’ll be coming for you, you cocksucker.” She spat at him, from three inches away, and hit him in the face. He flinched, grabbed her around the waist and boosted her higher, his gloves slippery with blood, and then he had her high enough and he stepped away, holding tight to the rope, and she swung free and her groaning stopped. He managed to pull her up another four inches, then tied the rope off on the trunk.

He watched them for a few minutes, swinging in the snow, in the dim light, their heads bent, their bodies violently elongated like martyrs in an El Greco painting . . .

Then he turned and left them.

They may have been dead then, or it might have taken a few minutes. He didn’t care, and it didn’t matter. He rolled slowly, carefully, out of the side road, down through Broderick and on south. He was miles away before he became aware of the pain in his wrist, and the blood flowing down his sleeve toward his elbow. When he turned his arm over in the dim light of the car, he found that she’d bitten a chunk of flesh out of his wrist, a lemon- wedge that was still bleeding profusely.

If a cop stopped him and saw it . . .

He pulled over in the dark, wrapped his wrist with a pad of paper towels and a length of duct tape, stepped out of the truck, washed his hand and arm in snow, tossed the bloody jacket in the back of the truck and dug out a lighter coat from the bag in back.

Get home, he thought. Burn the coat, dump the truck.

Get home.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 79 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 79 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Little slow

    Ive read all the Prey series so far. This one was ok. Interesting but slow. Lucas is almost getting boring. Dont know if I like his new 'job'. I love the character of Letty. Hope shes in more books

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2008

    Not bad

    This book was a bit dry for me. I like Sandfords work in the past, the prey series is great. Lucas seems like a great character and I love reading about his next adventure but this book was too boring. I was pretty shocked to read so many good reviews about this one. The first 120 pages were just blah! Nothing more. Nothing was appealing, it seemed slow, the characters were pretty weak except the nut job who was killing people. I am not sure what was wrong with this book for me but usually in 2-3 days I am done with one in this series. This took a week and I struggled with it. I give it a 3 just because there were some good parts and its part of a great series from a great writer. However it I were to have started off with this book I probably would have never continued with this series :'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    As with many great series, there are clunkers here and there....

    As with many great series, there are clunkers here and installment or two where one of our favorite authors either just misses the mark or strikes out completely, swinging wildly in the process. Sandford has had a couple of "just missed it" efforts and, early in this book, I feared this was another. It just seemed too slow and a little cluttered for the first third of the book.....then...BAM...the action picked up. The twists and turns became more sudden and violent, the characters became more defined and the plot itself suddenly was more thrilling. I won't rank this with the best books in the series, but it is damn good and absolutely a worthwhile read...and it keeps me hooked to want more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013



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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Another great installment in the Lucas Davenport series

    Lucas has a soft side. He's growing up. Sandford's humor is great and his suspense masterful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2012

    Good read

    Typical and entertaining novel of Sanford/Lucas Davenport

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    Another satisfying read ...

    Another satisfying read, mainly for reasons that seem to recur as I continue thru the series. I found again that I'm not near as fond of the "whodunnit" portions of the J.S. books as I am the 1-on-1 contest of wits between Lucas & an evil foe. Even the EVIL seemed minimal to almost absent in this outing. Except for "Mom", all the suspects seemed like harmless people with little secrets.

    It's the backstory of Lucas & his appealing cast of characters moving on to a new part of their professional & personal lives that got my attention & made me impatient for the next book in the series.

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  • Posted June 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommend

    I've read all the Lucas Davenport series to far and this one does not disappoint. What a wonderful imagination Sandford has! Riveting and suspenceful story til the last page, the last sentence. Can't wait to read the next in line.

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  • Posted May 24, 2010

    A good, easy read.

    This is a good book. It was an easy read, with cool characters, continuing the Lucas Davenport line of books. Nice thrills, suspense, and the new character of Letty was an awesome touch.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2004

    Diabolical Dealings in Small-Town America

    It's hard to sustain a series over so many books(this latest addition to the 'Prey' cannon is the 14th in the series)but Sandford pulls it off with aplomb.It comes with a price:The Lucas Davenport of the earlier Prey novels is absent.So don't expect a Lucas who can pistol-whip a man's face to a pulp or call a red-neck deputy 'a fat hillbilly (expletive)' before beating the daylights out of him.The man has mellowed, is married and monogamous(for now).This has also meant a less explosive show-down between Lucas and the main villains.As in the Previous 2 Prey novels,it isn't Lucas who nails the bad guy but it's his fine investigative abilities that lead to the downfall of his Prey(s).Letty West is a great character and certain to put in another appearance in the next Prey book.The plot no longer hurtles forward with the same gut-wrenching velocity of the earlier books and you're unlikely to get villains along the class of Michael Bekker(Eyes and Silent Prey) or the Iceman(Winter Prey) in this book but after 13 books,Lucas is such a magnetic presence that you'd happily go along for the ride,even if this is just a pleasant cruise instead of a white-knucle ride.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2004

    New Reader-New fan!

    Naked Prey was the first of the Prey series I've read. It will not be the last. From the beginning it pulled me in, involving me. I tried to think ahead and was delighted with the answers found and a few questions left unanswered for later reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2004

    Not a cover-up

    Even though written with the familiar pattern of his other Prey novels, Naked Prey stands out as highly entertaining. It will not win any awards for its deep insights or its exceptional contribution to society, but it's a good story and worth reading. I especially enjoyed the richness of the female characters. Sanford dug deeper than most male authors for more realistic feminine personalities. Hope he continues in the same vein.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2003

    great book to read

    I really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to read a good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2003

    One of the smartest detectives in ficton.

    Lucas Davenport has always been able to figure out the tough ones with very few clues. Same goes with this latest installment in the 'prey' series. Not only is the 'whodonit' aspect of the story good, the dialogue is great, really funny in spots. This is a great read and so are the rest of John Sanford's books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2003


    Both Eric Conger and Richard Ferrone give blockbuster readings to John Sandford's thirteenth in his spellbinding 'Prey' series. Protagonist Lucas Davenport has proven to be one of the most popular and charismatic figures in crime fiction. Naked Prey secures his place at the top of the list. Delivering his fifth 'Prey' recording actor Eric Conger is the recipient of a Golden Earphone Award as well as the Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award for Chosen Prey. Listen up to his latest voice performance! Richard Ferrone is not a new comer to the vaunted 'Prey' series, as this is his 11th reading, which is expressive and compelling. Sandford, as always on top of his game, introduces a particularly appealing character in Naked Prey, pre-teener Letty West who finds two bodies hanging from a tree near her rundown home. To complicate matters, it looks like a lynching and the recently strung up are a white woman and a black man. Lucas Davenport, now a happily wed freelance trouble shooter, and his irascible buddy, Del Capstock, come to Broderick, Minnesota, to try to find out who's responsible for the double deaths. As we might imagine, young Letty isn't anyone's fool; she's able to point a finger at the killer. Problem is the killers are killed before Lucas can nab them. You know what they say about fine wine.....Sandford, too, just keeps getting better and better. Another sure winner for him!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2003


    After reading any of the Prey novels I think surely this is the best one. Having said as much after reading each I wonder aloud, 'Where does John keep getting the great ideas and inspiration for these novels'. A must 'read' for any reader enjoying great mysteries.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2003


    if you like prey novels you'll love Naked Prey it's a good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2003

    The best of the series

    I read this book in just one day. I love Sanford's flawed characters! Letty is unforgetable, the best of his characters to date. What a beautiful relationship is formed between Letty and Lucas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2003


    now we're talking, has the flavor of the first prey novels. I loved it, finished in 3 days (only b/c it's in hardcover)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2003

    Pray No Longer

    Readers that desire great fiction will not need to pray any longer. Naked Prey has arrived. By far the best of the Prey series. Great characters. Great story. Great suprise ending. True page-turner from start to end. Take the phone off the hook. Call in sick. Naked Prey is worth it.

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