web site hit counter Rules of Prey - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Rules of Prey

Availability: Ready to download

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 the 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 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 the 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, maddog suddenly has an adversary worthy of his genius.


Compare

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 the 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 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 the 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, maddog suddenly has an adversary worthy of his genius.

30 review for Rules of Prey

  1. 4 out of 5

    TK421

    Okay, here's the deal: I like me some stupid thriller books every once in awhile, and so I thought I would take a chance with Lucas Davenport. He's a gritty rogue cop, yadda...yadda...yadda...you've heard it all before. But what you haven't heard is this story was so much fun. Granted it has all the cliches imaginable, and once or twice I really had to wince at the writing, but, overall, this story did exactly what it was supposed to do: ENTERTAIN. Lately, I've been reading some pretty heavy stu Okay, here's the deal: I like me some stupid thriller books every once in awhile, and so I thought I would take a chance with Lucas Davenport. He's a gritty rogue cop, yadda...yadda...yadda...you've heard it all before. But what you haven't heard is this story was so much fun. Granted it has all the cliches imaginable, and once or twice I really had to wince at the writing, but, overall, this story did exactly what it was supposed to do: ENTERTAIN. Lately, I've been reading some pretty heavy stuff at work, but at home, nestled within the confines of my den of squalor, I have been relishing pulpy crime novels and this type of thriller. I have to admit, I forgot how fun reading can be when all the other BS surrounding classics or what the "it" read is at the moment is shoved off to the side. I turned pages as fast as I could read (is there any other way?), completely caught up in the moments of impossibility and lunacy. But, and here's the kicker, I bought into it! I believed John Sanford when he had his characters do whatever idiotic or mundane activity was on the page because I approached this book expecting nothing. Let me tell ya, and this is free to all you youngsters out there, NEVER FORGET HOW MUCH FUN READING IS! Remember, a steak can taste just fine by itself, but when you add mashed potatoes and some really good brown gravy, a side salad, and a nice bottle of wine...your tastes buds rejoice. Go on, don't be shy, give your reading taste buds a new flavor. If you don't like it, spit it out.

  2. 4 out of 5

    carol.

    Read only if: 1. You're John Sandford's A+ Number One Fan 2. You are a completionist and must read every book in the Lucas Davenport series 3. You're secretly in love with/wish you were Sonny Crockett, a spiffy dressed Extra Special Maverick Detective who loves clothes and women in equal proportions, with fast cars a close third 4. You never tire of the serial killer character and their 'games' with the police 5. You have no problem with detectives sexing the recent victim of an attempted rape/homic Read only if: 1. You're John Sandford's A+ Number One Fan 2. You are a completionist and must read every book in the Lucas Davenport series 3. You're secretly in love with/wish you were Sonny Crockett, a spiffy dressed Extra Special Maverick Detective who loves clothes and women in equal proportions, with fast cars a close third 4. You never tire of the serial killer character and their 'games' with the police 5. You have no problem with detectives sexing the recent victim of an attempted rape/homicide 6. You are stuck in Newark Airport and this is the only book available

  3. 5 out of 5

    James Thane

    This is the book that introduced Minneapolis homicide detective Lucas Davenport, a cunning, tough, and intelligent cop who is willing to bend the rules, if necessary, to get a dangerous killer off the streets. Davenport is independently wealthy, thanks to the fact that he writes video games in his off-duty hours. He drives a Porsche, wears Italian suits and reads Emily Dickinson. A former college hockey player, he's a man's man who is also very attractive to women. But he does have his standards This is the book that introduced Minneapolis homicide detective Lucas Davenport, a cunning, tough, and intelligent cop who is willing to bend the rules, if necessary, to get a dangerous killer off the streets. Davenport is independently wealthy, thanks to the fact that he writes video games in his off-duty hours. He drives a Porsche, wears Italian suits and reads Emily Dickinson. A former college hockey player, he's a man's man who is also very attractive to women. But he does have his standards. When one of his lovers suggests that Lucas is willing to bed virtually any attractive female who comes along, he corrects her by pointing out that he never sleeps with dumb women. That said, his best female friend is a nun. By the time he first appears, Davenport has already established his reputation as a gifted detective, and when a serial killer known as the Mad Dog, begins killing women in the Twin Cities, the Chief of Police assigns Lucas to the case. Initially, at least, the Mad Dog is a very worthy adversary. He's careful, intelligent, and he follows a set of basic rules, one of which he leaves on the body of each of his victims. For example, "Never kill anyone you know;" Never have a motive;" "Don't follow a discernable pattern," etc. The battle of wits is an engaging one and the reader is caught up in the game immediately. Lucas Davenport has gone on to become one of the most popular characters in modern crime fiction, and this is an excellent introduction both to the character and to the series. The book is cleverly plotted; the action moves swiftly, and Davenport is an extremely appealing protagonist. The supporting cast is well drawn and will grow increasingly important as the series progresses. Although often darkly violent, all of the books, beginning with this one, also have a very dark sense of humor as well. Sandford knows exactly how to straddle the line here, a talent that very few other authors illustrate better than he. It's hard to imagine that there's any fan of crime fiction who has not made Davenport's acquaintance by now, but if you've just returned from a twenty-eight-year sojourn on Neptune or some such place where these books haven't yet been published, by all means, race out to your local bookstore and buy them all. As is the case with a lot of series, it's important that you read this one in order, simply to enjoy the development of these characters as they move through the years.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    4 stars for a well done police procedural thriller. Since the killer is identified at the beginning of the book to the reader, it is a thriller, not a mystery. The suspense lies in the police trying to identify and stop this serial killer before he kills again. Louis Vullion is a very smart killer. He is a lawyer and familiar with police procedures. He plans his kills meticulously, being careful not to leave any DNA or other clues. The Minneapolis Police Department realizes that there is a serial 4 stars for a well done police procedural thriller. Since the killer is identified at the beginning of the book to the reader, it is a thriller, not a mystery. The suspense lies in the police trying to identify and stop this serial killer before he kills again. Louis Vullion is a very smart killer. He is a lawyer and familiar with police procedures. He plans his kills meticulously, being careful not to leave any DNA or other clues. The Minneapolis Police Department realizes that there is a serial killer in their city and they have both the homicide squad and Lucas Davenport investigating on parallel tracks. Davenport is also a very smart man, and 1 of the best detectives on the force. He is independently wealthy, because he designed several popular software fantasy war games. The book is written from alternating POVs--Louis and Lucas. Although this library book is 479 pages, I read it in 4 days, because it becomes hard to put down after about 100 pages. John Sandford is a pen name for Minnesota journalist John Camp. Two quotes: Davenport on a tv reporter: "He looked down at Annie McGown. Channel Eight. Dark hair, dark eyes, upturned nose. Wide mobile mouth. World class legs. Wonderful diction. Brains of an oyster." Davenport on fantasy games: "Every fantasy game in the world, he thought, had a bunch of computer freaks with swords wandering around Poe-esque landscapes with red-haired freckled beauties with large breasts."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kemper

    This features a smart and tough cop who drives a Porsche on the job as he hunts a sadistic serial killer in the late ‘80s. Yeah, yeah. I know this book should totally suck, but the amazing thing is that it doesn’t. Neither does the long-running series that followed. Lieutenant Lucas Davenport is officially the head of the intelligence division of the Minneapolis police force, but his real job title should be Head Rat Catcher. When big cases that get media attention happen Davenport gets called in This features a smart and tough cop who drives a Porsche on the job as he hunts a sadistic serial killer in the late ‘80s. Yeah, yeah. I know this book should totally suck, but the amazing thing is that it doesn’t. Neither does the long-running series that followed. Lieutenant Lucas Davenport is officially the head of the intelligence division of the Minneapolis police force, but his real job title should be Head Rat Catcher. When big cases that get media attention happen Davenport gets called in because he is a good cop who has built up a huge network of street informants, and he's also got a knack for playing the angles that keep too much crap from blowing back on his bosses. When a psycho nicknamed the 'maddog' starts a killing spree and leaves behind notes outlining his rules of murder Davenport finds himself drawn into a dangerous and very personal contest of wills. John Sandford (real name John Camp) was a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who covered crime in Minnneapolis, and his books have a casual way of making the procedural and political side of police work seem authentic in the context of thriller plots. Sandford’s easy-to-read style often masks how good he really is it at coming with intelligent and action-filled books that put most of the others of this type to shame. Even after 20+ books Davenport remains one of my favorite cop characters. The schtick of him being rich and playing by his own rules should make him a bad cliché, but Sandford gave him enough personality to get you to overlook that. For starters, he’s kind of bastard in a lot of ways especially in these early days. As a guy who made his money as a designer of role playing games Davenport is a master manipulator who won’t hesitate to use any ploy to get his man even if he burns some people in the process. And he won’t lose any sleep about committing a crime if he thinks it’s necessary. Lucas is definitely a guy who believes that the ends justify the means. That’s part of what’s kept him interesting for over 20 years. Next: Lucas vs. Native Americans in Shadow Prey

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alex is The Romance Fox

    Having just finished reading Gathering Prey, the #25 book in John Sandford’s brilliant Prey Series, I decided to go back memory lane and read the 1st book, Rules of Prey, where we were first introduced to Minneapolis nonconformist police officer, wealthy video games creator, great dresser and ladies man, Lucas Davenport, He was slender and dark-complexioned, with straight black hair going gray at the temples and a long nose over a crooked smile. One of his central upper incisors had be Having just finished reading Gathering Prey, the #25 book in John Sandford’s brilliant Prey Series, I decided to go back memory lane and read the 1st book, Rules of Prey, where we were first introduced to Minneapolis nonconformist police officer, wealthy video games creator, great dresser and ladies man, Lucas Davenport, He was slender and dark-complexioned, with straight black hair going gray at the temples and a long nose over a crooked smile. One of his central upper incisors had been chipped and he never had it capped. He might have been an Indian except for his blue eyes. His eyes were warm and forgiving. Though his eyes were warm, his smile betrayed him. If the chill of his smile sometimes overwhelmed the warmth of his eyes, it didn't happen so frequently as to become a social handicap. Rules of Prey is fast paced, gritty, dark and electrifying thriller of a cat-and-mouse game between not your average cop and a deranged and organized serial killer. So he was mad. But not quite the way the police thought. The maddog waited in the dark. The maddog was intelligent. He was a member of the bar. He derived rules. Never kill anyone you know. Never have a motive. Never follow a discernible pattern. Never carry a weapon after it has been used. Isolate yourself from random discovery. Beware of leaving physical evidence. Lieutenant Lucas Davenport will have to use more than the laid down rules and use some unorthodox methods of his own if he’s ever going to stop the psychotic killer down. The character development is extremely well done. The story is told in third person, enabling you to get into the minds of both cop and killer. Fantastic dialogue and description of the settings in the story. From the very first page, you are pulled into the chase until the very end. I liked reading this book again…and just as I remembered….still as good as ever. One of my favorite scenes in the book was Lucas Davenport working on a new war video game one night in his study: When Clapton started on “Lay Down, Sally” he got up and did a neatly coordinated solo dance around the chair. Then he sat down, worked for fifteen seconds, and was back up with “Willie and the Hand Jive.” He danced in the dark room by himself, watching the song time counting down on the digital CD clock. When “Hand Jive” ended, he sat down again…”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    I am giving five stars to the book and six stars to my quick run through of every one else's reviews which was hilarious. Poor Lucas rates from 5 stars for being brilliant and intelligent to 1 star for being a complete "scumbag". Only the best books get such diversity of opinion:) I liked Lucas myself although only on paper. In real life yes he would be obnoxious but as the principal character in my detective novel he was great. At least the women in his life knew how to treat him. The story was I am giving five stars to the book and six stars to my quick run through of every one else's reviews which was hilarious. Poor Lucas rates from 5 stars for being brilliant and intelligent to 1 star for being a complete "scumbag". Only the best books get such diversity of opinion:) I liked Lucas myself although only on paper. In real life yes he would be obnoxious but as the principal character in my detective novel he was great. At least the women in his life knew how to treat him. The story was really good- 450 pages and not one iota of boredom. The police work was interesting, the murders were gory but bearable and there was plenty of humour even if some of it was politically incorrect. So Lucas Davenport is not the nicest MC ever to grace the page of a crime book but he was certainly interesting and fun and I am definitely up for book 2.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    MadDog. Prey number 1 and like the others, well done. 8 of 10 stars Relistened a second time and 30 years after publication, still excellent! 9 of 10 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anna S

    Intelligent nemesis and talented investigator - the author claims this many times throughout the book but there is no evidence of intelligence in the story or indeed in the author. Half of the story is devoted to detailing the serial killers life and killings leaving NO MYSTERY WHATSOEVER, when the reader is aware of the killers identity it only serves to make his adversary look slow. Really, taking pains to avoid leaving physical evidence does not make the serial killer overflowing with intellig Intelligent nemesis and talented investigator - the author claims this many times throughout the book but there is no evidence of intelligence in the story or indeed in the author. Half of the story is devoted to detailing the serial killers life and killings leaving NO MYSTERY WHATSOEVER, when the reader is aware of the killers identity it only serves to make his adversary look slow. Really, taking pains to avoid leaving physical evidence does not make the serial killer overflowing with intelligence it is rudimentary logic and pointing it out in such an obvious way and actually calling the character intelligent does not make him so. It wasn't until a third of the way through the book this talented investigator actually started investigating. Instead we are treated to the minutiae of inspector Davenport's life. Being a rich so-called "ladies man" (sleeping with witnesses and reporters who leek information about the case hardly deserves the title "ladies man") does not make the character an interesting protagonist, and in fact he is as dull and predictable. This is a truly awful piece of rot.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jax

    Nothing about Lucas Davenport was admirable or likeable or realistic. He's a womanizing attention whore with an inflated opinion of himself who doesn't seem to do much detective work what with all the trips up to his cabin (during a case?!) and working on the computer games he creates (what?). We do get lots of exciting phone calls where he uses his awesome skills to manipulate the press. So there's that. The fun begins as we learn that our "star" has the made-just-for-him title of Office of Spec Nothing about Lucas Davenport was admirable or likeable or realistic. He's a womanizing attention whore with an inflated opinion of himself who doesn't seem to do much detective work what with all the trips up to his cabin (during a case?!) and working on the computer games he creates (what?). We do get lots of exciting phone calls where he uses his awesome skills to manipulate the press. So there's that. The fun begins as we learn that our "star" has the made-just-for-him title of Office of Special Intelligence and is a lone wolf operating without a partner and apparently assigned to whatever department needs him. Um, ok. (view spoiler)[He's put on a serial killer case AFTER he himself is cleared from possibly being that serial killer. I like him already! From there it's a series of things real cops would never do: the boss wants him to break into a suspect's house & have a look (p.150), he savagely beats a man (p.264) but I guess this is supposed to be ok because that man was much larger and had been a boxer, he calls a woman the 'c' word (p.265), he believes finding something incriminating during another illegal search of a suspect's home would allow them to get a warrant (p.410), which makes me wonder if they even had the authority to put the tracker on his car (p. 406), he PLANTS EVIDENCE in the house (p.411), puts an illegal homemade silencer on his gun (p. 427), and kills the suspect rather than arrest him (p. 473). (hide spoiler)] On top of all that, it's never clear to me why these attractive, supposedly smart ('cuz that's the way he likes 'em) women put up with him, although I didn't like his main squeeze much either so maybe they deserve each other. We also never learn how he's come to be this wealthy game designer. I guess it's to allow him to have all his big-boy toys: the porsche and cabin and boat, etc, but it was an odd thing to throw in the mix with no explanation. The author excuses the lack of reality in the Introduction by saying he wanted Davenport to be a "star". I'll take the realism please.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    My Goodreads friends convinced me that I should include Sandford’s excellent crime thriller series featuring Lt. Lucas Davenport in my reading AND they recommended that I start at the beginning. It IS a tautly plotted story with a despicable villain and plenty of twists and turns. However, Davenport is a ‘bad boy’ cop that would certainly be fired from any good police department—even if he does ‘get his man’. Lucas’ relationships with women are reprehensible—he has the morals of an alley cat and My Goodreads friends convinced me that I should include Sandford’s excellent crime thriller series featuring Lt. Lucas Davenport in my reading AND they recommended that I start at the beginning. It IS a tautly plotted story with a despicable villain and plenty of twists and turns. However, Davenport is a ‘bad boy’ cop that would certainly be fired from any good police department—even if he does ‘get his man’. Lucas’ relationships with women are reprehensible—he has the morals of an alley cat and is not above using one as bait for a serial killer without her knowledge. So—does Davenport evolve to be a better human being in future offerings? I sure hope so.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Though his eyes were warm, his smile betrayed him. Lucas Davenport is smart, good-looking, rich, and so obviously effective a cop that he transcends departments and has his own Office of Special Intelligence, an acknowledgment both of his well-tended network of informants and his well-documented tendency to go off and do his own thing. He's destined to be assigned to every high-profile case the Twin Cities have to offer. Oh, and he drives a Porsche. A character this cool shouldn't work as anyt Though his eyes were warm, his smile betrayed him. Lucas Davenport is smart, good-looking, rich, and so obviously effective a cop that he transcends departments and has his own Office of Special Intelligence, an acknowledgment both of his well-tended network of informants and his well-documented tendency to go off and do his own thing. He's destined to be assigned to every high-profile case the Twin Cities have to offer. Oh, and he drives a Porsche. A character this cool shouldn't work as anything other than the most basic wish fulfillment, a checklist of desirable traits. But amazingly, he does work. Sandford excels at fully developing his hero until Lucas seems organically the kind of person who would be like this and until he runs into his own limitations and some consequences. Sometimes I think one of the most valuable traits in an author is the willingness to risk the reader disliking the protagonist: that keeps the story moving smoothly and under its own logic rather than the logic of whatever the author thinks will appeal. Sandford tells a good, compelling story, and he lets the reader form their own opinions about Lucas. Most likely they'll be favorable, but there's room for them to not be. After all, over the course of the novel, Lucas threatens, bullies, plants evidence, loses his temper, engages in some shady sexual ethics, and effectively sets a woman up to be attacked by a serial killer. He has a motivation for all of this, but Sandford doesn't bend over backwards to make sure you agree with him, he just lets Lucas work. The end result is that Lucas is a character rather than an argument about what is best and most heroic, and dammit, I like him. Also, he earned that Porsche by designing fantasy roleplaying games and his unsalable magnum opus that he designed just for fun is a Civil War reenactment RPG that he plays with his nun best friend. That's kind of adorably geeky. Lucas is called into action in Rules of Prey because of the "maddog killer," a serial rapist and murderer who is on the verge of setting off a city-wide panic. Lucas knows how to work a media circus and also how to get sometimes-shady things done behind the scenes, so he's assigned as kind of a rogue investigator operating outside Robbery-Homicide even though he's in cooperation with them. We also see the maddog's perspective. Sandford makes his headspace suitably slimy. In his own way, the maddog is an interesting character: pathetic enough to be realistic, smart enough to be dangerous, and both human and alien in his motivations. If Lucas has a good shot at understanding him, the maddog understands him back. (view spoiler)[In the best example of this, the killer is smart enough after a near miss to completely clean his house of anything even tangentially connected with his crimes, all the way down to the potatoes in his kitchen (he'd used one in a sock as a cosh). When Lucas breaks in, he's smart enough to notice that the total absence of any connecting evidence is in and of itself kind of suspicious--the complete innocent the police briefly suspect, on the other hand, had lubricated condoms that might have matched the maddog's--and deduce that a clean-up has been done. He plants photos of the victims deep under the mattress to seal the deal at a later date. But then the maddog, knowing about Lucas's penchant for gaming, deduces that he wouldn't be above cheating, and then he finds and destroys the photos. (hide spoiler)] Sandford is great at the thrilling step-by-step process of tracking and capturing a killer. The case here has the complications of real life investigations. There are seemingly significant leads that turn out to be dead ends, characters who complicate the investigation by hiding unrelated crimes, headaches over how to manage the whole thing in the press, and realistic fuckups that never feel contrived. It's all lighter-toned than a Michael Mann movie, but it has the same quality to me of just treating its genre tropes straightforwardly and with depth rather than trying to subvert them, and you get some awesome, gratifying entertainment out that. And here, one hell of a thriller and series opener. I'm already onto book two.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rene

    I will never read another John Sanford book. I stopped reading Bad Blood because it was so terrible. Rules of Prey was better, but not by much. I actually finished reading this one. John Sanford can write. I'll give him that, but his writing skills is not why I gave him one star. Many authors err on making their protagonist too perfect. He errs in making them too scummy so that the reader may have trouble identifying with his characters and caring/sympathizing with them. For example, his main ch I will never read another John Sanford book. I stopped reading Bad Blood because it was so terrible. Rules of Prey was better, but not by much. I actually finished reading this one. John Sanford can write. I'll give him that, but his writing skills is not why I gave him one star. Many authors err on making their protagonist too perfect. He errs in making them too scummy so that the reader may have trouble identifying with his characters and caring/sympathizing with them. For example, his main character in Rules of Prey treats women despicably, and the ladies are alright with poor treatment after a little fussing, like that's going to happen. In addition to planting evidence, the protagonist is also a brawler and a murderer and has probably murdered in the past as well since he has more killings than anybody. I don't feel I have to agree with everything that a character might do, but Sanford's characters leave me with a feeling of yuck. I don't like being in their heads, and I don't want to have anything to do them. I don't like them -- any of them. The sooner I can forget about this book the better. I have concluded that I am not a John Sanford fan.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)

    Another Lucas Davenport weekend. After reading #21 in the series I had a hankerin' to go back to some of the early ones. Sandford has certainly improved his delivery over the years. This first one is heavy on the nonessential narrative summaries, especially in the first 100 pages or so. Rules of Prey introduces Lucas Davenport, the badass Minneapolis cop who plays by his own rules but gets the job done when no one else can. He goes head to head with a smart lawyer who is also a serial killer. Th Another Lucas Davenport weekend. After reading #21 in the series I had a hankerin' to go back to some of the early ones. Sandford has certainly improved his delivery over the years. This first one is heavy on the nonessential narrative summaries, especially in the first 100 pages or so. Rules of Prey introduces Lucas Davenport, the badass Minneapolis cop who plays by his own rules but gets the job done when no one else can. He goes head to head with a smart lawyer who is also a serial killer. The serial killer theme is soooo '80s! This was published in 1989, so it was right for the times, but felt a little tired to me lo these 20+ years later. I didn't read the series in order my first time through. I started with #10, which I ran across by chance at the library. I didn't know it was part of a series when I grabbed it, but Clara Rinker got me hooked! Had I started with this first one I don't know if I'd have continued with the series. I read them all out of order until I caught up. I give this 3.5 stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    William

    4.5 stars for the book, PLUS an extra half-star because this was the First Book by this author. Well Done! NOTE: My advice is to skim the first chapter from the viewpoint of the serial killer. It's very unpleasant and detailed stuff, both action and thinking. Brrrrr! There are perhaps 2-3 other short brutal sections from the villain's viewpoint, you can safely skim the brutal plans and actions, they don't really advance the plot. After chapter 3 or so, the book picks up speed. The police and peri 4.5 stars for the book, PLUS an extra half-star because this was the First Book by this author. Well Done! NOTE: My advice is to skim the first chapter from the viewpoint of the serial killer. It's very unpleasant and detailed stuff, both action and thinking. Brrrrr! There are perhaps 2-3 other short brutal sections from the villain's viewpoint, you can safely skim the brutal plans and actions, they don't really advance the plot. After chapter 3 or so, the book picks up speed. The police and peripheral characters are almost all very likeable; none of this cliched "Bad boss" stuff here. I enjoy Sandford's decision on this a lot. He clearly loves the characters he's writing, and it shows. The detective, Lucas Davenport, is young, confident and famous already, for both detective work and for pre-computer board game authorship. He also very much loves women, including the sexual aspects. Some behaviours are selfish, but never mean or angry. He is a likeable "semi-rogue". His detection skills take a while to shine in the story, but the mostly linear plot is complex enough to engage you while the story unfolds and heats up. One wonderful thing: Sandford has a terrific sense of humour in 4-5 scenes throughout the book, mostly private dialogue of the police. I laughed out loud several times, and still smile now thinking about them. The final chapters are superb, with minor flaws. There was only one (wow!) major behavioural irritation of the form "jeez, real people would not do that", in service of the plot. It wasn’t needed and it didn’t last long. By 2/3 the way through the book, at 1am last night, I was so captivated I read through until 4am to finish. Great finish. Honest and in character for Davenport. As it is said in the book, Davenport is a real player of "the game". Great stuff. The best accolade? I am reading book #2 now, Shadow Prey

  16. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    8/10 This was an enjoyable read even if the main guy is, well, a grade A dickhead. There are a few things from this story that stick out and the fact that Lucas Davenport comes across as likeable at times and then a downright twat the next made it quite an interesting tale in what is a well saturated detective series market. There is a little bit of outdatedness in this one but it's not heavily prevalent and doesn't detract overall. The serial killer aspect has been done lots of times before and w 8/10 This was an enjoyable read even if the main guy is, well, a grade A dickhead. There are a few things from this story that stick out and the fact that Lucas Davenport comes across as likeable at times and then a downright twat the next made it quite an interesting tale in what is a well saturated detective series market. There is a little bit of outdatedness in this one but it's not heavily prevalent and doesn't detract overall. The serial killer aspect has been done lots of times before and will be done lots more. It works and makes for good reading but the story needs to really excel to make an impact. The Mad Dog made for a good killer and was cool and calculating throughout. It was enjoyable to see these two come up against each other. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator really grew on me. To start I was a bit unsure from the preview I listened to but an offer for the first two for one credit swayed me and I'm glad it did. I look forward to starting the next one in the near future and seeing if Davenport can become even more of a douche.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    It’s taken me awhile to get around to John Sandford’s work, Rules of Prey being first published in 1987. No idea why it’s taken me so long but I did. If the rest of the books are as good as this one I’m in for a real treat. Being a cop for Lucas Davenport is a hobby. His real wealth is generated by the computer games he writes. Lucas is a womanising show pony. He drives a Porsche, wear expensive clothes but he has a passion for, and is very good at, catching really bad people. On this occasion the It’s taken me awhile to get around to John Sandford’s work, Rules of Prey being first published in 1987. No idea why it’s taken me so long but I did. If the rest of the books are as good as this one I’m in for a real treat. Being a cop for Lucas Davenport is a hobby. His real wealth is generated by the computer games he writes. Lucas is a womanising show pony. He drives a Porsche, wear expensive clothes but he has a passion for, and is very good at, catching really bad people. On this occasion the really bad person is MADDOG a serial sex killer. This is one very sick individual. After every one of his kills MADDOG leaves a note for the police. Each note reveals a rule that MADDOG adheres to. These rules make him the perfect killer, or so he thinks. Enter Lucas Davenport. A couple of Lucas’s sleeping partners are high profile TV journalists and it is towards them that Lucas now turns. Lucas feeds the journalists information that is designed to antagonise MADDOG and draw him out into the open. Nothing Lucas tries seems to work. All the while MADDOG is still killing. In a desperate attempt to catch the killer Lucas convinces one of the girls to be part of a set up. She agrees but nothing goes to plan. MADDOG gets away leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. By a piece of persistent police work and a streak of good luck MADDOG’S true identity is at last revealed. But is it too late for Lucas? There is a lot of graphic violence here but for all that it’s a thriller that once picked up is hard to put back down. Recommended for lover of action packed thrillers.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Wow! Okay, I can say that Davenport is not like anything other cop character I've ever read before. He's definitely an original, and I don't know how much I should say for fear of blowing it for those who haven't read it and wish to. Lucas is intelligent and handsome in his own way, has a lot going on, but I found him to be... well, the only word I can think of is insecure when it comes to his personal life (women). He has the 'you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours' attitude when it comes to h Wow! Okay, I can say that Davenport is not like anything other cop character I've ever read before. He's definitely an original, and I don't know how much I should say for fear of blowing it for those who haven't read it and wish to. Lucas is intelligent and handsome in his own way, has a lot going on, but I found him to be... well, the only word I can think of is insecure when it comes to his personal life (women). He has the 'you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours' attitude when it comes to his informants, and although some would say not entirely legal, it gets the job done. And the book has a really good pace, catches you from the start right to the finish. As I mentioned, email me if you want to discuss the book cause there's something that happens in the book that I wasn't happy with (but it in no way changes my view or rating) but I don't want to blow it for those who are going to read it. I found a few of the female characters a little on the ditzy side, but overall, I liked it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Delee

    Re-reading with first-timer Edward!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eric_W

    Audiobook: Rules of Prey is the first in a long series of Lucas Davenport police procedurals set in Minneapolis. I’ve read about ten of them, not in order and for some reason never got around to the first, an oversight I have now remedied. The Sandford Davenport books are all quite good, although Lucas’s relationships with women I sometimes find superficial and irritating. Lucas is independently wealthy having sold the rights to a software game he had developed and he drives around in a red Pors Audiobook: Rules of Prey is the first in a long series of Lucas Davenport police procedurals set in Minneapolis. I’ve read about ten of them, not in order and for some reason never got around to the first, an oversight I have now remedied. The Sandford Davenport books are all quite good, although Lucas’s relationships with women I sometimes find superficial and irritating. Lucas is independently wealthy having sold the rights to a software game he had developed and he drives around in a red Porsche. In this one, he’s been tasked with finding the “Mad Dog Killer,” a man -- whose predations and POV we are subjected to -- who is killing women. One aspect puzzled and put me off a little. That was Lucas’s manipulation of the press. He’s sleeping with (and has impregnated) one of the star reporters of a local paper. She has no qualms about using things she has overheard during his private phone conversations even though she has been asked to leave the room. (His relationship with her is highly improper, in my view and hardly necessary since he’s sleeping with a victim of the Mad Dog Killer - also extremely unprofessional and irregular.) Then he uses a TV reporter (whom he regards as dumber than a rock) to leak all sorts of incorrect information clearly to irritate the killer. Whether that encourages the killer to kill in a different way I’ll leave up to the other readers. I understand that some writers feel it’s necessary for cops to break the rules to catch the bad guys but imho then they become bad guys as well. (Not a spoiler since we know who the bad guy is almost from the beginning, unfortunately participating in his depredations via his POV that becomes gross as the book progresses.) Richard Ferrone does his usual brilliant job reading. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because of Ferrone.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    It's a well known, popular, long-running series that I've read a couple in. I remembered them as being OK, maybe even pretty good, but it was clear that, while fairly self-contained, the series really should be read completely in order. I had a bunch of them in paperback before we moved over a decade ago & I wound up giving them away to save room. They've been on my radar, but never a priority. Then I read Saturn Run a SF book written by a mystery author. I was very impressed, so I read a couple It's a well known, popular, long-running series that I've read a couple in. I remembered them as being OK, maybe even pretty good, but it was clear that, while fairly self-contained, the series really should be read completely in order. I had a bunch of them in paperback before we moved over a decade ago & I wound up giving them away to save room. They've been on my radar, but never a priority. Then I read Saturn Run a SF book written by a mystery author. I was very impressed, so I read a couple of his standalones & the first of his Virgil Flowers series, a spin-off of this one. Again, all were impressive, 4 star reads. My library has this series in audiobook format, so I'm taking the plunge. Again, I was impressed. Sure, Lucas is larger than life & does things no real cop would do (or would get locked up for if he did) but this is a fictional adventure & he's kept a basic real feel to the story. There's no superman stuff. While everyone is pretty good, there are some dumb decisions & occasional screw ups that are balanced by lucky breaks on both sides. According to Sandford, even the cops he knows like the books & thinks he got the balance right. Ferrone did a great job narrating the book & it was followed by an afterword by Sandford. He started out as a newspaper reporter & was getting burned out on covering the same disasters over & over. He wrote a couple of nonfiction books & then tried fiction starting with the first Kidd book. His publisher wanted him to use a pseudonym for this series, so he's best known by it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sa... Again, I'm impressed & plan to continue listening. Highly recommended.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Janie Johnson

    I read this book as a buddy read with a friend. I have had these books for quite some time, so it was time to read it. I found the book very engaging so it was an easy read for me but I did have a few issues with it as well. Synopsis 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. B I read this book as a buddy read with a friend. I have had these books for quite some time, so it was time to read it. I found the book very engaging so it was an easy read for me but I did have a few issues with it as well. Synopsis 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. I enjoyed the plot of the story a lot. There was good mystery, action, thrills and excitement. All those things you love with a mystery, but you do know who the bad guy is from the start of the story, so the mystery is well known, so that is a little bit of a downfall. The story itself is still written very well though. Now for the characters. This is where my biggest issues come from. Lucas Davenport is a huge player to start with. He does not show any other flaws or issues with himself. He is a ladies man pure and simple. I particularly like characters like that. Another issue I have with him is that he is pretty much borderline bad cop with his antics and the choices he makes which is kind of annoying. The author obviously wrote him this way for a reason and hopefully he has Lucas straighten up a bit throughout the series. As for our "maddog" character I feel like he was written to be too smart. I know he is supposed to be extremely intelligent, but this seemed to be too much. He makes no mistakes and leaves no clues and I find that to be a little unrealistic. Even the women in this story are annoying to me. I hope that characters can grow and become a bit more likeable and realistic. This could have easily been a 5 star read for me had I enjoyed these characters a little more. But even though I did not like the characters the story itself was good and flowed very well. I recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery, just know that these may not be ideal characters for readers.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Zaphoddent

    This book is filled with the opposite of what the summary suggests! No one in the book can be described as half way intelligent and the author repeating continuously that they are doesn't change the fact that they're not. Couldn't take it anymore, had to quit about two thirds of the way through; only reason I lasted that long was the hope that all the characters would be killed off thereby redeeming the blasted book. This book is filled with the opposite of what the summary suggests! No one in the book can be described as half way intelligent and the author repeating continuously that they are doesn't change the fact that they're not. Couldn't take it anymore, had to quit about two thirds of the way through; only reason I lasted that long was the hope that all the characters would be killed off thereby redeeming the blasted book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    ✨Susan✨

    Okay, so this book is a little dated, however, the plot line was fast moving, it had great characters and an interesting, complicated villain. I ended up developing a love/hate relationship with Lucas Davenport, he is an overindulgent, brainy, macho, cad, but I still liked him a lot..Lol. We started this series as a buddy-read and from all of it's great reviews I am looking forward to it getting better and better. I hope as Lucas's character matures he turns into more of an upstanding individual Okay, so this book is a little dated, however, the plot line was fast moving, it had great characters and an interesting, complicated villain. I ended up developing a love/hate relationship with Lucas Davenport, he is an overindulgent, brainy, macho, cad, but I still liked him a lot..Lol. We started this series as a buddy-read and from all of it's great reviews I am looking forward to it getting better and better. I hope as Lucas's character matures he turns into more of an upstanding individual without loosing too much of his flawed, campy personality. Great narration mixed with somewhat antagonistic characters excite and motivate me towards the next installment. Join us if you like good, witty crime thrillers with a bit of age on them.

  25. 5 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    ! ! ! ! ! Is Lucas Davenport a scumbag or a hero? This is the first in the classic 'Prey' series, and I.dont.know. Independently wealthy, he doesn't need the job of police lieutenant, detective in the Minneapolis police department. He is also a designer of video games, a gambler and a womanizer. He is willing to marry a woman having his child, and able to drive to his other lover's bed after proposing to the first woman, telling neither about the other. He is a gun nut, and he carries unregistered ! ! ! ! ! Is Lucas Davenport a scumbag or a hero? This is the first in the classic 'Prey' series, and I.dont.know. Independently wealthy, he doesn't need the job of police lieutenant, detective in the Minneapolis police department. He is also a designer of video games, a gambler and a womanizer. He is willing to marry a woman having his child, and able to drive to his other lover's bed after proposing to the first woman, telling neither about the other. He is a gun nut, and he carries unregistered guns he can drop near criminals he has murdered in cold blood. In the pursuit of a horrible serial killer, he doesn't think twice in setting up a woman as bait, hoping the killer will show. He has unusual autonomy in the department, no partner, assigned to be a liaison between the media and the police, and is highly trusted by his boss, Chief Daniel. His number one lover, Jennifer Carey, often goes behind his back and spies on him, betraying his case secrets to the world in the race to report important crime details in her television reporter job. Although occasionally this upsets him, he seems to tolerate that side of her character in order to bed her - often. He has an eerie second sense, a feeling for things being off or wrong, as well as a honed knowledge of police procedure. He tries to avoid blame games in the process of police work, and he is willing to apologize for his anger when the teamwork required for tracking perpetrators goes wrong. Lucas Davenport is NOT a believer in rules. Unlike Lucas, maddog has created a checklist of rules to obey once he has picked The Chosen. Starting with squirrels when just a little boy, he has learned that killing things gives him an orgasm. Unfortunately, squirrels no longer have the impact a woman dying by his hand does. He wants to share his joy with the police and the media, so he leaves a rule written on paper behind after each rape and murder. He is up to number three. The urge is growing. And he has found the next Chosen.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    5 stars I really love reading pure suspense books (not romantic suspense), it was my favorite genre before I got sucked in by romance books. So, I decided to try this series, as a change of pace. Good decision. Right now, I'm up to book seven, and I liked (a lot) every single one of those books. Lucas Davenport is an incredible hero. A cop and a game designer, he is also wickedly smart, rich (drives a Ferrari around). While his attitude towards relationships is not something I find all that great, 5 stars I really love reading pure suspense books (not romantic suspense), it was my favorite genre before I got sucked in by romance books. So, I decided to try this series, as a change of pace. Good decision. Right now, I'm up to book seven, and I liked (a lot) every single one of those books. Lucas Davenport is an incredible hero. A cop and a game designer, he is also wickedly smart, rich (drives a Ferrari around). While his attitude towards relationships is not something I find all that great, somehow he still managed to completely draw me in. Don't get me wrong, he loves smart, strong women and honestly respects them, but has slight issues with commitment (nothing new there). And I love how he evolves throughout the series. The suspense plot in books is well developed, I was on the edge of my seat every single time. Some of them focus more on the thriller and some on the mystery part, but it works. All in all, a series every suspense reader should try out.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    I have had this book on my to read list for such a long time and I have now finally read it. I found it slow at the start and struggled to get into it but the more I got used to the main character Lucas Davenport the more I enjoyed it. By halfway through it I was already thinking I will have to read more of this series by John Sandford. At the moment there are 24 books in the series so I certainly have a few to enjoy. If you like characters with an edge then I suggest you try this book and serie I have had this book on my to read list for such a long time and I have now finally read it. I found it slow at the start and struggled to get into it but the more I got used to the main character Lucas Davenport the more I enjoyed it. By halfway through it I was already thinking I will have to read more of this series by John Sandford. At the moment there are 24 books in the series so I certainly have a few to enjoy. If you like characters with an edge then I suggest you try this book and series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dirk Grobbelaar

    Serial killer stalks women. Cop stalks serial killer. It’s been done before, sometimes better, sometimes worse. This entry, fortunately, falls in the category of better crime novels. It’s the first in the Lucas Davenport series, which has the distinction of not only providing us with the protagonist’s side of the story, but we also get to follow the killer as he plans and executes his horrendous deeds. The reader is never really in the dark about the serial killer’s identity, but it’s eerily dis Serial killer stalks women. Cop stalks serial killer. It’s been done before, sometimes better, sometimes worse. This entry, fortunately, falls in the category of better crime novels. It’s the first in the Lucas Davenport series, which has the distinction of not only providing us with the protagonist’s side of the story, but we also get to follow the killer as he plans and executes his horrendous deeds. The reader is never really in the dark about the serial killer’s identity, but it’s eerily disturbing to know what the killer’s next move is going to be while the hot-shot detective struggles to figure things out. It soon boils down to a deadly game of cat and mouse between Davenport and the aptly named maddog. The novel is sleazy and straight to the point, which works well given the subject matter. It’s both chilling and entertaining. If you consider yourself a discerning reader of thriller novels, you’ll already own this.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    This book is the first of series that has been recommended to me quite a few times here on GR so when I found a copy I decided to give it a go and I was not disappointing at all. The Main character Police Lieutenant Lucas Davenport he is an very unconventional person. He sleeps easily around with women, to prove he has some standard he does not sleep with dumb ones how gorgeous they are. He does not mind circumventing the law at his own behest and framing somebody if it suits the case. And he do This book is the first of series that has been recommended to me quite a few times here on GR so when I found a copy I decided to give it a go and I was not disappointing at all. The Main character Police Lieutenant Lucas Davenport he is an very unconventional person. He sleeps easily around with women, to prove he has some standard he does not sleep with dumb ones how gorgeous they are. He does not mind circumventing the law at his own behest and framing somebody if it suits the case. And he does without any problem set somebody up as an target even if the female in question never knew what Davenport is up to. He gets involved in serial killer case and nobody seems to get anywhere as the killer takes good care of his forensic footprint and whatnot. This book is told from two different people the serial killer and Davenport. There is no real cat and mouse tension either in the book as both leading characters are not the nicest of people and a mutual killing would not be the worst ending of the book, but won't happen as there are more than twenty sequels for Davenport (this is not a spoiler on GR :) ). The book is well written and easy to read. Davenport has a little shadow of Dirty Harry Calahan as played by Clint Eastwood but that character has got principles and sticks to rules even if he does stretch them a wee bit. Davenport has no such issues he seems to do what he likes and most people in this first book have no issue with that at all. I will revisit this character for sure wondering how the Davenport person evolves.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jack Heath

    4 Stars. He's not the most likeable detective you'll ever meet. He's got few of those endearing quirks which authors sometimes add to humanize them. Yes he drives a Porsche, makes big bucks on the side developing computer games, and consults a nun, Sister Mary Joseph, for psychological advice about criminals. If you're one who suspects the police of nefarious deeds even if only to explain your recent parking ticket, this first Lucas Davenport is for you. You will be sure his unethical and illega 4 Stars. He's not the most likeable detective you'll ever meet. He's got few of those endearing quirks which authors sometimes add to humanize them. Yes he drives a Porsche, makes big bucks on the side developing computer games, and consults a nun, Sister Mary Joseph, for psychological advice about criminals. If you're one who suspects the police of nefarious deeds even if only to explain your recent parking ticket, this first Lucas Davenport is for you. You will be sure his unethical and illegal policing activities are thinly disguised real life. After all, isn't the author a former crime reporter? Anxiety is peaking in Minneapolis-St. Paul as a serial killer, "Maddog," brings terror to the streets. He's a calculating murderer with an eye for a certain type of woman. He taunts the police with his own set of rules on how not to get caught, leaving notes at scenes like, "Never follow a discernible pattern." The media are in a frenzy - including the one Davenport is sleeping with. And fathering a child with - Jennifer Carey. Or is that Carla Ruiz, the artist / victim who survived the Maddog? I couldn't stop turning the page. (June 2020)

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.