John Sandford is the pseudonym for the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Camp. He is the author of twenty-six Prey novels, most recently Extreme Prey; four Kidd novels; nine Virgil Flowers novels; three YA novels coauthored with his wife, Michele Cook; and three stand-alones, most recently Saturn Run.
Recently released sex criminal Charlie Pope is the main suspect in the gruesome murder that opens this novel. Lucas Davenport seeks help from psychologist Sister Mary Joseph, who insists Charlie isn't smart enough to be the killer. Two weeks later, there's another victim, this time a man. The clinicians, staff, and residents of St. John's mental hospital are interviewed, and the detectives surmise that a trio of homicidal sex maniacs are masterminding Charlie's murder spree. Clever misdirection, an exciting firefight, and an assortment of interesting characters intermix with Lucas's iPod compilation of the "100 Best Songs of the Rock Era" (a Beatles-less list!). Richard Ferrone's narration enhances the overall atmosphere and successfully depicts Lucas's gruff persona. Detailed descriptions of the crimes and violence may make some listeners uncomfortable, but such fare may be expected from police crime mysteries. Recommended.-Denise A. Garofalo, Astor Home for Children, Rhinebeck, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Sandford sends series hero Lucas Davenport's family off to London to ensure that domestic concerns never slow the action in this sexy, bloody thriller. Davenport, a Minnesota State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator, had lately been doing political fix-it jobs for the governor, but this time he's got a psychopathic serial killer on his hands. ("All major metro areas had them, sometimes two and three at a time. The public had the impression that they were rare. They weren't.") The first victim, a young woman, was "scourged" with a wire whip; number two, a young man, had his penis cut off. Evidence first points to recently released sex offender Charlie Pope. Though Charlie is pretty dumb and the killer is extremely smart, it takes Davenport and his series partner, Detective Sloan, a while to realize they're chasing the wrong guy. Sandford introduces some lighter moments, the most entertaining about Davenport's new iPod and his quest to compile a list of the 100 best rock songs ever recorded, which every cop on the force gives him suggestions for. These moments allow readers to catch their breath amid the otherwise nonstop tension as the killer taunts the authorities while snaring more victims, and the cops race around the countryside always just a few minutes too late. For those who thought Davenport (and Sandford) were slowing down and showing signs of age and prosperity, this superlative entry will dispel all such notions. This is tough, unstoppable, white-knuckle fiction. Agent, Esther Newberg. 500,000 first printing; main selections of the Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, Mystery Guild and BOMC. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Praise for John Sandford's Prey Novels
"Relentlessly swift...genuinely suspenseful...excellent."--Los Angeles Times
"Sandford is a writer in control of his craft."--Chicago Sun-Times
"Excellent...compelling...everything works."--USA Today
"Grip-you-by-the-throat thrills...a hell of a ride."--Houston
"Crackling, page-turning tension...great scary fun."--The New York Daily News "Enough pulse-pounding, page-turning excitement to keep you up way past bedtime."--Minneapolis Star Tribune "One of the most engaging characters in contemporary fiction."--Detroit News
"Positively chilling."--St. Petersburg Times "Just right for fans of The Silence of the Lambs."--Booklist
"One of the most horrible villains this side of Hannibal."--Richmond Times-Dispatch "Ice-pick chills...excruciatingly tense...a double-pumped roundhouse of a thriller."--Kirkus Reviews