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Hidden Prey [Hardcover]

John Sandford
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 10 2004 Sandford, John

With Naked Prey, John Sandford proved again that his writing is as fresh and compulsively readable as ever. "This is vintage Sandford, which is to say all but impossible to put down," said The Washington Post. "Sprawling, suspenseful, tough-minded [and] sheer fun."

Six months ago, Lucas Davenport tackled his first case as a statewide troubleshooter, and he thought that one was plenty strange enough. But that was before the Russian got killed. On the shore of Lake Superior, a man named Vladimir Orslov is found shot dead, three holes in his head and heart, and though nobody knows why, everybody-the local cops, the FBI, and the Russians themselves-has a theory. And when it turns out he had very high government connections, that's when it hits the fan.

A Russian cop flies in from Moscow, Davenport flies in from Minneapolis, law enforcement and press types swarm the crime scene-and, in the middle of it all, there is another murder. Is there a relationship between the two? What is the Russian cop hiding from Davenport? Is she-yes, it's a woman-a cop at all? Why was the man shot with...fifty-year-old bullets? Before he can find the answers, Davenport will have to follow a trail back to another place, another time, and battle the shadows he discovers there-shadows that turn out to be both very real and very deadly.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Det. Lucas Davenport has battled some real demons over the past 15 Prey novels and drifted in and out of lust and love with a host of women. But now he's happily married to the lovely Weather; has a nine-month-old son, Sam; and takes care of his 12-year-old ward, Letty West. Sure, he's got a measure of the old angst, but he's growing accustomed to the good life, spending quality time alone on the couch drinking beer and watching TV golf. His new job is running the Office of Regional Research at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension where he looks into various crimes and "fixes shit" for the governor. So when a dead Russian shows up on the docks in Duluth, Lucas is assigned to shepherd the lady investigator, Nadya Kalin, being sent by the Russian government. From the very first pages, the reader knows it's teenager Carl Walther who has killed the Russian. What makes the book intriguing is the manner in which the sagacious Davenport goes about uncovering the rest of the co-conspirators-a gang of Minnesota-based Communist spies headed by Carl's grandpa, 92-year-old ex-KGB colonel Burt Walther. That Sandford makes this unlikely plot believable is a mark of his mastery of the technical aspects of the mystery form and a testament to his overall writing skills. Readers will be pleased with this relaxed version of the moody Minneapolis investigator. In past novels, the womanizing Davenport would have romanced the good-looking Russian lady, but the new Davenport is content to play the part of friend and protector and go back to his cozy family with an unstained and remarkably contented soul.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A Russian sailor is the victim of a professional assassination on the docks of Duluth. Wary of international implications, the governor of Minnesota asks Lucas Davenport, the chief investigator for the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, to investigate. Major Nadezhda Kalin, a representative of Russian law enforcement, assists Davenport. The murder may be linked to the remnants of a dormant Soviet Union network established between the world wars but forgotten by the motherland. The descendants of the original network members have all melded into the American mainstream. Davenport and Kalin pursue the case through the rural mining towns of northern Minnesota even as they become the targets of the shadowy assassin. The sixteenth Prey novel is less harrowing and not as dark as many of its predecessors. It's also more humorous--even the suicide of a key character is accompanied by a sly, graveyard one-liner--with deft Davenport observations on the curious behavior of the opposite sex in general and on Russian women in particular. Similarities to previous Prey thrillers: high entertainment value; deftly rendered characterizations; and clever, believable dialogue. Expect another best-seller and stock up accordingly. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Prey April 26 2013
By Linda J. Leclair TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This might not be one of Johm Sandford's best books, but I still found it entertaining. He has a great imagination and uses it very well. I like the fact that each storyline is different and I can appreciate this. I recommend this book to Lucas Davenport fans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quick and easy Jan. 12 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was my first eBook, the process was fast and easy and the actual product was great. John Sandford is awesome as always!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Oh well, they can't all be great July 19 2004
By Soyini
This is worse than Easy Prey. And not because Lucas is an old married man but because he seems to have lost all of his detecting ability. What happened to the logical, game playing brain? Where are the brilliant leaps of intuitive insight? Where is the sex appeal? Where is the intensity? Where is Lucas Davenport?!!!
Aside from the character being less than exciting, I found the the plot development to be lacking. When the reader knows from the beginning "who done it", the author must engage your attention with the clever ways in which the hero figures it out.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad read July 5 2007
By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
According to the critics this thriller is not Sandfords best. I must say I found it most enjoyable and very entertaining, in my opinion; it is a dynamic and satisfying read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Aug. 4 2004
By A Customer
One of my favorite summer reads. There is plenty of action, several more brutal murders, and lots of interesting obsrvations regarding police work, but this is much more in the tradition of straight police procedurals than a complicated murder mystery.
I would also recommend another great book called THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD.
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4.0 out of 5 stars RUSSIAN ROULETTE July 15 2004
John Sandford has done well in keeping Lucas Sanderson such an interesting and complex character. In HIDDEN PREY, Lucas pairs up with a Russian agent, Nadya, in the search for the killer of a Russian spy. Readers know that the killer is a young boy named Carl Walthers, mentored by his 92 year old great grandfather. Walthers and his elderly teacher are pretty clever in staging accompanying deaths to throw Lucas off.
There are several tense scenes, but HIDDEN PREY is a little more "relaxed" and "leisurely" in its tone than previous PREY books. This is not necessarily bad, but Hidden doesn't match some of the intense psychological battles Lucas has fought in previous cases. Sandford of course keeps things moving well and his narrative style is as sharp as ever. Another thing is (spoiler alert), the killer is never truly brought to justice. In the next book maybe?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Is this a mystery? July 7 2004
I enjoy John Sandford's books, especially the Prey novels. But in 'Hidden Prey' the plot centers around a spy ring, instead of Davenport chasing down a killer. It just didn't feel right. And the ending was kind of a let down.
If you're a big Sandford fan this is worth the money, but if you're new to John Sandford I'd start with one of his earlier books, Mind Prey, Certain Prey and Naked Prey are my favorites.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not my favorite... July 4 2004
Back to a little recreational reading...
I finished Hidden Prey by John Sandford a couple of days ago. This is the latest in his Prey series with main character Lucas Davenport. While I enjoyed it, it wasn't as good as some of his previous installments...
A Russian from a docked freighter is murdered on the docks. The killer notices a homeless woman who has witnessed the crime and takes off after her (but doesn't find her). A couple of days later, a homeless lady is found strangled and everyone thinks it's a connection to the first murder. Davenport is called in to help investigate the crime when Russia sends over a female "police chief" to help with the case. She is not who or what she seems to be, and it starts to look more and more like an espionage ring is responsible for the killing. It's up to Davenport to not only figure out who the killer is, but why the killings took place.
I like Sandford's writing and characters, so from that perspective I liked the book. What I didn't care for is how the story is structured. Murder mysteries seem to be written in two main styles. Either you don't have a clue who the killer is (and the story is tracking down who dun it), or you know right up front who the killer is (and you watch the action unfold as s/he is brought to justice). This is a blend of the two. You know who did the killing, and you watch them being tracked down, but there's no clue as to why the Russian was killed or how the espionage angle (which is very big in the story) figures in. Since you don't learn the "why" until very close to the end, I tended to lose some interest in the whole story. I was getting close to a "who cares" point. I'd probably give this a 3.5 stars if I could do half ratings, but since I can't I'll error on the up side.
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