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Secret Prey [Hardcover]

John Sandford
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1998
A wealthy banker is dead, shot once in the chest during a hunting trip. There are many reasons for him to be killed, and many people who would do the deed. But who did?  Lucas Davenport has an idea. But this routine murder investigation is about to turn into something different. A cat-and-mouse game with a killer who does not hesitate to take the fight to Lucas himself. And those he loves…

WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY THE AUTHOR
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Description

From Amazon

John Sandford is back with his dapper, dangerous Minneapolis deputy police chief Lucas Davenport for a ninth "preyer" meeting. Fans of the series will be glad to hear that it's full of smart suspense and deduction as well as explosive action. Davenport and his fellow cops are still recovering from the deadly revenge scheme that maimed them in Sudden Prey, which seems to have ended the relationship between Lucas and his doctor lady friend. This accounts for the depression that dogs him as he is sent to investigate the killing of top banking executive Daniel Kresge in a hunting lodge north of Minneapolis. Any of Kresge's four fellow hunters--all employees at his Polaris Bank--could have shot him, and all had motives, as did his almost ex-wife. About halfway through the book we find out who the real killer is, just a few pages before Lucas does, and that villain is a masterful creation, an example of the banality of evil worthy of Hannah Arendt. This is where Sandford's beautifully honed skills at creating suspense really kick in: he keeps us fascinated as Davenport, revitalized by an affair with a jaunty colleague, tries to turn what we all know into hard evidence. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

After his muscle-stretching sidestep in 1997's The Night Crew, Sandford is back with his ninth Prey novel featuring dapper, dangerous Minneapolis cop Lucas Davenport. Fans of the series will be glad to hear that this is the best installment in years?full of smart suspense and deduction as well as explosive action. Newcomers can plunge in without backstory research; all they need to know is that Davenport and his fellow cops are still nursing the wounds they garnered in Sudden Prey and that a depressed Lucas has gotten dumped by Weather, his girlfriend in that novel, when he is sent to investigate the murder of banking executive Daniel Kresge in a hunting lodge north of Minneapolis. Any of Kresge's four fellow hunters?all employees at his Polaris Bank?could have shot him, and all had motives (as did his "soon-to-be-ex-wife"). We find out about halfway through the book who the real killer is, just a few pages before Lucas does, and that villain is a masterful creation. This is where Sandford's suspense-making skills really kick in, keeping us fascinated as Davenport?revitalized by an affair with a jaunty colleague?tries to turn what we all know into hard evidence.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD PULLED THE DOOR shut behind him, stacked his rifle against the log-sided cabin, and walked down to the end of the porch. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down Dec 29 2000
By Newt Gingrich THE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sandford is the pseudonym for John Camp, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. I happened to run across this book while staying with a friend at Little St. Simon's Island over Thanksgiving. It was one of those bibliophile moments when you are bored and perusing a bookcase of paperbacks. Suddenly I was enthralled. I like his characters so much that I have read four of his novels and am in the middle of two more in less than a month. I find I cannot put them down!
I actually cannot tell you precisely why I like these books so much, which may be the greatest testimonial I can give them as simply good reads. Most of them are set in the Minneapolis area and the central characters are a homicide team that gets the toughest cases. The central figure in the series is Lucas Davenport, a detective, then ultimately a vice-chief who made a good bit of money designing software games but is addicted to the dangers and complexities of solving difficult crimes and taking on violent criminals.
This particular novel involves the killing of a bank president in the middle of a merger. It has enough twists and turns to keep you turning the pages all night. The characters are believable and the plot is both engrossing and becomes very convincing as you get deeper into the characters' personalities, histories and motivation.
Sandford/Camp is to Minneapolis what Parker is to Boston and Archer was to Southern California. I highly recommend his works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Slow boiling Sept. 5 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sandford does not write the same thriller over and over, merely varying the scenery. No, while Secret Prey starts with the usual bang, it then just ambles through seemingly disconnected bits--a new twist. Sandford's masterful plotting is only revealed as finally a prime suspect emerges from frustratingly patient police interrogation and backgrounding. Then, bang, we're running again to somehow trap the long secret perpetrator. What's creepy is the ramifying evil, which here oozes from dusty records and memories of old cases, unpredictably revealing shocking new lights on one innocuous event after another, without foreboding. Wonderful!
I don't think this is necessarily "by far the best Prey" (AP), for the previous two grabbed me faster and deeper initially, and the endless active snow of Winter Prey still earlier keeps popping back into mind. This story is not the usual heart-pounding chase around Minneapolis, if that is what you seek, but instead evokes new aspects and psychological facets of several familiar team characters: depression, laughter, injury, love. Sandford constructs psychologically coherent characters and plot development, including progressively unhinged villains, while retaining faith in goodness and cops. As always, some events and dialogue mean more if you've read the previous novels. (The peek-thru covers on recent novels are either misaligned or pointless, but cannot detract from the excellence within.)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Core Detective Book June 26 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
This was my first experience with a novel by Mr. Sandford. I found his work to be enjoyable and a little above average but not great.
The story line was a good one; however, it didn't take long to start eliminating suspects. I enjoyed many things about this novel. In particular I enjoyed the way in which you are put in suspense, then brought out of it. I also enjoyed the way Davenport's friends (Co-workers) all seemed to think they knew what was best for him. At times, I found myself laughing at some of the things that were said to him about his personal life and his rebuttales.
Stephen Lang did a good job of narrating this book. This book is set in Minnasota but Mr. Lang portrayed the detectives, in particular Chief Davenport in the same manner as most detectives in New York City are portrayed on television and in the movies. Like I said, this was my first experience with Mr. Sandford and perhaps that was the way in which he wanted them to be portrayed.
This is definately a hard core detective novel. If you want to listen to this audio-book, don't do it with the kids in the car.
If you like hard core detetective novels then this is a book for you. It was my first but not my last experience with Mr. Sandford.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Definate Hard Core Detective Story June 23 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
This was my first experience with a John Sandford novel. I found it to be well written and well read. This book is supposed to take place in the mid-west; however, the detectives (perhaps due to the narrator) seemed as if they belonged in New York City. They definately spoke in the manner which most New York dectives are portrayed on television and in the movies (Oh Well, This Is Fiction). This book was a little above average, good plot and great characters. You definately begin hating the snobs from the bank right away. I don't read or listen to many detective novels. As I said earlier, this was my first experience with Mr. Sandford. It was definately not a book I could listen to when my children were in the car with me. The closest author I can compare Mr. Sandford with would be Patricia Cromwell, as I said, I don't read or listen to many detective novels.
This was an above average book that I can recommend to others; however, if you don't care for foul language you might want to shy away.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 9th for Davenport - slow start, better ending
If you sat at your Mac trying to write a novel, what names might you give your characters? If you sat there too long, you might name one "Del", and add "Capslock" as a surname. Read more
Published on June 11 2004 by Jon Mack
2.0 out of 5 stars I hope the others are better than this
This cannot possibly be the standard fare for an author so popular. Boring, slow, stupid, dull...I will try another one, One other one.
Published on Feb. 5 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good Prey-novel
Lucas Davenport is called to the scene of what seems like a hunting accident. A wealthy banker has been shot dead during the first minutes of the company's yearly hunting trip. Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2004 by Louise
3.0 out of 5 stars Worst of the prey series
I will keep this short and sweet. The worst of the prey series. Do not be discouraged when you read this book. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll never guess who done it!!!
Minnesota banking executive is mysteriously killed during a hunting accident... Just before one of the most extreme mergers of banking history that is bound to make all the right... Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2002 by Keith Hunt
4.0 out of 5 stars Secrect Prey
I thought this book started a bit slow but truly gained the momentem that Sandford is famous for with in pages. Long live Lucas Davenport!...
Published on Sept. 2 2002 by Krimsin K. King
5.0 out of 5 stars Sandford's Got It!
This one is my favorite so far, but reviewing one book at a time in this series isn't quite right. The entire series is top notch. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2002 by djbrkns
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotcha...
Well fans, if you haven't read them all, I would say that now is the time to go back to the beginning and start. Read more
Published on May 21 2002 by Darcey K. Pickett
1.0 out of 5 stars Yaaawwwwnnnnn.....
Well, this is my first attempt at reading a "Prey" novel. I really could not get much farther than the character "Del Capslock".... Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2001 by Buck Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
I've read all but 2 of the Prey series and none of them are bad, but this is really a good book. I did not want to put it down, and was pleased with the book from beginning to... Read more
Published on July 2 2001 by Wayne Ellyson
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