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Naked Prey (Lucas Davenport, No. 14)

(Book #14 in the Lucas Davenport Series)

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. The #1 New York Times bestselling Lucas Davenport novel from John Sandford. Two people are found hanging naked from a tree in the woods of northern Minnesota. What makes the situation particularly...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Sanford has somehow managed to take the puzzling

pieces of this crime drama and scatter them to the winds!Then, as only he can do, he slowly and carefully collects them and sets them in place..leaving the reader dangling in suspence until that last piece is found. And what is so very different in this novel in the Lucas Davenport series, is the glue he uses to hold it all together.Letty West, a teen-aged muskrat trapper! She is the soft under-belly of this hard-hitting drama of suspense. Her life is dreary and complicated and heart-wrenching..and when she discovers in the bitter cold of a Minnesota morning, two naked bodies hanging from a tree close to her house; her life only gets harder.But these bodies are just the vortex of this whirlpool of a mystery. And as it swirls it gets wider and wider and encompasses almost every person in the small Minnesota town. Lucas and his buddy Del Capslock attack this enigma with all their resources and finally come up with an answer. Letty is their guide to who's who and what's what and is almost constantly at their sides putting her two cents in. But she is a wonderful help and a tough little character who wiggles her way into everyone's heart.Although this the thirteenth in his "Prey" series, Sanford is just as fresh and thrilling as ever. A very good read...if you are already a fan, I think you will agree that this one is the best. If this is the first for you, I predict you will go back and start with his first, "Rules of Prey".

John Sandford continues to ply his trade....

with another entry in his fine "Prey" series, a group of books centered on Lucas Davenport, "the richest cop in Minnesota" (rich because he also designs video games). Sandford set the stage for change at the conclusion of his last book, letting the reader percolate on what would be the differences in Lucas when he becomes an active father, and when he leaves the police department for a quasi-bureaucratic governmental position in a new state department headed by his old boss, Rose Marie Roux. Wisely, although Sandford went forward with these changes, the impact was streamlined by having 90% of the book's action happen in rural northern Minnesota, in the fictional small town of Broderick. Family man Lucas still has his best sidekick, Del, gainfully employed with him -- and married or not, he still can spot and appreciate a great looking woman. Some things never change!The first two murders may be motivated by racial hatred - one victim is black, and his significant other is white...they are found brutally slain and hanging from a barren tree in the frosty Minnesota winter. There's so much odd and unusual "stuff" going on in Broderick, it's difficult for Lucas & Del to pin down the any information about the murders, and the killings continue.Sandford manages to deftly interweave his social viewpoints -- his lack of respect for the media, his vague unsettlement with the way that federal, state and local authorities sometimes impede each other to solve a case that has generated media attention, and most importantly, his support of a little known grass roots campaign that is quietly smuggling prescription drugs from Canada to US patients who need and can't afford them.Unlike many other writers of this genre, Sandford can keep both his tale of the crime and his social commentary moving in the same direction -- one does not eclipse or slow down the other.The book is also notable in that it provides a lot of insight into tribal casinos...a staple of the Minnesota scenery in the last decade. Tribal casinos have changed rural Minnesota in many ways, and Sandford captures this contrast of big city activity with the rural tundra.The prize of the novel, as many readers have commented, is new character Letty West, who will doubtless appear in future instalments. A precocious 12-year old, Letty's like many rural kids that come from dysfunctional single parent families....in the cities, kids from these homes tend to run with gangs...in the country, they tend to be loners, with old souls. Letty is such a character, and she's the best addition to the series in a long time.This may not be the finest of Sandford's series, but its darn close! Don't wait for the paperback!

Undoubtedly, Sandford's Best Lucas Davenport Novel

NAKED PREY is the thirteenth of John Sandford's Lucas Davenport mysteries, the thirteenth in thirteen years actually. The series has had its ups and, around WINTER PREY or NIGHT PREY, downs, but for the most part, Sandford has written consistently tight, suspenseful thrillers about the Minnesota police investigator who styles himself quite accurately as the state's richest cop. Nothing that has come before, however, will prepare Sandford's and Davenport's former and current fans for NAKED PREY.NAKED PREY is far and away Sandford's best, a novel that succeeds on so many levels that it will leave readers shaking their heads in wonder. It begins and ends with brutal murders --- the first is a puzzle and the last is a given, but both are ultimately satisfying. What occurs in between --- the plotting, the characterization, the pacing --- will make you wish that NAKED PREY was twice as long.NAKED PREY finds Davenport comfortably ensconced in a position known as "Director --- Office of Regional Studies," which in turn is part of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). Davenport reports directly to his old boss, former Minneapolis police chief Rose Marie Roux, and through her to the governor. Davenport's job is to fix things (the actual terminology that Sandford employs is a bit more, uh, graphic than that) when a crime on the local level becomes too complicated or touchy.When a black man and white woman are found dead, victims of an apparent lynching in upstate Minnesota, the call goes out to Davenport to get the job done. Davenport and his running partner, Del Capslock, are soon in the tiny town of Broderick in rural Custer County investigating the deaths, and lives, of Jane Warr and Deon Cash. Davenport slowly discovers that there is far more going on in the quiet streets of Broderick than they would ever suspect.The murders of Warr and Cash are only the first of many that take place during the course of NAKED PREY. Sandford pulls a really neat trick here. The reader gradually finds out what is going on --- and there is quite a bit --- but is ahead of the curve. The suspense comes into play as the reader watches Davenport painstakingly work his way through the labyrinth of secrets that Broderick holds to his heart. And, as NAKED PREY reaches its conclusion, the question becomes not how Davenport finds out who is behind the multiple murders, but whether he'll find out. And don't presuppose that you already know the answer to that one.Readers who have stuck with the Davenport series since its inception will find that Sandford, aiming for the moon and stars, has reached the moon and stars. For those who haven't read a Davenport book for a while, or who are unfamiliar with the series, NAKED PREY is the place to jump on, right now. Whether you're looking for a police procedural series that is new to you or not, you need to become familiar with Lucas Davenport and you need to start with NAKED PREY. Very highly recommended. --- Reviewed by Joe

Letty West Upstages Lucas Davenport as the Star of this Book

This is the fourteenth novel in John Sandford's PREY series, and it's almost perfect conclusion makes it one of the best that I have read. There have been some changes in Detective Lucas Davenport's life; he is now married to Weather and they have a young son, Sam. Lucas has also changed jobs, following his boss, former chief Rose Marie Roux, to her assignment as Director of Public Safety for the State of Minnesota. Lucas is now her chief troubleshooter and liasion for the most politically sensitive cases. Not surprisingly, such a case is about to explode into the headlines as the story begins. There is enough background information provided that first time readers of this series can throughly enjoy the story on a standalone basis and should not hesitate to read this book with the caveat that they may well get hooked and want to read some of the earlier novels. At the same time, the changes in Lucas life and job add an element of the newness necessary to make the series of continuing interest to long time readers.Letty West, a twelve year old muskrat trapper who lives in the far north small town of Broderick, discovers two nude bodies that have been hanged from a tree near her trap line and are frozen "like popsicles". The sensational nature of the discovery is magnified by the fact that Jane Warr, the female victim, is white and Deon Cash, the male victim with whom she lived, is the only black resident of the entire rural county. Thus, the media and a well known racial agitator are quick to commandeer the term lynching to describe the killings. Lucas and his frequent partner Del Capslock are helicoptered to the area; they soon discover that there appears to be much more to the case than an interracial double homicide. As they begin to investigate the connection of Warr and Cash to a surprisingly variety of illegal activities centered in Broderick, additional violence erupts although none so dramatic and described so vividly as the NAKED PREY. The small town has many interesting characters including a group of ex-nuns doing charitable work and who end up playing a crucial role in the story.The mystery here is not who committed the crime or their motive, both the reader and Lucas know those answers before the book is half complete. Rather, the story revolves around the attempt of Lucas and Del to make semse out of the remaining pieces of the puzzle. The author continually provides the reader with partial insights into the interrelated mysteries by changing the narrator as the story proceeds. The effect is excellent, the overview provided actually increases the tension and the realism. The reader wants to see how Lucas will piece the threads together without the benefit our knowledge, it is a difficult technique to master but works because the final outcome is unknown.There are a few truly despicable characters in this story, but little detailed violence after the initial murders. The real hero and central character is in many ways Letty West. She

fine police procedural

A lot has changed for Lucas Davenport in the last year. He married the love of his life Weather and they have an infant son and have moved into a new home with a separate apartment for the nanny/housekeeper. Rose Marie Roux is still Lucas's boss but she is now the Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner and Lucas reports directly to her and the governor as the Director in the Office of Regional Studies which is a part of The Bureau of Criminal Apprehensions.Lucas gets the police cases that the local departments are not equipped to deal with or are political hot potatoes. His latest case involves a white woman and a black man hung by a rope to a tree and strangled to death. Lucas doesn't take long to identify the killer but when he goes to arrest him, he finds someone already murdered the perpetrator and his wife. Lucas returns to the small Northern Minnesota town of Broderick to find another killer but he doesn't realize that the small bucolic town is a cesspool of crime and corruption, a place where his homicide is interrelated to a series of other felonious acts.There is nobody who writes a police procedural better than John Sandford. His plots are so complex that readers find themselves unable to put the book down until the last page is turned and all the loose ends are sewn up. NAKED PREY is one of the best novels in the series because the hero has undergone some radical changes both in his personal and professional life and that keeps the series fresh. This is a must read for fans of cop thrillers.Harriet Klausner
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