Phantom Prey (Lucas Davenport)
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Product Description

After one troubled college-age student disappears and two are found slashed to death, Lucas Davenport finds himself hunting what appears to be a modern-day Jack the Ripper. But Lucas keeps getting the sneaking suspicion that there is something else involved. Something very bad, very dark, and as elusive as a phantom.

Customer Reviews:

  • Pathetic Prey
    I have been a voracious reader of John Sandford's books and loved them all - until this one. I could not even force myself to finish it. The writing seemed uneven, he did not keep his facts straight, Davenport was not even a character I could root for. I finally gave up on reading the book less than half way through, not even caring to find out who the killer was. This book should have never been sent to the printer without major rework, or possibly should have been tucked under Sandord's bed and never seen the light of day. While I realize that writers may have stinkers on occasion, at the price of books today I will be spending a lot more time scrutinizing Sandford's next books before stepping up to spend my hard earned money....more info
  • Just not that good!
    I've been a fan of this series for years but it was almost all I could do to finish reading this one! I was very disapointed with the lack of suspense, next to no action, and somewhat stupid story plot! I can't take many more of THESE!

    If you're a fan of this series you won't miss out if you skip this one!...more info
  • Worst PREY book I've read
    I thought this book was boring, rambling, and stupid. I have always looked forward to a new PREY book. This one was very disappointing. ...more info
  • ok but not as good as the one before.....
    I just couldn't keep my mind on this Lucas Davenport novel. I can't remember the name of the one before this but liked it much better. ...more info
  • Don't start with this book
    If you are just starting to read the Davenport series please don't start with this book or you will probably be turned away. This is not his best work by far, but still fun if you are already a fan. If this would have been my first Sandford novel I don't think I would have read any more, that being said this is about my 18th, so I do enjoy his work. Just do yourself a favor and don't let this be your first foray into the Davenport series....more info
  • Very Pleased
    Very good value for money. Enjoy relaxing & listening to a book. Always excited to get Lucas Davenport Mysteries. Have read or listened to many of John Sandford's books.
    PMA...more info
  • Suspenseful!
    Phantom Prey (Lucas Davenport Mysteries)

    Another great murder mystery to solve that will leave you guessing until the end....more info
  • pitiful prey
    Not all of the Prey books are equal, but since I am reading this series, this being the 7th, prey tell, this is the worst. I don't think Sanford was well versed on the subject of Goths. We weren't afterwards either. Just plain tripe. Some of the Prey's have been very good, some just entertaining, this one - not even......more info
  • Not Up to Series Standards
    First, I find the main character, Lucas Davenport, one of the most compelling characters of this genre. He is the type of guy I would like to be, or at least know, if I were transported to a fictional universe. He is not quite in the league, interest-wise, as a Harry Bosch, but likable and edgy just the same. I'm somewhat surprised that he hasn't made his way on the big or little screen. This being said, however, this book was a disappointed as it degenerates into a story that might play if Lifetime, Spike and the SciFi channel merge. Sandford has written much better in the past and I'm hoping his story lines have not run dry. It's a decent beach or summer read but take it for what it is. A reasonable entertaining work that will kill a few hours but be forgotten in just about the same amount of time....more info
  • Grade: C
    I have read every one of the Prey Books-- This one is a "C" -- Lots of filler, meaningless side story, and a not very interesting main story. The main storyline could have been great if developed properly --but Mr Sandford missed the boat on this one. Lacks the plotting & strong characters that make the Prey books great....more info
  • Phantom Prey
    It is one of Sandford's best. Twists and turns and just plain crazy! A good and fast read! ...more info
  • Lucas and the Goths
    Lucas Davenport is always a good charactor. This time he deals with the Goth community. It was time for him to find a new segment of society. Mr. Sandford did a good job showing the two facws of the Goths as well as making a good yarn. I was fooled for 75% of the book and that takes some doing. He did not "cheat" in doing it. Well worth reading....more info
  • A perfectly chilling and twisted work of crime fiction
    "Something wrong here, a cold whisper of evil... She couldn't pin it down, but it was palpable.... The house was dark, except for [the] lamps...triggered by photocells at dusk.... Nothing else --- but the hairs on her forearms and the back of her neck stood upright. Some atavistic sense was picking up a threat." She called out for her daughter, Frances, and for Helen the housekeeper. Silence. She grabbed the gun and went through the house, not knowing if she was being foolish or savvy. All clear. Then "she noticed the dark streaks on the wallpaper at the edge of the hall... Not knowing exactly why, she stepped over and touched them --- and felt the tackiness under her finger. Pulled her finger back and found a spot of crimson." She called 911 and waited for the cops. She gave them her name, Alyssa Austin, and her tony address. They were not impressed with her, or the blood, or the fact that her daughter was missing.

    This is the introduction to PHANTOM PREY, the 18th novel in John Sandford's legendary Prey series, which features the head of Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Lucas Davenport, a very smart veteran police officer with a sly wit and a way with people. He and his team have a great close rate and are currently staking out the apartment of "Siggy" Toms. He "had been the Twin Cities's largest-volume cocaine dealer, pushing the stuff through his contacts in...real estate, stockbroking, and used car businesses. He had been netting two million a year, tax free...with money stashed all over the United States and Europe." Two hours after his arrest, he was bailed out and within a very short time lost his "watchers" and disappeared. Siggy's wife now lives in an apartment waiting for him to return. They have one child, and she is pregnant with their second. Thus, for three months, a rotation of the BCA team spent hours in a ratty apartment directly across from Heather's domain.

    The case is moving very slowly and is not especially difficult. But when Lucas goes home to his wife Weather, a surgeon, their son and their ward, his spouse gives him the lowdown on the "Austin case." Alyssa Austin is an acquaintance of Weather's, so of course they now know that her daughter is still missing. She needs help and wants Lucas to take a look at what is going on. The girl was a Goth who had a strange menagerie of friends. But even when the bodies of other Goths appear, no suspect comes up on the radar. She doesn't know her daughter's social circle but offers a few names, and he promises to take a look and not take over the investigation.

    Just about this time, two new characters appear on the scene: Fairy and Loren, a couple of oversexed, violence-addicted psychopaths who have a hit list and plan their attacks with care. When they are with people, everyone is enthralled with Fairy, the name they gave her because she seems to be the personification of Tinkerbell. But these two are no Peter Pan and his delightful Tinker --- they are feral killers who are able to hide not only what they do but who they are. And so the brutal killings go on and the body count rises.

    As if these goings-on were not enough, Lucas finds himself deeply drawn into the cases, and he must be careful about all of the politics involved. His sense of fairness is legendary in the different police districts, and he is able to head off any bad feelings when he tells them that he will share and help them if they do the same. Too many people are dying, and it's more important to concentrate on that than to worry about territory.

    Fairy is a very petite young woman who comes across as a little girl sweet as sugar. But no one really knows where she came from or where she goes when she disappears. This is very bothersome to Lucas, who feels she is almost taunting him. When he goes looking for her, she seems to hide. As one by one her "crowd" diminishes with each murder, Lucas's instincts tell him that more is going on than meets the eye. He senses something altogether different from what appears on the surface is fomenting underneath the actions and tensions of the antagonists.

    John Sandford is the pseudonym for John Camp, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who discovered he had a talent for crime fiction in the form of police procedurals. His reputation is cemented in his ability to render well-limned characters, keep his regulars fresh and growing, and create hot plots that draw readers in from the first sentence. His dialogue is perfectly pitched, and his style is approachable, making him a master storyteller. Sandford's legion of faithful fans will surely enjoy the strange twists and dangerous turns he leads them through in PHANTOM PREY.

    --- Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum...more info
  • Phantom Prey (Lucas Davenport Mysteries)
    If you are going on a road trip and want to be occupied with a good book, get this, it will make trip blow by....more info
  • Perfect as usual
    I love the Prey series like no other books. I love to read and look forward to each Prey book. Excellent story - great characters....more info
  • Classic Lucas adventure.
    Phantom Prey is an interesting, exciting book, a classic Lucas Davenport adventure. As a huge fan who has read every book Sandford has written (most of them several times), I have given this one four stars. I wouldn't put it up there with Winter Prey or Certain Prey, but it's intriguing because it's one of those where you're not sure who the killer is until late in the book. Also, Del Capslock returns as one of the main characters. This one is not a nail-biter, but Sandford entertains once again....more info
  • A books should be able to stand alone
    This is the first book I have read in this series and it will be the last. I do enjoy a good novel and usually enjoy a good Cop one. This story just fell flat for me. Deductions felt forced and good cop work I guess is taking advice from others who are not cops and then trying out how they play. I do not enjoy main characters that have no flaws and the main character for me has had a charmed life from a hot surgeon wife, to a Porsche and everyone knowing who he is. Just too important, too wealthy of a guy to be working a case with no leads. All the clues should have been picked up by any large city PD. BTW he eye f***ks every gal he sees but when propositioned he says he is loyal to a fault to his surgeon wife. He should have been tougher and more about working his leads without having a City's PD at his disposal....more info
  • A good read but I've read better in the Prey-series
    This latest John Sandford Prey mystery is a fine enough read. Speaking in stars, where 5 is the most, this is a small 3 star read. I have read previous Prey mysteries which were way better, but this is not to say that Phantom Prey is bad. Not at all. But seems to me like Sandford is getting just a little tired of writing about Lucas Davenport and the BCA and the Minneapolis police. I don't know.

    A wealthy, young Goth-girl has disappeared, leaving only a splatter of blood behind her in her mother's house. There is no body and no sign of forced entry and her mother, the very wealthy health-club owner and widow Alyssa Austin seeks out the help of Lucas Davenport after the regular police has given up finding her daughter (the daughter's body, should she be dead). Lucas is not crazy about taking on this case, but his wife Weather, who is friends with Alyssa Austin, has manages to convince him to give the case a look. Lucas discovers that the young girl was hanging out with a Goth-crowd and when the members of this crowd begin mentioning a mysterious fairy-girl who keeps disappearing, he gets seriously interested in the case, and pretty soon he is in serious danger himself. When more dead Goths begin turning up, Lucas has to speed up his investigations and look into clues that keeps pointing him in different directions.

    The reader is told who the killer is halfway through the book and that did bother me a bit. Usually I do not mind being told this, some books tell you who the killer is from page one and still it can be a great mystery. But in this case I don't think it really was an advantage to know that much. All in all I can recommend this one as a light and entertaining read, but if you haven't read any of the Prey-series yet, begin with the first ones. They are better. This one can easily stand alone though.
    ...more info
  • Lucas Davenport at his best!
    An excellent John Sandford "Who Dun It", in typical fashion he keeps you guessing to the very end. Sandford humanizes Lucas Davenport to the point you can see him as your next door neighbor. You can almost see him walking up to your front door. ...more info
  • Masterful jewel
    Sandford has his hero, Lucas Davenport, currently of the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, musing early that life is just chaotic, happenings that save, or take, lives. Weather, his wife and a medical doctor, believes in cause-and-effect. After a bloodily murderous story, Davenport convincingly restates his position, but in fact Sandford, the author, belies it by crafting a scintillating book that blinds one to the incredibly finely ordered plot lines.
    This is a jewel of a book. It contains so artfully crafted a plot and set of characters you only see all the facets after the last chapter, looking back in awe at the smooth and so deceptive flow of words. There are Goths, domestics, big and little drug dealers, snitches, farmers, little old ladies, b---hy ladies, stage and sex actors, ghosts, webmasters, sheriffs, cops, SWAT, athletes...all converging to a bang-up conclusion. At least three, or four, or maybe six different cases are actually going on, of which we see only flashes for many chapters, look-ins on little scenes--until the lights start going on in your head as the intersecting, overlapping crimes and odd happenings begin to sort themselves out. This has got to be the way police really work, numerous cases in varied states of development involving shifting sets of officers. Lucas is in the dark more than the reader, after Sandford reveals the seemingly central killers while yet only half way into his story. So we know, but Davenport doesn't--little good though it does us in recognizing all the other facets of fire and danger that await.
    I don't know how Sandford can produce this now-long series, but he just never flags, constantly inventing (discovering?) new ways of criminality and fractured personalities. I enjoyed reading this one so much more than the pathological last one; here the perps are solely sociopaths. It was also fun to see him keep so many threads going inside one novel. ...more info
  • Lucas Davenport Is Back
    Well Lucas Davenport is back. John Sandford's main character in his Prey series is just as good as the beginning books again. I was worried after reading his last two books and then Mr. Sandford started writing the Virgil Flowers series that we had lost Lucas forever, but thankfully he's back. This murder mystery is a good one. There's a lot of twists and turns. Del is also back in this book helping with the secondary mystery of the book. Mr. Sandford is a master of getting the reader involved in the character's lives without risking the mystery or even the suspense. Anyone could pick up this book. It's not necessarily a stand alone but it has enough that you don't have to know the characters. However if you do then it makes it even better. I would highly recommend John Sandford's Prey Series and this book brings it all back....more info
  • Lucas Davenport
    Another great book in the Lucas Davenport series. Right up there with John D, MacDonald's Travis MaGee....more info
  • Phantom Prey
    Not up to John Sandford's usual excellent writing. This is the only one of the Lucas Davenport books that I could have skipped. Very disappointing....more info
  • Worst of his series
    This read like a book he had to write to fill a publisher's committment. Simple and very thin plot: Make the villian a split personality a wrap up the ending quick like he has to catch a bus.

    Sanford took the easy way out on this. Davenport was the same tough character, but the writer seems to have lost the story creativity he had in his earlier novels....more info
  • Phantom Prey by John Sandford
    Phantom Prey (Lucas Davenport Mysteries)

    There is not a book in John Sandford's "Prey" (mystery/dectective) series that I wouldn't give at least 4 stars...and some of them get 5. Not one has failed to keep me on the edge of my seat as I read, and Sandford has me hooked on the Lucas Davenport character, as well as Davenport's co-workers, friends and family. I hope the author doesn't tire of writing about them anytime soon. I always look forward to the next one with great anticipation.
    "Phantom Prey" is the most recent -- I think it's #16. It isn't the best, but it's still a great read.
    I don't save most of the books I read because I don't have room for them. But I'll never part with any of Sandford's "Prey" books. In fact, last summer I began re-reading all of them in the order of publication. It was a delightful experience. ...more info