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Wicked Prey
List Price: $27.95

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Product Description

Danger stalks Lucas Davenport at work and all too close to home, in the superlative new thriller by the #1 New York Times' bestselling author. For twenty years, John Sandford's novels have been beloved for their "ingenious plots, vivid characters, crisp dialogue and endless surprises" (The Washington Post), and nowhere are those more in evidence than in the sudden twists and shocks of Wicked Prey. The Republicans are coming to St. Paul for their convention. Throwing a big party is supposed to be fun, but crashing the party are a few hard cases the police would rather stayed away. Chief among them is a crew of professional stickup men who've spotted several lucrative opportunities, ranging from political moneymen with briefcases full of cash to that armored-car warehouse with the weakness in its security system. All that's headache enough for Lucas Davenport - but what's about to hit him is even worse. A while back, a stray bullet put a pimp and petty thief named Randy Whitcomb in a wheelchair, and, ever since, the man has been nursing his grudge into a full head of psychotic steam. He blames Davenport for the bullet, but it's no fun just shooting him. That wouldn't be painful enough. Not when Davenport has a pretty fourteen-year-old adopted daughter that Whitcomb can target instead. . . .And then there's the young man with the .50 caliber sniper rifle and the right-wing-crazy background, roaming through a city filled with the most powerful politicians on earth. . . . Rich with his brilliant trademark suspense and some of the best characters in suspense fiction, Wicked Prey is further proof that "Sandford is one of the most consistently entertaining crime writers working today." (Booklist).

Customer Reviews:

  • Davenport delivers
    In this the 19th thriller to feature Lucas Davenport, the 2008 Republican National Convention sweeps into the Twin Cities, bringing in its wake a world of trouble for Lucas' hometown. When you think Republicans, you think big money. So do supercriminal Brutus Cohn and Rosie Cruz, his partner in a scheme to rob the visiting delegates blind. Working with ex-cons Jesse Lane and Tate McCall, they start out small, with a series of hotel-room invasions aimed at walking-around money whose loss they assume won't be reported to the law because it's already illegal. But all that changes when they're forced to kill a suburban police officer.

    Lucas Davenport, of Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (Phantom Prey, 2008, etc.), soon figures out what sort of violent, cold-hearted crooks he's up against, but with every law-enforcement officer in Minneapolis-St. Paul already detailed to the convention, it's hard to know what to do-especially against lawbreakers who soon figure out that he's onto them. From that point on Sandford expertly dramatizes a tug-of-war complicated by two wild cards: Oklahoma neo-Nazi sharpshooter Justice Shafer, who claims he's just passing through, and cranked-up paraplegic Randy Whitcomb, a sociopath determined to wreak vengeance against Lucas, the man he holds responsible for ruining his life. Killing Lucas, Randy decides, would be too easy; he'll go after his family instead.

    So as Lucas is strained to the max responding to the rising tide of violence against the well-heeled delegates and their protectors, someone he's never thought about is planning to blindside him. Especially notable here is the unsought help Lucas receives from a charmingly unlikely guardian angel who takes the battle against his family back to the villain. A great page turner that will keep you guessing.

    Another book I finished this weekend that's terrific and I'd like to pass along is I Love Yous Are for White People: A Memoir (P.S.)...more info
  • Too expensive
    The cost for this Kindle book is outrageous. I have heard wonderful reviews about this author, but refuse to pay this price.
    when a person buys a book, that person can always sell the book and recoup some of the money paid.
    Since Amazon is charging so much more for this Kindle version, will Amazon allow us to resell our Kindle version so we are able to recoup some of the money paid.
    Fair is fair....more info
  • This is a new frontier and we must act...
    If, years and years ago, record companies had had an online review venue where people could have directly endangered the sales of overpriced CDs by complaining about their cost as relative to other formats, then the record business might not be in a shambles right now. They might have adapted and understood that format changes can be game changers. Digital delivery is the biggest game-changer yet.

    This is our chance to explain to Amazon and to authors and distributors that charging $1 less for an electronic version of a book is not acceptable. Either you lower the electronic price or you raise the paper price, no alternative. One star till then....more info
    The author John Sandford has expertly crafted an intriguing thriller that intricately details under-the-table political payoffs... almost unstoppable brazen criminals... law enforcement from states in every part of the country... the FBI... a lowlife drug addicted crippled pimp... a dimwitted rapist... a weak minded teenage prostitute... the Minnesota BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) led by Agent Lucas Davenport... who interacts with a literal cast of "thousands" in every crime fighting organization known to mankind in the United States, throughout this enticing non-stop hypnotic "dandy" of a novel. There is one other character I would like to introduce to potential readers... and I feel this character steals the show... and if the author so desires... she has the potential for an entire series to be built around her for decades... that's how enjoyable... and fertile the possibilities surrounding Letty... soon to be legally Lucas's daughter... and thus officially Letty Davenport.

    Before Letty became part of the Davenport family... she had shot a cop... drove cars without a license... stole money to be able to eat... and oh yea... this was all before she reached her present age of fourteen. But more about Letty later! The "big score" that this story is built around... takes place at the Republican National Convention which is being held in Minnesota. It should be noted that this unpublicized "practice" takes place at all conventions regardless of party. "THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THE PARTY DOWN AT THE STREET LEVEL ARE HERE, AS DELEGATES AND SPECTATORS. SO THESE BIG LOBBY GUYS COME IN WITH SUITCASES FULL OF CASH, AND PASS IT OUT, EXPENSE MONEY. THEY CALL IT STREET MONEY, HIRE GUYS TO PUT UP SIGNS AND ALL THAT, OFF THE BOOKS. EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT IT, NOBODY TELLS. CAN'T TELL, BECAUSE IT'S ILLEGAL." The brains of the criminal gang that comes to town has planned a heist down to the most minute detail... she says: "I'VE GOT THE NAMES AND HOTEL ROOMS FOR SEVEN OF THEM. THEY COULD HAVE ANYWHERE FROM A QUARTER-MILLION TO A MILLION DOLLARS, EACH. WE HIT THEM UNTIL WE FEEL NERVOUS. WE'LL HAVE TO FEEL IT OUT AS WE GO, BUT THREE OR FOUR GUYS ANYWAY. FIVE, MAYBE? WE'LL SEE." It's ingenious... the victims simply can't report it. Sandford successfully maintains multiple character scenarios flowing on both sides of the law like a master juggler without missing a beat... including the secondary plot that allows young Letty to show wiles that a seasoned detective would be proud of. Letty notices an odd cripple shadowing her... and since she is working as an intern for a local TV station... she uses her guise to look into his background. It turns out that Randy Whitcomb is not only a pimp... but he blames her "Father" Lucas Davenport for his paralysis. In a prior confrontation before Whitcomb was paralyzed... Lucas, as a policeman beat him up a little too enthusiastically... and Lucas was kicked off the police force. In an unrelated episode Whitcomb was shot by someone else's bullet resulting in his paralysis... but he still blames Lucas. Letty's under the radar (even unknown to Lucas) research uncovers the link... and finds out Whitcomb wants to kidnap her and have an associate rape her among other things. It is thoroughly entertaining witnessing Letty's intellectually stealth maneuvering... that also involves trying to free Whitcomb's teenage prostitute that he beats unmercifully.

    There is non-stop action as the bags of "loot" continue to pile up... murdered bodies of both police and civilians swell... and perhaps one of the more enjoyable aspects of this book... is that unlike most books... movies... and TV programs... the brilliant stars of law enforcement don't always get things right. Not even on the second and third chances. That... along with the glowing light of Letty... a future budding literary star... makes this book almost impossible to put down.
    ...more info
  • So Much Crime, So Little Time.
    This latest entry is one of the best in the long "Prey" series featuring Minnesota cop Lucas Davenport. The 2008 Republican convention is about to open in the Twin Cities, and all the state and local cops are stretched thin. Lucas soon finds himself dealing with two major threats. First, a potential shooter, Justice Shafer, a "militiaman" is somewhere around armed with a .50 caliber long-range rifle. Second, a gang of efficient, meticulous and ruthlessly violent thieves is in town, led by the charismatic Brutus ("Brute") Cohn and his brilliant female scout and planner, Rosie Cruz. Lucas is told by the governor's man that the gang's targets are probably political moneymen who are in town to spread highly illegal cash where needed.

    But Lucas knows nothing of the third threat. Randy Whitcomb, a paraplegic psychopath, is out of prison and blames Davenport for all his bad luck. He wants hard vengeance on Davenport, and intends to brutalize and kill Davenport's 14 year old ward, Letty, whom Davenport is adopting. Letty is very smart, very tough and has had very hard and violent experiences, so she decides to handle Randy herself to keep Davenport from killing him. Is she hard enough?

    From the standpoint of plot, juggling story lines and action the book demands a lot from Sandford; but he brings it off with competence and believability. His main characters are well drawn and are not merely cardboard figures. But many of the usual characters from Davenport's world have little or no role in this book. Much of the witty dialogue usually found in this series is not found here either. This was probably necessary to keep the book tight and controlled, but it is a major change in style for the series. Sandford does an excellent job with the story, but the book is clearly a departure from his norm.
    ...more info
  • Wicked Prey
    As usual a verg good read. as for the kindle price I agree with others 15.00 for something we cannot really use is bad. Remove the DRM restrictions. But the book was great....more info
  • Kindle price should not affect review
    It's unconscionable to give this book a 1-star review because you don't like the Kindle price. Either wait for the price to drop to $9.99 when the book hits the NYT best-seller list, or wait for it drop in a few months. The price has nothing to do with the quality of the book. As a protest to this nonsense, I just purchased the book at its current price. As a book editor, I know that no one is getting rich from selling books -- not the publisher, not the bookseller, and certainly not the author -- except for the very few who are fortunate enough to write, publish, and sell books that catch the public's eye. Typically, the author will get much less than a dollar from the sale of a typical Kindle book. What would you like the author get as payment for your many hours of enjoyment? A quarter? I get far more hours of enjoyment from a book than from a movie, and it costs me much less per hour. ...more info
  • Not so Sanford
    Disappointing is the only way I can describe Sanford's latest. Consistently, Sanford has been my favorite author. I hope he's not having someone else crank these novels out with him.

    I've come to expect more insight into his family with each novel. Wicked Prey did not deliver (other than getting to know Letty a little better).

    Usually, I can hardly put down a Sanford novel. This one took several days...not enough anticipation to keep me interested.
    ...more info
  • Sanford just keeps getting better
    Wicked Prey

    It's been a few years since I read all night, but I found this book impossible to leave. Not only is Davenport operating at full strength, but Sanford has developed the daughter into a strong, 3-D individual who could easily assume the franchise with a fresh perspective. And, of course, the plotting is complex, multi-threaded, and perfectly paced. ...more info
  • Davenport is back!
    After a lackluster outing in Phantom Prey, Lucas Davenpoert and team are back....and in great form. Advisaries are really nasty. Lots of tension and action. Lucas's family has grown with ward Letty getting into the fray in a major subplot, but this is vintage Davenport and good to have him back. Backdrop is Republican convention in the Twin Cities in summer of 08, and that's fun too, as we can all recall, at least in broad strokes, those proceedings. Highly recommend to Davenport/Sandford fans or anyone who enjoys a good page turner. ...more info
  • Sandford continues to deliver. Another great Davenport novel!
    John Sandford is one of my favorite authors. I've read all but about four of his novels and enjoyed every single one of them. Some are better than others of course. The last two Prey novels haven't been the best (still very good), but Wicked Prey starts out with an exciting premise. Lucas Davenport works for the Bureau of Criminal Aprehension in Minnesota where the Republican National Convention is being held.

    One of Sandford's strengths is his ability to create good villians and the villians are excellent and numerous in Wicked Prey. First, Randy Whitcomb is pimp destined to a life in a wheelchair from a shootout injury he blames on Davenport. Whitcomb has a plan to kidnap Lucas's daughter Letty to make Lucas pay. Then there is the murder gang led by Brutus Cohn and mastermid Rosie Cruz. This gang has gone around the country robbing credit unions and armored cars. But now, they have plans for a big payday with all the money flowing at the political convention.

    While Lucas is busy trying to keep track of all the hoodlums in the area, Letty has discovered that Whitcomb plans to harm Lucas. She goes off on her own to try and stop him. When the murder gang kills a police officer, Lucas and usual friends Shrake, Jenkins and Del frantically rush around Minnesota trying to stop him.

    Davenport has once again written fun, witty, tightly plotted novel. Davenport tries something new here by combining two plots (Whitcom and the Murder gang) into one novel. But it works, because, unlike authors like James Patterson, Sandford gives each plot the attention it deserves.

    After so many Prey novels, they are still just as good as the first. Virgil Flowers even gets a mention, and if you like Davenport, you should definitely read they Flowers novels. The third one comes out this fall. As usual with Sandford novels, it is gory and full of bad language. If your okay with that, then read Wicked Prey. Sandford continues to be one of the best writers out there, in spite of the minor jabs he takes at Republicans in the beginning of the novel.
    ...more info
  • Great book
    A great book that arrives in seconds from Kindle - all for a few dollars!...more info
  • My favorite so far
    I have read all the "Prey" series and I think this is my favorite. I really admire the high quality of the converstation content, particularly the interactions between the members of the robbery crew. It reminded me of Elmore Leonard. There is one particularly good discussion regarding whether someone is from LA or not.

    I recommend highly. This would work as a standalone, but you're better off with some previous Davenport background....more info
  • Better than Phantom Prey, but...
    Still not meeting the standard of the earlier books in the Prey series. It's not as rich, complex, or as interesting as the first ten in the series. Sorry! I think Sandford (Camp) is extremely talented, and I am disappointed he is not working at the level he is capable of. ...more info
  • Ignore the "Kindles" and read this book
    I'm not going to give a synopsis, since that's already been done. I do want to comment about all the unfair one-star ratings handed out by people who have not even read this book, though. If they want to complain about the unfairness of the amount being charged for the Kindle version of this book, they should do so in the appropriate venue. Not by unfairly doling about a one star rating to John Sandford on his latest book. Way uncool. Amazon? This should not be allowed to happen. These reviews are supposed to be from those of us who took the time to read the book and have an opinion to share with others who may be thinking about reading this book. Way uncool.
    As for Wicked Prey...I now have all 19 books in the Prey series and the two Virgil Flowers editions. Not a bad one in the bunch, I must say. I adore Lucas Davenport. Any one of these books can stand on their own, but I would strongly suggest starting from the beginning. The worst part is having to wait another year for the next installment. Virgil is ok, but Lucas...My only complaint is this: Lucas has a younger, bio daughter that he fathered by a past gf, whom he almost married. In several of the earlier books, Sarah(his other daughter) was at least mentioned by name. Until Lucas took in Letty as a ward and now his adopted daughter, that is. Sarah's mom, Jennifer Carey, even had a visable role in this installment. But the only mention of his bio dauther was in several references to Carey"as the mother of his other daughter". There was a mention of having pics of Letty, Weather(his wife) and Sam(their toddler)on his office wall, but nothing about Sarah. When a fan of a certain author, or book series, has invested a great deal of time in a character, they get to feel like they "know" this person. I'm sorry, but I just don't see Lucas as the type to turn his back on his own daughter. She'd be like 11 years old now and I don't care that her mother is married and has other kids...Sarah is still Lucas's daughter and it goes against his character(invented by Sandford)to just act like she doesn't exist. He never even ask about her when speaking to the child's mother....that's my only complaint. But the book was great. Lots of thrills and action. Very much reccommended. I just hope JS does something to bring Sarah back to the forefront, instead of just referring to her as 'Lucas's other daughter". ...more info
  • WICKED PREY is Sandford's Best Book!
    John Sandford has been writing books for nearly 20 years. He has reached the point in his life where he could comfortably coast, succumbing to the temptation to follow a formula with his Davenport novels, keeping the masses of fans he has deservedly acquired over the years happy by presenting a Davenport title on an annual basis following the theory that the best surprise is no surprise. Instead, Sandford has taken a road less traveled but far more interesting. He has actually increased his output, spinning a new series off of the Davenport mythos, while maintaining not only frequency but also quality in his Prey series.

    Wait a minute. Did I say "maintaining"? That would be wrong. Sandford sets and exceeds his own benchmarks, and with WICKED PREY presents his best and most ambitious novel to date.

    Sandford sets WICKED PREY spinning along two tracks that intersect briefly but importantly before the end of the book. The first concerns a gang assembled in Minneapolis on the eve of the 2008 Republican National Convention. Aware that lobbyists will be clandestinely distributing cash for campaign use, the gang plans a series of quick hits to build a very large pot. If all goes according to plan, their road to unjust enrichment will end with a separate heist that will enable all of them to retire in style. Their only problem, however, is their leader, a criminal genius whose tragic flaw is a hair trigger temper that in turn leads to homicidal tendencies. Think Richard Stark's Parker without the benevolent restraint and you'll get the idea. The beauty of WICKED PREY is that Davenport gets a heads up on the gang's presence in Minneapolis; he just doesn't know the where or the when of their heists, at least not initially.

    The result is a deadly game of cat-and-mouse carried out between Davenport and the police on one side and the gang on the other, with Davenport playing almost-but-not-quite catch-up, arriving on the scene a few seconds later and a few cents too short. When he figures out the gang's ultimate target, however, it is due not so much to good police work as to a clue inadvertently provided by Letty West, who is soon to be adopted by Davenport and his wife Weather.

    Ah, Letty. Watch out for that one. She is 14 years old, a bit precocious, yet vulnerable and more like Davenport than either would care to admit. It is Letty who plays a major role in the second but by no means lesser plot line of WICKED PREY. Randy Whitcomb is a petty thief turned pimp, a thoroughly despicable waste of air and skin whose permanent confinement to a wheelchair he blames on Davenport. Deciding to extract a pound of flesh from Davenport in revenge, he devises an extremely dangerous plan to kidnap Letty and hurt Davenport worse than he possibly could if he attacked him directly.

    But Letty has crammed a good deal of life into 14 years, and possesses an intriguing combination of loyalty, toughness and street smarts. When she inadvertently learns of Whitcomb's plan, Letty does not want to disturb Davenport with it, figuring he has enough to worry about. Instead, she begins to slowly but surely turn the tables on Whitcomb. It is not giving away anything to tell you that Whitcomb, though dangerous, is totally outclassed. Letty is not just any 14-year-old, and watching her plan slowly, surely and, yes, ruthlessly unfold is worth the price of admission all by itself.

    I will say it again: WICKED PREY is Sandford's best book. If you stopped reading him a while ago because you thought he had nothing left to say, you need to jump back on and then catch up on any of his backlist titles that you might have missed; otherwise you are cheating yourself. And one other thing: there is a paragraph, a little more than halfway through the novel that concerns Davenport's reaction to some very bad news. It is only about nine lines long and is absolutely perfect, possibly as good as the opening paragraph to THE LAST GOOD KISS by James Crumley. It rockets along so fast that you will literally be out of breath by the end of it. You'll know it when you read it, but don't skip ahead. You'll miss so much, and this is one book that you don't want to miss.

    --- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
    ...more info
  • This is the kind of Davenport I like in my living room!
    Lucas Davenport's back! Good news for all Sanford/Prey fans, and this book's a tight and taut "thriller" that centers around activities taking place during last year's Republican convention in the Twin Cities.

    The cops are overwhelmed and undermanned due to security requirements for the convention; cops from other agencies - as well as bucketloads of Feds - are wandering around the landscape. But so are some REALLY bad Bad Guys!

    A gypsy crew of killer/robbers is in town, drawn by the allure of large sums of under-the-table lobbyist money floating around the convention. There's a redneck cipher floating around with a .50 caliber sniper rifle. A crippled pimp blames Lucas for all his bad times, and is looking for his revenge by targeting Lucas's daughter.

    Davenport must sort the wheat from the chaff as he tries to allocate his very slim resources to address the threats.

    Which makes for compelling and engrossing entertainment for us... lucky us!

    Top drawer. Sanford at his best!

    ...more info