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Rules of Prey by John Sandford

Rules of Prey

by John Sandford

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lucas Davenport (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
I got into these books through my mother. She was (and is still) a huge fan of procedural cop shows on TV and Mystery/thrillers in her literature. These were the books that she gave me that also grew into a love of a good thriller.

Lucas Davenport is a detective for the Twin Cities who is very good at catching serial killers. He is hard edged and a bit womanizing, but he knows his job very well. HE can usually think like the killer and outsmart them pretty well.

The killer in this story is known as the "Maddog" killer for his brutality ( I Think, its been a while since I read these), and he always leaves a note on his victim. These notes are his "rules" for killing:

"Never kill anyone you know. Never have a motive. Never follow a discernible pattern. Never carry a weapon after it has been used. Beware of leaving physical evidence, etc.

I think I like these books so much because they show not only Davenport's thoughts and method for finding the killer, but also the killers side of things. The various killers throughout these books have been pretty interesting, but also crazy (obviously since they are serial killers). It has always been a lot of fun to get inside their head for a while.

Another good thing about this book (and all the subsequent novels) is that there is also a lot of attention paid to the personal life of Lucas Davenport. HE starts out these novels as your basic lady loving cop, but throughout out the books he has a child and finds a wife who he sticks with through lots of craziness. I really like that about the books as it makes the characters into real people and not just cardboard cutouts looking for clues.

I re-read these at least once a year and never get tired of them. ( )
  Sarah_Buckley | Jan 3, 2014 |
I've long been a fan of John Sandford's Lucas Davenport mysteries and of the Virgil Flowers series which spun off of them.
Somehow, I missed this Davenport novel. And I believe it was probably the first of the series. While he lacks his usual sidekicks and Rose Marie, his character is already pretty well developed. Rather than being marries to the magnificent Weather, he's an avid cocksman.
But moral ambiguities abound in even this early work. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Jun 28, 2013 |
A friend recommended I try John Sandford so being the OCD person that I am I got the first in the series to try.

I enjoyed the book and the story, loved Lucas Davenport (well, maybe except all the bed-hopping) but wished the book hadn't been about a serial killer. Knowing that it was written in 1989 helps, that was the height of serial killer mania. I'm pretty much avoiding most things with them now but this one was very well done.

Davenport is a cop who operates slightly outside the law on occasion but knows he needs to get someone legally in the end. "The maddog" killer stretches Davenports abilities and resources when he starts killing a female on a schedule of approximately every two weeks.

I liked the book well enough that I will try more, and no, I don't know why it took me so long to get around to reading this series. For some reason I always thought it was more "thriller" and less procedural and so I avoided it.

Live and learn. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 31, 2013 |
With a new foreword explaining how Lucas Davenport got his start...

Game on. A serial killer is stalking the women of the Twin Cities. Lucas Davenport is a player (in more ways than one). This time he's playing against an obsessive, meticulous killer for life or death stakes. Davenport's not the guy you'd want to bet on for a long term relationship, but for catching a maddog? He's your man.

Creepy and suspenseful. ( )
  SunnySD | Mar 10, 2013 |
Another Lucas Davenport weekend. After reading #21 in the series I had a hankerin' to go back to some of the early ones. Sandford has certainly improved his delivery over the years. This first one is heavy on the nonessential narrative summaries, especially in the first 100 pages or so.

Rules of Prey introduces Lucas Davenport, the badass Minneapolis cop who plays by his own rules but gets the job done when no one else can. He goes head to head with a smart lawyer who is also a serial killer.

The serial killer theme is soooo '80s! This was published in 1989, so it was right for the times, but felt a little tired to me lo these 20+ years later. I didn't read the series in order my first time through. I started with #10, which I ran across by chance at the library. I didn't know it was part of a series when I grabbed it, but Clara Rinker got me hooked! Had I started with this first one I don't know if I'd have continued with the series. I read them all out of order until I caught up.

I give this 3.5 stars. ( )
  TheJeanette | Mar 6, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Sandfordprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferrone, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hauser, SonjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smit, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A rooftop billboard cast a flickering blue light throught the studio windows.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The murderer was intelligent. He was a member of the bar. He derived rules based on professional examination of actual cases: Never kill anyone you know. Never have a motive. Never follow a discernible pattern. Never carry a weapon after it has been used. Beware of leaving physical evidence. There were more. He built them into a challenge. He was mad, of course . . .
The killer's name is Louis Vullion, a low-key young attorney who, under the camouflage of normalcy, researches his next female victim until the pressure within him forces him to reach out and "collect" her. Plying his secret craft with the tactics of a games master, he has gripped the Twin Cities in a storm of terror more fierce than any Minnesota winter.
It is after the third murder that Lucas Davenport is called in. It is the opinion of his colleagues that everything about the lieutenant is a little different, and they are right – in the computer games he invents and sells, in the Porsche he drives to work, in the quality of the women he attracts, in his single-minded pursuit of justice. The only member of the department's Office of Special Intelligence, Davenport prefers to work alone, parallel with Homicide, and there is something about this serial killer that he quickly understands. The man who signs himself "maddog" in taunting notes to the police is no textbook sociopath; he has a perverse playfulness that makes him kill for the sheer contest of it. He is a player.
Which means that Davenport will have to put all his mental strength – and physical courage – on the line to learn to think like the killer. For the only way to beat the maddog is at his own hellish game. . .
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425205819, Mass Market Paperback)

The haunting, unforgettable, ice-blooded thriller that introduced Lucas Davenport is so chilling that you're almost afraid to turn the pages and so mesmerizing you cannot stop.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:21 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The "maddog" murderer who is terrorizing the Twin Cities is two things: insane and extremely intelligent. He kills for the pleasure of it and thoroughly enjoys placing elaborate obstacles to keep police befuddled. Each clever move he makes is another point of pride. But when the brilliant Lieutenant Lucas Davenport--a dedicated cop and a serial killer's worst nightmare--is brought in to take up the investigation, the maddog suddenly has an adversary worthy of his genius.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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