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Chosen Prey

by John Sandford

Series: Lucas Davenport (12)

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2,088216,623 (3.93)10
Hoping to use a supposedly straightforward case of murder to clear his mind, Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport finds himself matching wits with an ever-escalating serial killer, art history professor, congenial pervert, and sexual predator James Qatar.

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This was a deeper, more character-driven Prey book. It's in this book that fans are caught up on everybody in the series. Also, we can see that things will be taking a turn job-wise for a few and maybe a baby for Lucas and Winter. ( )
  nab6215 | Jan 18, 2022 |
This series is just chock-full of serial murderers. ( )
  snorrelo | Feb 22, 2021 |
We get to see who Lucas chose after the mess of the last Prey book (spoiler: Weather) and how they are dealing with each other months later. Still ambivalent about what things mean, the two are back together, stronger than before. Lucas is dealing with a shake up though professionally. The chief who he has been working for is not likely to get re-appointed, which means Lucas is going to have to go too. If that's enough, it appears a murder is leading Lucas and his team to investigate what it appears to be another serial killer on the loose in Minnesota.

Lucas in this one seems to be a step behind a serial killer. Readers find out pretty fast who the killer is, so you may end up frustrated with Lucas and company for not moving faster on James Qatar (his name is in the synopsis). I do have to laugh at Lucas once again being smoothed out a little so he's not acting like a psycho around every attractive female he meets. There are still jokes about him and Weather, and I do like that Weather acknowledges Lucas's past partners and the only one she's not here for is Lucas's old friend. Thank God that character doesn't pop up again. I think that Lucas works as a character for his determination to catch the bad guys. He's not stupid, and though you end up loathing some of his choices in order to punish the bad people who he comes across, you sometimes end up rooting for him.

We have our usual suspects of Marcy, Del, Sloan, and others. Marcy is still recovering from her injuries after the last book, and even gets a better love interest in this one.

James Qatar is a mess of a man. He stalks woman, takes, their pictures, and draws them in crude pornographic poses. We have no idea how depraved he is until you start to realize how long he has been doing what he has.

We get introduced to a new character in this one, Terry Marshall, who has a connection to the case. I am going to admit, I was tempted to give this four stars because it was pretty obvious what was going to happen with Terry. I held off though because the last book was a pile of mess and I had to give this 5 stars by default.

The writing was much crispier in this one. Sandfford leads you through the plot and the myriad of characters and keeps his eye on the endgame. The flow was much improved too.

The ending ends on a sad and hopeful note for the future of Lucas. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
There is one drawback to being a master of your craft, of having the ability to create fascinating characters and situations, and build suspense, and make the routine seem interesting. What happens when you don’t carry it all the way through to the conclusion of the book? What happens when the last fifty pages read as if they’d been plotted by someone else? Those superior skills turn against you. Disappointment is magnified because enhanced expectations are not met.

There are two major problems with the ending to Chosen Prey. The more important one involves the woman intended to be his final victim, whom we meet at the same time as the killer, early in the novel. James Qatar has already decided to kill her when a chance remark intrigues him enough to spare her. She continues to play a significant role throughout the story and yet, as events wind down and Qatar slips his surveillance with the intention of killing her, their confrontation happens “off-screen.” We’ve already witnessed him kill twice, one of whom was his mother; in neither case is the reader as intimately connected as we are to this character. We have to know what both killer and victim are thinking and feeling. Nothing is gained in terms of suspense or drama by withholding this scene. A lot is lost in terms of satisfaction.

The second problem is lessened because it is preceded by the breach of faith recounted above. It still stands out. Essentially, the surprise twist is not much of a surprise. The character in questions was always going to do something. Initial speculation included blowing the arrest or killing the suspect whether he surrenders or not--something along those lines. So once the “something” actually does happen, there is no other candidate. That Sanford can draw a character so deftly that his mild instability is obvious to us but not to those around him is, I repeat, a considerable skill.

Skill is a double-edged sword in Chosen Prey. I enjoyed most of the trip, I always enjoy the company, but disappointment remains. Rare disappointment; say one--maybe two--out of the twelve Davenport novels I’ve read to date. Not disappointment enough to keep me from recommending the novel based on its other strengths. But bear in mind that I’m a big fan and I fully expect a return to form next time out. ( )
  JohnWCuluris | Oct 7, 2016 |
He is a prestegious history professor at St. Patrick University in Minneapolis. He has a very secretive life on the side. He enjoys playing kinky sex games with women he barely knows and ends up killing them for pleasure. He also enjoys taking pictures of women and distorting their figures to look like they are participating in grotesque sexual activities. His method of murder: a rope. The killer is a very sick individual that has killed over eight women in three states. None of the cops have been able to link him to the murder. When a murdered women turns up in the barren woods, close to home to Lucas Davenport, he vows to find this killer who killed this beautiful woman. After an intense investigation, and with the assistance of an aout of state officer, Davenport discovers that three other women have mysteriously disappeared in Wisconsin. All these murders/ disappearances are connected. Can Davenport and the gang get the killer before he claims his next victim?

The suspense is in watching Davenport hunt down this very clever murderer. Davenport is not a super-cop. He works hard, thinks hard, is sometimes lucky, sometimes not. He is doggedly persistent and was quite the womanizer as well in the earlier "Prey" novels. All in all, Lucas Davenport is a constantly evolving character. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Een seriemoordenaar fotografeert zijn slachtoffers.
Hierna monteert hij hun gezichten in pornografische

foto's die hij van internet haalt.
For Beryl Weekley
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James Qatar dropped his feet over the edge of the bed and rubbed the back of his neck, a momentary veil of depression falling upon him.
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Hoping to use a supposedly straightforward case of murder to clear his mind, Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport finds himself matching wits with an ever-escalating serial killer, art history professor, congenial pervert, and sexual predator James Qatar.

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Lucas Davenport returns in the most harrowing and unexpected Prey novel yet -- the story of a congenial man, and his most uncongenial obsession...

Art history professor James Qatar's hobby was taking secret photographs of women. At night when he was all alone he'd dream about them and indulge his fantasies. Then one day his fantasy went too far. Now it's Qatar's turn to become an obsession -- of Davenport's. And for both men there's no turning back.
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Average: (3.93)
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