Rules of Prey is the first Lucas Davenport book written by John Sandford, a pseudonym for writer John Camp, who was initially a reporter. Given that the job entailed having to face a great deal of ugliness in human nature over and over again, Camp ended up getting burnt out. As a result, he quit reporting and started writing novels instead. To make things even more fun, he invented a smooth detective called Lucas Davenport.
Davenport is not the gritty, down-to-earth type usually featured on cop shows; he's more a James Bond kind of hero, with impeccable clothes, a Porsche and beautiful women at his beck and call. Like Bond, he's not above doing something a little unethical if it's for the greater good. He's also independently wealthy, having created a computer game that closely resembles Dungeons and Dragons. Part nerd and part man of the world, he is eminently likable despite the fact that he doesn't really work that well with people.
In Rules of Prey, Davenport gets on the trail of a serial killer who is attacking women in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. This killer calls himself "maddog" and leaves notes on the victims detailing his rules when it comes to killing. He writes, "Never kill anyone you know," "Never carry a weapon after it has been used," "Beware of leaving physical evidence" etc. To this killer, who takes on the persona of a regular guy when he's not killing, the murders are a game that he must win and he's cocky about his ability to outwit the police.
However, Davenport, as we know, has invented a computer game himself; he also tends to treat life as a grand diversion. Davenport's a player, so it's easy for him to slip into the mindset of the killer and eventually catch him, using his wits and his unofficial set of contacts around the city.
This is a thrilling psychological novel with an irreverent, attractive protagonist. It will keep you moving inexorably from one page to the next until the killer is found.
Download Rules of Prey and follow the investigation conducted by this charismatic protagonist as he attempts to get into the mind of a serial killer.
John Sandford is the pen name of writer John Camp who was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and went to school at the University of Iowa, earning a Bachelor's in American Studies and a Master's in Journalism. He then started writing for The Miami Herald and later moved to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for a series of stories titled "Life on the Land: An American Farm Family" which followed a typical Minnesota farming family for an entire year during the Midwest farm crisis. Later, he left journalism and started writing novels, including the Kidd series and the Prey series. He was married to Susan Lee Jones who passed away in 2007. He has two children and three grandchildren.
The haunting, unforgettable, ice-blooded thriller that
introduced Lucas Davenport is so chilling that you’re almost afraid to turn the
pages—but so mesmerizing you cannot stop.
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,
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.
And that means 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. Download and start listening now!