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Extended Audio Sample Rules of Prey Audiobook, by John Sandford Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00004399472063 out of 54.00004399472063 out of 54.00004399472063 out of 54.00004399472063 out of 54.00004399472063 out of 5 4.00 (22,730 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Sandford Narrator: Richard Ferrone Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Prey Series Release Date: November 2004 ISBN: 9781440723940
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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, 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.

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!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sleek and nasty…A big, scary, suspenseful read.”

    Stephen King

  • “The kind of pulse-quickening, irresistibly readable thriller that many of the genre’s best-known authors would be proud to call their own.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Sandford delivers tense action, chilling excitement, and thrilling suspense. Fast-moving prose and romantic sidelines add a little zest, too.”

    Library Journal

  • “[Sandford] may be on to something with his hero: an offbeat tough-guy detective who is both hard-boiled and endearingly eccentric. Some readers may be put off by the detailed descriptions of each nauseatingly violent act, but Sandford definitely can write vivid prose of a kind that fans of blood-soaked thrillers will appreciate.”

    Booklist

  • “First-rate cat-and-mouse thriller…For ingenuity and sheer entertainment Sandford’s first far outclasses most other recent serial-killer novels, marking him a thriller writer to watch.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Toomey | 2/19/2014

    " Pretty good thriller. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 2/12/2014

    " John Sandford is a master of his genre....crime fiction. I can barely put his books down - from the first paragraph to the last! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janelle | 2/6/2014

    " This book had me on edge throughout the whole story! Not to mention that I completely fell in love with the dark, handsome Davenport; I swear it was love at first read. This is the first book of many in the series and I only hope that all the criminals that Davenport encounters are as good as the wacko in this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betsy | 2/4/2014

    " Good suspenseful thriller that stands the test of time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 travelerblue | 2/3/2014

    " fun series about MSP "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Delie | 1/25/2014

    " I love John Sandford -- and Lucas Davenport. Read everyone of these as soon as they come out! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda Leity | 1/20/2014

    " Good read... Found another author I like and am looking forward to reading his series... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candi | 1/12/2014

    " I was shopping in B&N and just browsing really when I came across this book. I read the cover and thought I would give it a chance. I could not put this book down. I read it in 2 days and could not wait to start the next one. As soon as John Sandfords next Prey book came out I was there to get it. I think that this style of book and writing really hooked me. Enjoyed all the books in the prey series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 1/10/2014

    " Not going to click all the books in the series, but if you like a good action packed murder mystery I highly recommend this series. Lucas Davenport, and all of the supporting characters, are still going strong some 20+ books into the series. Have followed it from the start. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Denise Arver | 1/8/2014

    " Still reading this book. I've read other John Sandford books that were easier to read. Not sure how crazy I am about this Lucas Davenport character... hoping he grows on me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Austin | 1/1/2014

    " I found most of these book for a couple dollars so I decided to pick them up. I'm glad I did. This book was suspenseful and always interesting. I almost found this book like the show Criminal Minds because not only did it follow Lucas's view, but also the Maddog. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Fran Lewis | 1/1/2014

    " It was great to read the first book and see how he meets all the people who are good friends later in the series. Good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cassandra. | 12/24/2013

    " I have no idea when I read the first 18 of the Prey Series. I'm sure I like some more than others, but needless to say, I read each and everyone of the first 18. I love Lucas Davenport. I can hardly wait to read #19 thru 22. Due to events in my life, I have not been able to read as much as I like. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kenya | 12/21/2013

    " I loved it.. I seriously did.. I haven't read such a good book in awhile. It was definitely a book you couldn't put down. I liked how much it went back and forth with Lucas (the main character cop dude) and the killer! It was some fun times. It was a lot of them trying to outsmart the other. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gretchen | 12/17/2013

    " I do love Lucas Davenport. ] "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sspeer | 7/1/2013

    " Good detective novel and how to capture a criminal "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mandy | 6/23/2013

    " Great book to get you on the edge of your seat and keeps you there until the last page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen - At Random | 6/13/2012

    " Yet another great series to escape into! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicky Beltz | 5/9/2012

    " Lucas Davenport goes after murderers. Stong lead character and backup characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ant | 11/25/2011

    " I've read about 5 or 6 books of the Prey Series. Most of them have been pretty good. Can't remember the order they go and which ones I've read, but I have read them in order. I like Lucas Davenport. I picture him as a young Al Pacino when I read. He's one of my favorite actors. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samantha | 11/11/2011

    " Good book, I had read one of the Lucas Davenport novels and enjoyed it so I thought I'd go back and start from the beginning of his series. Good introduction to the character and I'll definitely read more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn | 11/10/2011

    " Although I didn't like the main character Lucas Davenport, the detective searching for the "maddog" serial killer, the plot was engaging and my heart was pounding as I read the climax. Would Lucas reach the maddog before he could kill his lover? I am looking forward to the next book in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 8/6/2011

    " I won't bore you or clutter my "read" books by adding all 22 of the Prey series. If you are looking for a fast entertaining read and enjoy thriller novels all of the Prey books are what you are looking for. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Debra Walke | 5/29/2011

    " Didn't like it so I didn't finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 5/23/2011

    " Great, quick read and great protagonist in Lucas Davenport. This is the first in series that I will definitely be following up on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 5/6/2011

    " I like murder mystery books and for me this book was just okay. I didn't really care for the "sleeping around" kinda guy that Lucas seems to be which tainted the story for me just a bit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brie | 3/29/2011

    " I loved it. The story was so intense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emmilinna | 3/29/2011

    " I loved the "prey" series. Sanford is one of my favorite "thriller" authors, and Lucas Davenport one of my favorite detective characters. They are all page turners. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Todd | 3/18/2011

    " Decent cop thriller with a good ending. I didn't like how it seemed that every woman the main character meets wants to get in his bed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tommy | 3/17/2011

    " So far its the most interesting, wanna keep reading, and is sooo DISGUSTING.... AWESO"ME. so if u wanna disgusting thrilling book,pick p this one

    ,___,
    (O,o)
    /) )
    " "

    OWL... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 3/5/2011

    " I've already read a few of the prey books so I decided to start from the beginning. This first one was a Fantastic read. Just gotta love Lucas Davenport. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Toni | 2/19/2011

    " Great read! Plus I have been in love with Lucas Davenport since I read my first "Prey" book! I have read them all at least twice, some several times. Sandford's characters are sometimes appealing, sometimes horrid, but always unique and unforgettable! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen | 2/17/2011

    " Absolutely love this author and recommend him to everyone I know. Have read all of the Prey books by John Sandford; it's best to read them in order as the story of the character, Lucas Davenport, is ongoing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shanyn | 2/17/2011

    " This one got me hooked on the whole Prey franchise...wow! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 2/13/2011

    " I believe this is the first book introducing Lucas Davenport. The beginning of a great series! "

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About the Author
Author John Sandford

John Sandford is the pseudonym of John Roswell Camp, an American author and journalist. He won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1986 and was one of four finalists for the prize in 1980. He also won the Distinguished Writing Award of the American Society of Newspaper Editors for 1985. He is the author of more than thirty published novels, all of which have appeared, in one format or another, on the New York Times’ #1 bestseller lists. His books have been translated into most European languages, as well as Japanese and Korean.

About the Narrator

Richard Ferrone has recorded over 150 audiobooks including thrillers, romances, science fiction, and inspirational novels. He has earned an Audie Award and four Audie nominations, including for Best Solo Male Narrator of 2003. He was also recognized as an AudioFile “Voice of the Last Century” and a “Rising and Shining Star.” He has earned nineteen AudioFile Earphones Awards, including the 2011 Best Voice in Mystery and Suspense as well as the 2009 Best Voice in Science Fiction and Fantasy. A science fiction fan, he narrated Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy. He has also narrated works by James Patterson, Walter Mosley, John Sandford, Eric Van Lustbader, and Stuart Woods.