MIND PREY by John Sandford


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Sandford's talent for conveying the quotidian horrors, tedium, and heavy-handed humor of urban police procedure is as sure as ever in streetwise hero Lucas Davenport's seventh outing (Night Prey, 1994, etc.). Andi Manette, a carriage-trade psychiatrist, and her two young daughters are the victims of a violent daylight abduction. Because Manette is the daughter of an influential Minnesota poi and the estranged wife of a wealthy developer, Davenport, deputy chief of the Minneapolis PD, winds up in charge of the high-profile case. The kidnapper, a vicious but resourceful psychopath named John Mail, was once a patient of Manette's while confined in a state institution for the criminally insane. Before the abductor's identity becomes apparent, however, Davenport needs to check out several suspects who might stand to gain from Manette's death. A computer-game freak, Mail soon begins phoning Davenport (an off-duty entrepreneur who launched his own simulation software company) to taunt him with clues. The detective eventually realizes his quarry is getting inside information from someone in Manette's family circle, which includes her partner -- a nasty piece of work who has been bedding down with the septuagenarian paterfamilias. The suspense and dread build steadily as Davenport closes in on Mail, who has been beating and raping Manette in a farmhouse well beyond the Twin Cities limits. Will Davenport (who's been lured into a couple of near-fatal traps by his crafty adversary) be able to engineer an endgame before the madman kills his three captives? And what can Manette and her children do to help save themselves from mortal peril? A shocking but credible climax provides most of the answers, and Davenport ties up the last loose ends in a satisfying postlude. Nonstop action, an offbeat milieu (the wide, weird world of computer gamesters), and a host of three-dimensional characters -- all make for one of the best Preys yet.
Pub Date: May 11th, 1995
ISBN: 0425152898
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1995

Kirkus Interview
John Sandford
author of SATURN RUN
October 6, 2015

Saturn Run, John Sandford’s new novel, is quite a departure for the bestselling thriller writer, who sets aside his Lucas Davenport crime franchise (Gathering Prey, 2015, etc.) and partners with photographer and sci-fi buff Ctein to leave Earth’s gravitational field for the rings of Saturn. The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate; spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out. The race is on. “James Bond meets Tom Swift, with the last word reserved not for extraterrestrial encounters but for international piracy, state secrets, and a spot of satisfyingly underhanded political pressure,” our reviewer writes. View video >


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