SHADOW PREY by John Sandford
Kirkus Star


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A crackling sequel to Sandford's ingenious Rules of Prey (1989), in which Minneapolis homicide cop Lucas Davenport made his memorable debut tracking a serial killer. Here, Sandford (who last year under his real name of John Camp also published the fine seriocomic thriller The Fool's Run) pits Davenport against a murderous Indian cabal. The sly, convoluted plotting of Rules of Prey, predicated on Davenport's mastery at games (he's wealthy from inventing several computer games), takes back seat here to vigorous erotic and violent action, beginning with the opening flashback that sees racist young cop Lawrence Clay raping an Indian girl. Today, Clay is director of the FBI and is the ultimate target of vengeance by the aging, radical Crow brothers, who plan to draw him to Minneapolis by orchestrating a series of ritual killings by Indians of white enemies--a slumlord, a sadistic parole officer. Before Clay blusters on the scene, though, Davenport takes the case, partnered with gorgeous, married Lily Rothenberg--a cop from Manhattan (where one of the graphically detailed killings occurs) whose sexual tango with Davenport offers steamy relief from the icepick chills of their pursuit of the Crows. Davenport's dogged hunt through the shuttered alleys of Minneapolis' Indian slums eventually lands him, in an excruciatingly tense scene, as hostage at the wrong end of a shotgun; soon after Davenport escapes, Lily is gunned down by the Crows' psychotic young protégé, Shadow Love. The final 50 pages fly by as the Crows at last trap and blast Clay, and Davenport faces down Shadow Love in a bloody stalk-and-shoot in a cellar. Less brainy but more muscular than Sandford's first two: a double-pumped roundhouse of a thriller.
Pub Date: June 28th, 1990
ISBN: 0425208842
Page count: 358pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1990

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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