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Publisher's Summary

The extraordinary new Lucas Davenport thriller from number-one New York Times best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner John Sandford.

The night after the fourth of July, Layton Carlson, Jr., of Red Wing, Minnesota, finally got lucky. And unlucky.

He’d picked the perfect spot to lose his virginity to his girlfriend, an abandoned farmyard in the middle of cornfields: nice, private, and quiet. The only problem was...something smelled bad - like, really bad. He mentioned it to a county deputy he knew, and when the cop took a look, he found a body stuffed down a cistern. And then another, and another.

By the time Lucas Davenport was called in, the police were up to 15 bodies and counting. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, when Lucas began to investigate, he made some disturbing discoveries of his own. The victims had been killed over a great many years, one every summer, regular as clockwork. How could this have happened without anybody noticing?

Because one thing was for sure: The killer had to live close by. He was probably even someone they saw every day....

©2014 John Sanford (P)2014 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"One of [Sandford’s] best. His writing and the appeal of his lead character are as fresh as ever. This author is a master writer and he pulls out all the stops to tell the latest adventure.... For those who think they know everything they need to know about Lucas Davenport, this book proves them wrong. It also shows that Sanford still has some tricks up his sleeve when it comes to writing totally engrossing books. Sanford has always been at the top of any list of great mystery writers and this latest book shows why.... It is one of his best and that makes it something really special." (Huffington Post)

"Consistently brilliant, Sandford shows the methodical steps inherent in such a case, without sacrificing plot, pacing or character." (Cleveland Plain-Dealer)

"Sandford seems to top himself with each new installment; the latest is no exception to that rule.... It doesn’t get any better than Field of Prey.... This is a series you must be reading if you are not already." (bookreporter.com)

What listeners say about Field of Prey

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ed
  • 2014-06-26

Sandford and Ferrone deliver

What I like about the Prey series is John Sandford's ability to continually create some pretty evil guys. He doesn't disappoint in this installment with the really oily dynamic duo of Horn and R-A. Neither of them have anything even resembling a redeeming social value. They are perfect bad guys. Sanford also introduces a new character, who I hope will appear in upcoming installments. Catrin Mattsson had a baptism of fire in this novel and is deserving of a Virgil Flowers kind of spinoff. I hope we at least see her in future Prey offerings. Finally, Richard Ferrone made this story come to life with his dead-on vocal interpretations. A musician could read music and lyrics from a new song and have an idea of what the finished product would sound like. But hearing the instrumentation and vocals would, for most of us, make for a better experience. Same goes with Audible books. Reading them would be fun but listening to them is much better. And with a narrator like Ferrone, the experience is kicked up a notch. A five-star winner. Keep 'em coming.

28 people found this helpful

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  • gone2ground
  • 2014-05-19

It Doesn't Get Better Than This

I have been reading/listening to the Prey novels since their beginning, back in the eighties, and for me, this was the most engrossing, the most maddening of them all. The whole novel felt like that exciting point that all the Lucas Davenport novels move toward, when all the figuring, all the questioning, all the digging suddenly starts to reveal what is what and who is who, and the action becomes a mad dash or avalanche towards the uncertain and usually pretty dicey ending. I guess one thing that made me feel that from the very beginning was the action of a very strong female character, responding to being attacked bound, and driven off into the night. I felt truly exhilarated by this beginning, and I rarely lost that sense of involvement, as the action and characters developed throughout, "Field of Prey."

I have always found that Sandford creates strong and complex women in his Prey books, and they are even stronger in this one. His daughter, Letty, in particular, is so enjoyable in this installment, that I am now hoping she completes her time at Stamford and comes back to the twin cities, to work with Lucas, a lot sooner than four years from now. I admit it, I have to remind myself, now and then, that these people are not real, I have been reading about them for so long. Yes, all the gang are here: Dell, Virgil, Sandy, Lucas's childhood friend, the psychologist nun, and of course, those responsible for something like twenty years worth of the disappearances and murders of young blonde women.The familiar voice of Richard Ferrone , with its tough guy edge, always adds to my enjoyment. Whoever chose him for the Prey series created a perfect marriage.

When I listen to the decisions Lucas makes, unaware of the big picture that Sandford shares with us, I feel like a kid at the matinee, wanting to shout out, "What the hell are you doing? Turn around; do not go home before you question that creep!" I say no more. No spoilers here. Oh yes, I loved this installment of Sandford's Prey series. What a great read!

13 people found this helpful

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  • bebe
  • 2019-06-01

There is a stinking black hole….

A couple of serial killers have been killing women for years – they kidnap, rape and then kill them and throw them in a cistern. Teenagers making out in a field smell the stench of death and call the police. The fact that many women have been murdered hits the media like a bomb. Lucas is on the case to catch the serial killer, or is it killers? He is being helped with law enforcement officer Cat Madden, who is in danger of being another victim. There are other cases active in this story: senior citizens running guns and cocaine, a Bernie Maddoff type swindler and a nutty homeless brother of a bank robber killed by Lucas.

This is well performed, as usual, by the talented narrator of the Prey series, Richard Ferrone. He is great. This book and the series is also great.

4 people found this helpful

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  • R. Pontiflet
  • 2014-05-31

Great Narrator.. A Good Mystery

Richard Ferrone's voice is an excellent match for this mystery. The grittiness and deep tones of his voice says "get ready, a mystery" is being told here." I enjoyed the novel. My first read of John Sanford and the Prey series. There were a couple of points where I thought the author went off in a weird way, ie, getting his daughter too involved, etc. But overall, the book held my attention until the very end even though we knew who the killer was about mid-way or so into the story. I am not sure if I'll read another of the Prey series (kinda long) but since I tend to like novels in a series, I may read another one because you can get to know the repeat characters better, I just might try one more to see if it is a go with John Sandford's Prey series, especially since Richard Ferrone will be narrating!

12 people found this helpful

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  • John Norton
  • 2014-05-12

Solid! Now if I can make it to Fall & Flowers...

I agree with the reviewer who thought the character development was a little light, esp. for Investigator Mattsson. I did enjoy Letty going on the road with Lucas (maybe that 50 Shades of Grey spoof on 4/1/13 wasn't so spoofy after all). Plenty of the patented Sandford tricks and twists. Maybe there are just too many characters to visit in a single book anymore.

John (Camp) Sandford is about 70 now - I'm not too far behind. So I especially appreciated the old folks with the RV overflowing with full-auto.

As is the case each May, when the new one reaches The End, I listen to 4-5 oldies, luxuriate in Richard Ferrone's awesome performances, and wait impatiently for October and Virgil coming down my driveway with the boat trailer hitched to the back of the truck.

(PS: Thanks for not killing off you-know-who.)

12 people found this helpful

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  • Shannon
  • 2015-04-02

Richard Ferrone makes this series

I started listening to the Prey series years ago on audio tapes because of the narrator. He's my favorite narrator of all time. I also have a secret crush on Lucas Davenport. The characters of this series are like my friends. This is one of the better books Sandford has written in the last few years. It brought me back to living this series again.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Poconos
  • 2014-05-07

One of the best author/narrator combos anywhere!

If you could sum up Field of Prey in three words, what would they be?

I stopped listening half-way through another one of my favorite authors so I could start listening to "Field of Prey". I am not disappointed. I'm only part way in to the story and I am loving it already! I will pre-order any of John Sandford's books and hopefully Audible will keep Richard Ferrone as the narrator. There is no finer combination.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Amy Metz
  • 2018-10-18

Sandford let us down

I come and go from the Lucas Davenport series. Whenever I come back, I’m reminded why I left, which is what happened with this book.

Spoiler alert!

I like a strong woman character. But just once, I’d like to see the strong female character be smart. She’s a cop. She should be on her guard and not so easily duped and captured. Just once, I’d like to see her beat the brains out of the bad guy BEFORE he repeatedly rapes and beats her. And why even have that as a plot point? That’s entertainment? That’s drama? Not for me.

But since we did have to live through Catrin Mattson being brutally raped and beaten for days, are we really supposed to believe that after all she’s been through, with several broken bones–one in her wrist–she’s able to summon the strength to literally bash the brains out of the bad guy in one fell swoop? Mr. Sandford, after experiencing those horrific scenes with her, that’s not a satisfying outcome. I want her to do that BEFORE he viciously rapes and beats her–when she’s strong and it’s believable. And I’d really like her to do it on her own, not with the help of Lucas coming to her rescue. If that is an important part of the plot, then a final scene in the book where she testifies against him in court while looking him in the eye would be a great ending.

Now to Lucas. Why is he so stupid? Shaffer figured out who the killer was early on in the book. But it took Lucas the entire book to figure it out? Is he really that stupid? If he is, why are we rooting for him? I feel like the bad guy was so much smarter than Lucas–which could happen I suppose–but it doesn’t make for a satisfying story for the hero of the book to be outsmarted for the entirety of the story, only to finally stumble on the easy clue that he should have seen long before.

The other strong female character in this book is Lucas’s daughter Letty. I love Letty. But I don’t care how strong and independent and headstrong and streetwise a teenager is, Sandford made this one unbelievable in her maturity level. He made her a peer of the other cops and that’s ridiculous.

The side stories, to me, were distracting and not necessary. If you need the book to be longer, don’t fill it with useless subplots like the ones in this book.

I suppose I’ll be back to read more about Lucas, but for now, I’m gone again because you let me down big time with this book, Mr. Sandford. Your books aren’t fantasy–don’t try to make them so! Give us a good mystery with interesting, intelligent, strong male and female characters who try to solve the mystery with brains and skill. And just once, I’d like the bad guy to be captured and sent to prison, not given the easy way out with a gruesome death. Is that really too much to ask for?

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kimberly Y
  • 2014-05-21

Not Sandford's Best Work

Would you try another book from John Sandford and/or Richard Ferrone?

I will try other books from John Sandford because I do think he's a great author.

What was most disappointing about John Sandford’s story?

I usually love John Sandford--I have most of his books in both hard copy and audible form. But this one just didn't satisfy my. The plot just didn't seem as developed as usual. It felt rushed and very surface in nature. It felt more like a way to set up a spin off for a book about Letty than an in-depth Davenport thriller. I don't want to spoil the plot but felt a lot of the violence was more gratuitous than essential. All in all, a disappointment from one of my favorite authors.

5 people found this helpful

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  • T
  • 2014-05-10

Not one of his best...

I preordered this having read all the others in the "Prey" series but was kinda bored.
Missing something, witty banter? character development? Not certain just what is missing. Narration great as always; might be the formula is tired. I did not know enough about the new women cop to generate much interest in the outcome. Davenport's family just one dimensional as were most characters this time.
Disappointed overall.

7 people found this helpful