Newest Sandford Prey Book is Different and Not His Best

I have read most of John Sandford’s PREY series books.  They are almost all set in Minnesota, and involve two major characters:  Lucas Davenport, from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and Virgil Flowers, who works for Lucas.  Virgil is referred to in several books in a way that I cannot print in this entry, although I would tell you that both words start with F, and the second word is his last name.  Without question, they qualify as mystery and suspense thrillers.

The most recent addition to the collection is Field of Prey (New York:  Putnam, 2014).  For some reason, I found it to be somewhat more harrowing and sensational than most of the other books.  While many of Sandford’s Field of Prey Coverbooks involve murders, this particular book had so many, and are described so gruesomely, that it gave me special notice.  In case you can’t wait, the killers bury the bodies in a field, and a number have been at the bottom for quite some time.

I can’t tell you that I enjoyed this one nearly as much as the others.  I notice that some of the reviews on even question if Sandford is the true author, pointing out distinctions in writing style and other facets that do not follow form and custom.

I don’t think this is ghostwritten, but perhaps, a rush to press instead.  Maybe everyone involved simply refused to invest the time it took to craft a well-developed and cohesive story.

Even so, I don’t think you boycott this book.  It’s worth reading, if nothing else than to keep up with the developments in Lucas’ life, job, and family.  If it’s your first Sandford book, you won’t even notice, as you have nothing to compare it to.

To learn about John Sandford, I read this on

John Sandford PictureJohn Sandford was born John Camp on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended the public schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. He then spent four years at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies in 1966. In 1966, he married Susan Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, a fellow student at the University of Iowa. He was in the U.S. Army from 1966-68, worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian from 1968-1970, and went back to the University of Iowa from 1970-1971, where he received a master’s degree in journalism. He was a reporter for The Miami Herald from 1971-78, and then a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press from 1978-1990; in 1980, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis. From 1990 to the present he has written thriller novels. He’s also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art. He is the principal financial backer of a major archaeological project in the Jordan Valley of Israel, with a website at In addition to archaeology, he is deeply interested in art (painting) and photography. He both hunts and fishes. He has two children, Roswell and Emily, and one grandson, Benjamin. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007.


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