Broken Prey (Lucas Davenport Series #16)

Broken Prey (Lucas Davenport Series #16)

by John Sandford

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Don't miss this “sexy, bloody thriller"(Publishers Weekly) in #1 New York Times bestselling author John Sandford's Prey series...

The first body is of a young woman, found on a Minneapolis riverbank, her throat cut, her body scourged and put on display. Whoever did this, Lucas Davenport knows, is pushed by brain chemistry. There is something wrong with him. This isn’t a bad love affair.

The second body is found three weeks later, in a farmhouse six miles south. Same condition, same display—except this time it is a man. Nothing to link the two victims, nothing to indicate that the killings end here.

“This guy…” Lucas said. He took a deep breath, let it out as a sigh. “This guy is going to bust our chops.” 

And soon he is going to do far, far worse than that…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425204306
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/02/2006
Series: Lucas Davenport Series , #16
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 56,431
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 4.58(h) x 1.19(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John Sandford is the pseudonym for the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist John Camp. He is the author of twenty-six Prey novels, most recently Extreme Prey; four Kidd novels; nine Virgil Flowers novels; three YA novels coauthored with his wife, Michele Cook; and three stand-alones, most recently Saturn Run.


St. Paul, Minnesota

Date of Birth:

February 23, 1944

Place of Birth:

Cedar Rapids, Iowa


State University of Iowa, Iowa City: B.A., American History; M.A., Journalism

Read an Excerpt


CHARLIE POPE TRUDGED down the alley with the empty garbage can on his back, soaked in the stench of rancid meat and rotten bananas and curdled blood and God knew what else, a man whose life had collapsed into a trash pit—and still he could feel the eyes falling on him.

The secret glances and veiled gazes spattered him like sleet from a winter thunderstorm. Everyone in town knew Charlie Pope, and they all watched him.

He’d been on the front page of the newspaper a half dozen times, his worried pig-eyed face peering out from the drop boxes and the shelves of the supermarkets. They got him when he registered as a sex offender, they got him outside his trailer, they got him carrying his can.

Pervert Among Us, the papers said, Sex Maniac Stalks Our Daughters, How Long Will He Contain Himself Before Something Goes Terribly Wrong? Well—they didn’t really say that, but that’s exactly what they meant.

Charlie tossed the empty garbage can to the side, stooped over the next one, lifted, staggered, and headed for the street. Heavy motherfucker. What’d they put in there, fuckin’ typewriters? How can they expect a white man to keep up with these fuckin’ Mexicans?

All the other garbagemen were Mexicans, small guys from some obscure village down in the mountains. They worked incessantly, chattering in Spanish to isolate him, curling their lips at the American pervert who was made to work among them.

CHARLIE WAS A LARGE MAN, more fat than muscle, with a football-shaped head, sloping shoulders, and short, thick legs. He was bald, but his ears were hairy; he had a diminutive chin, tiny lips, and deep-set, dime-sized eyes that glistened with fluid. Noticeable and not attractive. He looked like a maniac, a newspaper columnist said.

He was a maniac. The electronic bracelet on his ankle testified to the fact. The cops had busted him and put him away for rape and aggravated assault, and suspected him in three other assaults and two murders. He’d done them, all right, and had gotten away with it, all but the one rape and ag assault. For that, they’d sent him to the hospital for eight years.

Hospital. The thought made his lips crook up in a cynical smile.

St. John’s was to hospitals what a meat hook was to a hog.

CHARLIE PUSHED BACK the thought of St. John’s and wiped the sweat out of his eyebrows, wrestled the garbage cans out to the truck, lifting, throwing, then dragging and sometimes kicking the cans back to the customers’ doors. He could smell himself in the sunshine: he smelled like sweat and spoiled cheese and rotten pork, like sour milk and curdled fat, like life gone bad.

He’d thought he’d get used to it, but he never had. He smelled garbage every morning when he got to work, smelled it on himself all day, smelled it in his sweat, smelled it on his pillow in that hot, miserable trailer.

Hot and miserable, but better than St. John’s.


Charlie was across the park from the famous Sullivan Bank when the chick in the raspberry-colored pants went by. The last straw? The straw that broke the camel’s back?

Her brown eyes struck Charlie as cold raindrops, then flicked away when he turned at the impact; he was left with the impression of soft brown eyebrows, fine skin, and raspberry lipstick.

She had a heart-shaped ass.

She was wearing a cream-colored silk blouse, hip-clinging slacks, and low heels that lengthened her legs and tightened her ass at the same. She walked with that long busy confident stride seen on young businesswomen, full of themselves and still strangers to hard decision and failure.

And honest to God, her ass was heart shaped. Charlie felt a catch of desire in his throat.

Her hips twitched sideways with each of her steps: like two bobcats fighting in a gunny sack, somebody had once said, one of the other perverts at St. John’s, trying to be funny. But it wasn’t like that at all. It was a soft move, it was the motion of the world, right there in the raspberry slacks, with the slender back tapering down to her waist, her heels clicking on the sidewalk, her shoulder-length hair swinging in a backbeat to the rhythm of her legs.

Jesus God, he needed one. He’d been eight and a half years without real sex.

Charlie’s tongue flicked out like a lizard’s as he looked after her, and he could taste the garbage on his lips, could feel—even if they weren’t there at this minute, he could feel them—the flies buzzing around his head.

Charlie Pope, thirty-four, a maniac, smelling like old banana peels and spoiled coffee grounds, standing on the street in Owatonna, passing eyes like icy raindrops, looking at a girl with a heart-shaped ass in raspberry slacks, and telling himself,

“I gotta get me some of that. I just gotta...”


Excerpted from "Broken Prey"
by .
Copyright © 2006 John Sandford.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“John Sandford delivers yet another blistering tale from the life of Lucas Davenport, surely one of the most attractive cops on the crime-fiction beat today…The plot is complex and full of red herrings.”—The Associated Press

“Sandford ratchets up the tension and suspense in tough, spare prose that shows us rather than tells us what is going on…Broken Prey more than lives up to its predecessors in what has become a bestselling franchise in the mystery/thriller genre.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Nonstop tension.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The plotline twists (just when you think you have everything figured out, you don’t) will surprise even the most jaded reader of thrillers…Broken Prey is taut and tangy. A reader who expects to read half one night and half the next may find his or her light on well into the small hours, unable to stop till the final page. That’s Sandford’s trademark, and a fine one at that.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Sandford is probably the best thriller writer working today, and his ‘Prey’ series is proof. In this one, Lucas Davenport tracks a particularly disturbing serial killer.”—San Antonio Express-News

“A real whodunit…it contains supersized servings of all the elements readers have come to treasure in the series: Davenport’s quirky, self-deprecating, and ironic worldview; plenty of graveyard humor; and a dynamic sense of place, from the Minnesota countryside to the foreboding gothic architecture of the asylum. An extra treat is Davenport’s ongoing mental gyrations as he compiles a list of rock’s 100 greatest tunes for his new iPod. His musical critiques are pure rock-fan, and the final list is a hoot. Byzantine plot, memorable characters, and a subliminal soundtrack of classic rock ’n’ roll. What’s not to like?”—Booklist (starred review)

“A tale so fast-moving you won’t even notice the unobtrusively expert detective work till the second time around.”—Kirkus Reviews

Customer Reviews

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Broken Prey 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 115 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The first body that of Angela Larson was found in a posed position, her body scourged, her neck sliced open, and ligature marks on her hands. The second corpse Adam Rice is found in the same manner with his young son killed as an afterthought. Lucas Davenport, who was at both crime scenes, concludes that the same person did the killings. When the news leaks to the media, parole officer Mark Fox Calls Davenport and tells him he thinks his parolee Charlie Pope, who was just released from St. John¿s mental institution for raping and strangling a woman was the perpetrator....................... Charlie is nowhere to be found. His trailer is deserted, he failed to show up for his job and the electronic surveillance bracelet he was forced to wear was cut open. He gets in contact with newspaper reporter Russell Ignace of the Star Tribune and tells him that he has a third victim that he will kill next. When Lucas learns of this, he leads a massive search to find the perpetrator but he is too late. Now Lucas really is determined to do whatever it takes to find and cage the killer...................... John Sandford writes the best police procedurals on the market today. The killer is playing a diabolical game, constantly shifting the evidence so it falls on the wrong person and Lucas doesn¿t catch on to the scheme until three innocent lives are lost. Even when he figured out what is happening, there is so many viable suspects that he and the readers will find it near impossible to identify of the killer. This who-done-it is one of the best Lucas Davenport tales in this long running series.................... Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This reader seems to want to be recognized as a writer herself. Whenever I see a lengthy and detailed plot spoiler I always look to see if it is this woman. Barnes and Noble needs to actually DO something about her compulsive need to be be a plot spoiler. We want legitimate reviews. Not a second novel that gives away details about the novel we are researching.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast read
SonicQuack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lucas Davenport, the star of a myriad of Sandford's 'Prey' novels returns once more to hunt down a serial killer. It's a standalone book, only using the series as a backdrop and little else. About 200 pages in I had an inkling to who was killer (usually the Prey novels follow a the killer in detail, building suspense via other methods). Hah! How wrong was I. As the story escalates this routine crime novel goes in to overdrive and the climax is absolute chaos. It's a real page-turner, full of suspense, great characters, emotion, action scenes which are brilliantly written... and of course one of the best plots I had read in a crime book. This is Sandford at his finest - miss it at your own peril.
seldombites on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found the beginning of this book a little disconcerting as it chopped and changed a fair bit. However, once I got into the story, I was hooked. The author maintains a good level of suspense throughout and the plot has more twists and turns than you would find in a maze. Interestingly, I was completely unable to pick the culprit until the author was ready for me to do so, which is fairly rare these days. If you like murder mysteries, you will love this book.
wispywillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A crime-mystery, but Jeffery Deaver has set the bar very high, and John Sandford doesn't quite measure up. The characters are flat and dull, and apparently they don't know that over 95% of male rapes are committed by HETEROsexual men, NOT homosexual ones. And this ****ing book can't seem to get off the "gay" thing after a male murder victim is found to have been raped before his death. $%^&* It just irritates the **** out of me. It's already hard enough to get male rape victims to come forward, and the whole "if you are a man and you got raped, you must be gay" doesn't help one bit. And as I said before, well over 90% of the RAPISTS are heterosexual. Rape is about power and domination, not about sex.Do your homework next time, John Sandford.Eventually, though very slowly, the book starts to redeem itself. But the characters are rather flat. I guess I'm spoiled on Jeffery Deaver's incredibly complex characters.Not a terrible book, and I'm sure many people love it, but it's just not my cup of tea.
amf0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first time I read this I was a bit upset that Sandford didn't know how to incorporate Letty better. She was such a good character and here she's shoved off to London and never says a word. However on the reread, I liked the plot much better and enjoyed Millie and her sex life, and the intracies of this 15th (?) installation in the prey series. I love this series and have just gone through a rereading binge of them. This is one of the better ones in terms of mysteries, its the one that ends up in the mental institution and has the riff of Lucas chosing the top 100 rock songs of all times, and all the cops opinions of it. I liked this one, it's a reread and a keeper. A
readafew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the 16th book in which Lucas Davenport stars as the hunter for a serial killer. It appears John Sandford is back into the track in which made Davenport such a fun read and kept you on the edge of your seat reading. I hope he can keep it up. Even though this is the 16th book this series doesn't require chronological reading to enjoy it.Davenport is called by Sloan to a grisly murder scene where the victim had been severely tortured, killed and left on display, almost in her backyard. Sloan's initial reaction was "he's going to do it again". How do you find a guy who leaves no evidence and seems to be able to magically disappear?
jepeters333 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lucas Davenport chases down a brutal killer who ends up being on staff at St. John's a mental hospital in Mankato, MN.
claude_lambert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book with the usual qualities of Sandford: it is neatly packed and logical and if you start it, you will finish it as soon as you can: the interest is sustained.It did not work for me. I don't have the stomach for too much gore, and an abundance of profanity does annoy me.I keep the book because it has Sandford's 100 best songs of the rock era. It is a perk for this book that protagonists discuss what the best rock songs could be. It shows something that I have believed a long time: you cannot find anybody who loves equally the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. The shift is as deep as in classic music: on one side you get Bach and Stravinsky, on the other Beethoven and Verdi. Anyways, if you do not mind gore, go for it, it is as good as any Sandford.
Madam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read nearly all John Sandford's novels. I am never disappointed by his work. His writings are always top-notch, his characters are developed to the extent necessary while the plots are carefully maintained & pitched. John Sandford/John Camp is nothing less then a skillfill author.
mrtall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lots of plot. Lots and lots. Sandford's series is still good fun, though, and he's done his loyal readers a favor by shipping all of Davenport's domestic encumberances off on an extended overseas journey.
Bookmarque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A long-running series is a difficult thing. How much character and background can you add to please new readers but not annoy devotees at the same time? Lately it seems that he¿s aiming to please the latter and as one I think it works. Newcomers to the series will find things a bit shallow, but that¿s ok with me. There¿s a lot of history with the characters and you just have to read the other 16 books or whatever in order to find out what it is. He¿s not going to repeat these details in every novel because he knows that annoys the loyal reader. Robert Crais takes this approach as well and I appreciate it.Thankfully Weather and the brats are shipped out of the country for this one. I think Sandford knows how much they weaken Davenport, but now that he¿s created them he¿s shy of killing them off. Doing so would probably kill Davenport anyway, so it¿s a compromise to move them physically apart from each other. It worked in Naked Prey, too.In this one, Sloan seems to be the one suffering the most. Back a few books, we had Davenport in the grips of clinical depression and now Sloan seems to be following. He keeps telling Lucas that he is going to quit. Lucas doesn¿t want him to, but is encouraged by others to encourage Sloan in this plan; to buy a bar and get out of the crime business.This one has a lot of detective work as usual. There are red herrings and a lot of violence which is also normal. The solution is implausible, which is not always the case with Sandford, but hell, this is fiction. What we want is compelling and readable and that's just what we get.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful as always
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always enjoyed this Prey novel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sandford wrote another winner. The hero's are always believable and the villains are always nasty. Loved it.
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Birdiemom More than 1 year ago
You see, I love Lucas Davenport, and John Sandford's development of this character over time has given the Davenport Books a richness not often found in plain old mystery novels. And the plot is great - lots of twists and turns and OMG! moments. Great read. And he doesn't short you for pages as do some authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!