Book Review: Winter Prey (Lucas Davenport) by John Sandford

Posted August 2, 2017 by @Angelized_1st in Books, COYER Summer Reading List, Entertainment / 0 Comments

Book Review: Winter Prey (Lucas Davenport) by John SandfordWinter Prey by John Sandford
Series: Lucas Davenport #5
Published by Penguin on March 1st 1994
Genres: Fiction, Crime, Thrillers, Suspense, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural
Pages: 416
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Reading Challenges: 2017 COYER Summer Reading List
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

It's the dead of winter, and a killer like no other is turning a small Wisconsin town into a death trap-one that's closing in on Lucas Davenport.

Winter Prey was one of my favorite novels in John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport series. Lucas is now living in his cabin in a small Wisconsin town when the local sheriff asks for his help. There is someone out there who has gruesomely killed a family, and the sheriff feels out of his league. He looks to Davenport for his expertise with serial killers to help bring this monster to justice. Like always, the killer begins to set his sights on Davenport when the ex-detective begins to get too close, resulting in a suspenseful thriller that’ll leave you on the edge from beginning to end.

What I really enjoyed about this novel was the feeling of claustrophobia that exists in the story. Being the middle of a tough winter, everyone gets around town in either a 4×4 truck or a snowmobile. The storms rage and the whiteness of the snow is the only thing people see nightly. As the killer and Davenport play cat and mouse, the claustrophobia thickens which ratcheted up the suspense. As I read the novel, I couldn’t help visualizing the scenes and found the story to be written quite cinematic. I also enjoyed meeting some new characters and hope that they play a large role in future novels.

Aside from the suspenseful atmosphere and new characters, what I enjoyed the most was the plot. As Davenport digs into the brutal murder of the family, he stumbles upon something far sinister. Apparently, the killer is involved in a sex ring involving local citizens taking advantage of minors. Not only does Davenport need to track down the killer, but he also needs to uncover the identities of the pedophiles and see if he can link them to the murder of possibly one of their victims. This novel is dark, seedy, and very disturbing on many levels. While I enjoyed reading it, I had to take little breaks after reading about the child abuse. Sandford doesn’t shy away from the subject, and its realistic portrayal added to the character development of the villains. While this novel isn’t easy to read, it makes for a fantastic mystery you wouldn’t want to miss.

About John Sandford

John 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 archeological 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, and is greatly missed.


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