Series: Lucas Davenport #5
Published by Penguin on March 1st 1994
Genres: Fiction, Crime, Thrillers, Suspense, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural
Reading Challenges: 2017 COYER Summer Reading List
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
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.