Every month we feature a different author, publisher or bookseller who has earned the RLK! seal of approval! We will highlight and review their books/company as well as providing author biographies (where available) and publishing information. We hope you enjoy RLK! Spotlight On....

Author Bio:

John Sandford is the pseudonym for Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and novelist John Camp.

Born and educated in Iowa, Sandford has a black belt in Shotokan karate. He enjoys wilderness canoeing and in 1980 paddled solo down the Mississippi River from its source to New Orleans.

Sandford is married with two children, and lives in Minnesota.

Sandford's novels are based on the exploits of Minneapolis Police detective Lucas Davenport.

Sandford's novels crackle with action and living, breathing characters, with razor sharp prose and provocative atmosphere.


Books Published:

RATING:

Publisher: Hodder Headline

Review Source:

EASY PREY

Lucas Davenport is back, and his latest case is a killer.

Easy Prey is the 11th mystery to feature Lucas Davenport, who began his career back in Rules of Prey as a maverick homicide detective reminiscent of "Dirty Harry" Callahan. The "Prey Series" is always a favorite here at RLK! and it's good to know the latest in the series is just as good as those that went before.

In this newest episode, Davenport is called to a house after an A-list party has taken place there. Alie'e Maison, a top model, has been found strangled, and evidence shows that she ingested drugs and recently made love - most probably to a woman. Before Lucas leaves the house, things get even more complicated: a second body is found stuffed in a closet with a deep dent in the skull.

And, in addition to that, one of Lucas's own men had been at the party and is now a suspect.

As always, Lucas's own life is not exempt from complications. An ex-lover comes back into his world - a woman he has never been able to forget - and she has secrets of her own.

Also making an appearance this time out is a childhood friend to whom he turns for advice about women and life. Sister Mary Joseph, born Elle Kruger, is a professor of psychology and one of the computer brains who helps Lucas design his software. He calls her Nun the Wiser, and he often turns to her for spiritual as well as more concrete advice.

Lucas is going to need all the help he can get to unravel his case as secrets pile upon secrets and the ground constantly shifts under his feet.

Easy Prey is another powerful link in this chain of muscular, exciting thrillers by one of the most distinguished practitioners in the field. The solid plot, gallows humor, tasteful sex, and the likable, self-assured Davenport is a pleasure to re-visit. The writing has remained consistently taut: the bad guys creepy, the mysteries suspenseful.



RATING:

Publisher: Hodder Headline

Review Source:

CERTAIN PREY

In the 10th installment of his popular Prey series, John Sandford (a.k.a. Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist John Camp) pits his popular antihero, Lucas Davenport, against a pair of cunning killers unlike any he has encountered before.

Attorney Carmel Loan is amazingly beautiful, intelligent, and ambitious. When she becomes infatuated with fellow barrister Hale Allen, she isn't going to let the fact that he's married get in her way. No way!

After a quick meeting with an ex-client, Loan sets up the hit on Hale's wife, Barbara.

Enter the professional killer, Clara Rinker, who is one of the best in the business. She's smart, attractive, with a gentle Southern drawl, and no one would suspect her of being one of the Mafia's best assassins.

She takes the Allen assignment knowing it will be easy money for a day's work.

But things are never than simple...

Things go wrong.

For Loan, her ex-client made a tape of the meeting and is trying to blackmail her with it. Even worse, for Rinker, while attempting the hit, she has to shoot a witness. The witness just happens to be a cop!

And cop killing brings deputy inspector Lucas Davenport into the case...

A surprise to the two girls, they soon find out that somehow Davenport has not only linked Loan to the killing, but seems to have a lead on Rinker as well. Carmel and Clara team up to clean up the loose ends, which includes getting Davenport off their back by whatever means necessary...

Sandford never lets his readers down. Even after 10 books, our antihero Davenport is as terrific as ever. The characterisations of Rinker and Loan are also crisp and clear.

Certain Prey is a fast and furious ride. The unusual shifts of viewpoints between the women and Davenport is a bit disconcerting to begin with, but very effective if you stick with it.

Great suspense, terrific direction of the plot, and sharp characters make this one of Sandford's best.



RATING:

Publisher: Hodder Headline

Review Source:

THE NIGHT CREW

Anna Batory's evening starts with a frenzied animal rights raid and then moves quickly to the site of a suicide jump. It's all in a normal night's work for Anna, who leads the Night Crew, a freelance video team out to make a quick buck on sensational footage they can sell to L.A. news stations.

But this night is different: the jumper is a teenager named Jacob Harper, and Anna's cameraman Jason beats a strangely hasty exit after filming the jump.

A few hours later, Jason too is dead: shot and knifed.

Jacob Harper's father is a former cop who works out the connection between his son's death and Jason's. The two young men share a drug dealer - and when Harper finds the dealer dead as well, he calls Anna to the scene and shows her a creepy knife wound on the dealer's body: the name "Anna" carved into his chest.

Harper believes that Anna may be in danger, and after her home is broken into she joins forces with Jake. From that moment on, Anna knows she's chasing down a killer who's got a thing for her. A series of heart-thumping encounters between Anna and her shadowy stalker keep this thriller moving speedily along - as Sandford's fans would expect.

Those who love the Prey series for the quirks and contradictions of its antihero, Lucas Davenport, will find the same here in Anna: an attractive loner, taciturn and tough-minded, and a classical pianist with the fighting reflexes of a wild animal. This is a terrific departure from the norm by Sandford, and we hope to see Anna again soon!

The Night Crew is well-orchestrated suspense, nonstop action, plenty of unexpected twists, and a superb climax that will keep readers riveted.

Sandford, whose Prey series has been a huge commercial success, offers up a feisty new heroine and plenty of human interest in this slick, sleek, nightmarish thriller. Not quite as good as the Prey series, but damn close.



RATING:

Publisher: Hodder Headline

Review Source:

SECRET PREY

Prey series number 9 - and Davenport is back!

Still recovering from the deadly revenge scheme that maimed them in Sudden Prey, Davenport and his fellow cops are sent to investigate the killing of top banking executive in a hunting lodge north of Minneapolis.

Daniel Kresge, chairman of the board of Minneapolis' Polaris Bank Group, is on an annual company hunting trip when he is gunned down while hiding in a deer blind. Any of Kresge's four fellow hunters - all employees at his Polaris Bank - could have shot him, and all had motives...as did his almost ex-wife.

This case seems almost cozy to Lucas - it was the work of either an ambitious employee or the disgruntled ex-wife. Simple. Davenport hones in on Wilson McDonald, an overweight, ambitious wife-beater from old and powerful Minnesota wealth. Lucas is enjoying the hunt when his prey is suddenly killed by a shotgun blast from his severely beaten wife, Audrey McDonald.

Bad bit of luck, that. End of case? Not quite.

The reign of terror continues and moves ever closer to Lucas and his circle of friends. But just who is the killer?

Once again, Sandford comes up trumps. With the imaginative plotting, shifting points of view, great villains and beautifully honed suspense, this book has enough twists and turns to keep the most paranoid conspiracy theorist switching assumptions. A roller coaster ride from start to finish, full of explosive action and with a surprise ending.

Probably the best of the Prey series so far.



RATING:

Publisher: Hodder Headline

Review Source:

SUDDEN PREY

Minnesota cop Lucas Davenport is back in the eighth "Prey" thriller.

An afternoon stakeout in a mall crowded with Christmas shoppers goes horribly wrong for our hero and his hand-picked crew of officers when they gun down Candy LaChaise and her sister-in-law Georgia just after they've robbed a credit union.

Candy's hardcase husband Dick, halfway through a nine-year jail sentence, is allowed to attend her funeral. Then, with a little help from his friends, Dick manages to escape and flee into the countryside.

But he's not worried about freedom - he wants revenge. Using IDs supplied by Andy Stadic (a crooked vice cop), Dick and two of his offsiders begin liquidating the loved ones of those involved in the credit-union shootout. With the public and press in an uproar, Davenport calls on the considerable resources at his command to stalk the homicidal threesome.

But will Davenport be in time to stop the killers reaching the ones he loves?

The "Prey" series continues to get bigger and better with the clever plotting and fully developed characters. This one will have you on the edge of your seats for the most part and the cracking dialogue and subtle humor is a delight.



Previous releases by John Sandford include:


        


Websites:

The Official John Sandford website can be found at http://www.johnsandford.org/.


Where to buy:

Availability:     

For those who order online, try:

Amazon UK!   Buy Laymon & Others Here!   




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