After 23 novels in the series there isn’t much Lucas Davenport has not seen before. This scene is a new one and very disturbing. The Brooks family home has been turned into a scene that screams of terror and desperation. The dogs were just killed. The family, a dad, wife, and two kids were tortured and eventually killed. Left behind written on a wall, most likely using the blood and one of the dad’s cut off fingers, is a chilling message– “Were Coming.”


What the missing apostrophe means and who is coming are just two of the many questions the brutal crime scene raises for Lucas Davenport and others in various law enforcement agencies. Considering the carnage and the likely assumption that the family was tortured for information it has all the appearances of the work of Mexican Drug Traffickers. However, the family does not appear the type to be involved with that sort of thing. The husband, Patrick Brooks, ran a software company while the mom, Candice Brooks, was potentially a state senate candidate. There certainly isn’t anything at all to explain the massacre. A massacre that becomes major news, not just in Minneapolis/St Paul, but across the nation in this day and age of cable news that eats this kind of story up.


A story that quickly comes to the attention to all of those who started this murder ball rolling.  While the killers are happy to see word of their ongoing exploits on TV, those who orchestrated the plan and unknowingly triggered events now know they have a huge problem.


This latest in the series continues the recent trend of heavy action, short scenes, constant changes in pov, and a relentless pace that moves rapidly things forward for over 400 pages. There isn’t any new character development for Lucas Davenport and his home family. None is expected after so many books. As for his law enforcement family, all the regulars such as his Del, Shaffer, Rose Marie, Sandy and other make their usual appearances. Even Virgil Flowers makes an appearance in a secondary story line that eventually provides several chuckles towards the end.


Some “reviewers” have publicly speculated that this novel was not written by John Sandford. Beyond the fact that they have provided zero evidence of such a dubious claim, this novel is exactly the tone and style of the recent books. Clearly this reviewer was not present to watch the master at work (would have been a wonderful experience), but the idea that it is not his work is laughable after reading the novel.



Stolen Prey: A Novel is another hard hitting action read in this enjoyable series. Much like the Porsche Lucas drives, the story roars wide open providing readers yet another high octane mystery ride.


Stolen Prey: A Novel

John Sandford

G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Group-USA)

May 2012

ISBN# 978-0-399-15768-4


402 Pages



Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Texas Public Library System.





Kevin R. Tipple ©2012

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