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Certain Prey (Lucas Davenport #10)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  12,901 Ratings  ·  382 Reviews
Attorney Carmel Loan is beautiful, intelligent, ambitious - and used to getting what she wants. When she becomes infatuated with fellow barrister Hale Allen, she isn't going to let a little thing like his being married get in the way. So, through the contacts of an ex-client, she hired professional killer Clara Rinker to get rid of Allen's wife. Smart, attractive Rinker is ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Pocket Books (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

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Lucas Davenport has always had a way with the ladies, but he’ll need a lot more than charm to deal with Carmel Loan and Clara Rinker.

Carmel is a pit-bull of a criminal defense lawyer who gets what she wants, and what she wants includes her handsome and married co-worker Hale Allen. So Carmel reaches out to a drug dealing client to hook her up with a hit man to kill Hale’s wife so she can step in. However, the hit man turns out to be a hit woman. Clara Rinker has killed over two dozen people whil
James Thane
This is probably my favorite book in John Sandford's Prey series, featuring Lucas Davenport of the Minneapolis P.D. and, later, of the Minnesota State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Sandford is famous for creating terrific villains and the main antagonist here, Clara Rinker, is perhaps his best. Actually, Lucas is up against two great antagonists in this story: Rinker, who is a particularly deadly professional hitwoman and Carmel Loan, a man-eating, ass-kicking Minneapolis criminal attorney.

Apr 01, 2015 Werner rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of "thrillers" (with reservations because of the language)
Recommended to Werner by: One of my Internet pen pals
Note, April 1, 2015: I updated this review slightly just now, to correct a typo (misspelled word).

This tenth novel in Sandford's popular Prey series is my first experience with his work; usually, I prefer to read a series in order, but the friend who recommended this one felt (probably correctly) that it can be read just as well as a stand-alone, or out of order. Series sleuth Lucas Davenport, a Minneapolis homicide detective (who, by the time of this novel, is actually a deputy police chief) is
Bob Koch
Jan 19, 2011 Bob Koch rated it it was amazing
Really liked it. I am slow to hook up to the Prey series by Sandford. Just starting to read again and not sure it's good for me as I tend to read at 1am when I get up to pee and with thrillers it's hard to get back to sleep! I really like the Lucas Davenport character. Trying to remember now all that I have read in this series. Rules of Prey was first.

I've read Silent Prey, Bekker in NYC. Then Winter Prey where he meets Winter. Mind Prey which had the villain John Mail and the victim Andi Manet
Jul 01, 2008 Christy rated it really liked it
As a teenager, Clara Rinker ran away from home and an abusive stepfather. While working as a dancer in a strip club, Clara is raped but plots her vengeance and kills the man who assaulted her. This begins a long career for Clara as a hired killer. Carmel Loan is a successful defense attorney in Minneapolis, a woman who is used to getting what she wants. And she wants Hale Allen, but standing in her way is Allen’s wife. Through a third-party, Carmel hires Clara to kill Allen’s wife, at which poin ...more
RachelW (BamaGal)
Sep 21, 2015 RachelW (BamaGal) rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars. This is one of the Lucas Davenport books I missed my first time through the series. I wanted to read it because - a) Lucas was honestly a much more fun character when he was single and a man-slut; and b) two crazy-ass female characters, one a hit-woman, and the other a garden variety psycho killer. What's not to love there in a read? ;-)
Dec 02, 2008 Eric_W rated it really liked it
I grabbed this particular book off the leasing shelf on a whim, began it in the station waiting for the train and could not put it down. Apparently, Sandford writes a series of novels that would be difficult to classify as either mysteries or thrillers. They all have the word “prey” in the title, and Lucas Davenport as protagonist. In this latest work, Davenport is a deputy chief of the Minneapolis Police Department.

Clara Rinker is a hitwoman. Raped after working one evening as a stripper at a
aPriL does feral sometimes

I think Sandford took a big chance in 'Certain Prey', but he pulls it off, just. It teeters into too-silly pulp territory, and probably some readers would be justified in complaining the book falls over. I gave it a four star rating because I think Sandford works it, but I can also see how one could argue that it failed. There are some plot contrivances that seem improbable, but not impossible. Lucky discoveries happen in police work all of the time, despite the emphasis on legal proofs in the c
Brent Soderstrum
Mar 31, 2015 Brent Soderstrum rated it really liked it
This is book #10 of the Lucas Davenport series from John Sandford.

Have you ever seen a sexy co-worker and thought to yourself "If they weren't married I would be exploring me some of that"? Have you thought to yourself "It would be great if their spouse would die"? Well, keep your answers to yourself. In this book Carmel Loan, a successful criminal lawyer, thought that about a co-worker but she went beyond that and hired a hit woman, Clara Rinker to kill the wife.

Davenport is on this case trying
Feb 15, 2015 Yolanda rated it it was amazing
Lucas Davenport has his hand full with 500+ page report to review and respond to a committee. Then there is business of an intelligent female hitman that has remained undetected through several hits and a female lawyer that is accomplished and cold. Lucas is truly challenged by these circumstances, a well paced story with a satisfying conclusion.
Oct 26, 2011 Thom rated it really liked it
Shelves: sandford-john
Great book, and while I love Mark Harmon as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS, casting himself as Detective Lucas Davenport in the small-screen adaptation of this book is a mistake. Although his attitude is right, he's too short, too slight of build, to thinning and gray. In a nutshell, he's not not macho enough, not credible as a tough guy in that Sinatra & Bogart kind of way. He's a physical wimp. Treat Williams would be my first choice, simply based on looks and physical presence. ...more
Jan 18, 2016 SeaShore rated it really liked it
This book was a great distraction for me at this time. John Sandford has created some amazing characters, who really came alive for me. The best-killer-for-hire character for me is Clara Rinker. The best created defense lawyer Carmel Loan, making millions. The 'not the sharpest knife' lawyer, Hale Allen and his lover Louise or is it Carmel. Coppers Baily, Sherrill, Sloan, and others. Baily gets shot during the murder of Allen's wife and Lucas Davenport sets to solve all of this and he does. Who ...more
Travis Starnes
Apr 17, 2014 Travis Starnes rated it it was amazing
This book has a different feel then the previous parts of the prey series. In earlier books he was reacting to the criminal’s actions trying to stop them before whatever plan the bad guy came to fruition. In Certain Prey Sandford has reversed the roles with the bad guy being pushed by Davenport and company, reacting to his moves. The feel of the book is definitely different and really helps pump some new life into the series. While I have enjoyed every installment so far I was starting to notice ...more
Dan Darragh
Aug 10, 2016 Dan Darragh rated it it was amazing
A great read for Sandford fans and his Lucas Davenport character. Like some other Davenport books, the mystery isn't who dunnit but how's Davenport going to catch them ... or not. In this case, the bad "guys" are women and it's not too many pages before you find that out, so this isn't a spoiler. It's not unusual for Sandford to leave a couple of loose ends in his novels, and this one is no exception. Maybe, he's just reflecting real life or maybe someday he'll come back and use that loose end t ...more
David Shaffer
good book one of the best prey books that I have read so far
Jan 28, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My husband has been trying to get me to read John Sandford for literally YEARS. I've had so many other books to read and, from what he said, I wasn't sure I'd like Sandford. However, for a challenge I was participating in, I needed a book that started with a "C" and I wanted one that wouldn't tax me too much. So I chose this one.

I wish I had listened to my husband sooner. Sandford is good! Since I haven't read any earlier ones, I don't know a lot about the background of the major character, Luca
Apr 18, 2015 Marleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marleen by: Leuven Library
Reading this 10th Prey book for the first time about 10 years ago left a greater impression than I have re-reading it now. Of course I like the police procedural aspect of the story. There’s nothing like reading the pages where Lucas follows clues and goes on the hunt on nothing but a hunch. And there’s no doubt that the female “hit woman” Clara Rinker is a very enigmatic character and maybe the most normal “bad person” in all of the Prey books, but all things considered, she remains a cold-bloo ...more
Jun 06, 2011 Girlfoxgirl rated it liked it
I found this book pretty interesting. I was very excited when they introduced the 'villains.' The character of the hitwoman Rinker was very sympathyzable with. I found myself liking her and rooting for her from the get-go. I was excited whenever she or Carmel were in a scene because of their genius plotting, philosophical debates, and heartless indiscriminate killing. Not to mention that epic torture scene with the drill. They were sleek, they were sexy, and they were entertaining.

My problem wit
Nov 15, 2012 Ed rated it really liked it
#10 in the Lucas Davenport series. Lucas' fling with detective Marcy Sherrill has run its course and he's been spending his time with a six hundred page report on Cultural Diversity; he welcomes a diversion and it comes in the form of a dead lawyer, a shot cop and a female shooter.
Sandford has a knack for portraying females as the 'bad guys'. A good, solid series entry and the introduction of a memorable assassin.

Lucas Davenport series - Two female antagonists steal the show from Davenport. Clar
Aug 28, 2014 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of the 25 of this author's novels that I have read (in no particular order), this one is by far the best, even though it is an early work. Suspense and mystery are created early in the story, and are maintained right up to the end. Editing errors are almost non-existent. The only minor inconsistency that comes to mind is that former Minneapolis detective Lucas Davenport travels to New York City to act as a consultant to the NYPD, but is able, somehow, to carry a badge and a gun. This is never ex ...more
May 28, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing
The tenth Lucas Davenport thriller presented the most fascinating "bad guys" I've yet read from Sandford. I am reading his books all out of order, and I thought the character of Davenport hadn't hit his stride just yet. The pace was as fast and no-nonsense as ever. A couple lines about my hometown of Madison made me laugh. But the best thing about this novel was Rinker and Carmel Loan. Just terrific characters! I would read another novel just about them. And I liked that Davenport's luck played ...more
Jan 07, 2015 susan rated it it was amazing
My first John Sandford book and I loved it. I loved his main characher, Clara Rinker. So what if she is a killer. She was an amazing woman who took her lemons of life and made her own brand of lemonade. I know we don't normally root for the the criminal, but was she really the criminal? I have since read the next installment, Mortal Prey. Great story telling. I'm almost positive I will not enjoy the others as much because I usually get bored with sameness. May try one of his others...Virgil Flow ...more
Aug 29, 2016 Caroline rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. Standard Lucas Davenport book.
Oct 28, 2011 Magda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general
Kinda weird. I wanted to read this because the movie with the actor who plays Gibbs from NCIS will be playing the main investigator. I thought he would be the main character in the book, but he isn't, really.

It was creepy-horrible in terms of the gore, but there wasn't all that much of it. Maybe it was just the sheer delight that one of the co-villains illustrated. The other one was rather likeable in comparison, but then, her character had been fleshed out quite a bit more and was less Cruella
May 20, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 02, 2016 Larry rated it really liked it
When a lawyer hires a hit on a woman because she loves the man’s wife, the complexities abound – especially when the accused hires the same lawyer to represent him. … Oh, and the guy was having an affair with another, third, woman. (Is this a love triangle or quadrangle?) Lucas Davenport is after the hitman – and actually it’s a very clever premise. By the author changing the readers’ stereotypical genders expectations, it makes the plot even more interesting. As always Sanford’s villains are ba ...more
Jun 24, 2016 Cody rated it it was amazing
First of all I have read all the Davenport books in order thus far and this will be my first written review.
I will start by saying that this book did not necessarily keep me on the edge of my seat the whole way through, but that could be misleading in the sense that this has by far been MY FAVORITE up to this point!
I've grown to very much enjoy Sanford's writing style equally as much as I have enjoyed similar stories from other authors (Child, Flynn, Thor, Coes) but this story in particular was
Aug 08, 2016 Craig rated it liked it
Typically, Sanford creates villains in the Prey series that are so incredibly evil, you're always waiting for the moment Lucas Davenport cracks the case and hunts them down. So I was a bit surprised that Clara Rinker was developed as a different breed of villain. One you can actually sympathize with and almost like. This made Certain Prey less gritty, and much lighter than most of his books.

I had a few issues with some character development...especially the rapid transition of Carmel Loan from
Paula Dembeck
Jan 19, 2014 Paula Dembeck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Number 10 in the Lucas Davenport series.

In this installment Lucas confronts Clara Rinker a gun for hire and a new type of adversary for a man accustomed to chasing down street criminals. But in this and his last book, Davenport has had rather different targets. Clara has an incredible reputation: she is fast, efficient and works at close range so there are no mistakes.

Carmen Loan is a good looking, efficient and well respected criminal defense lawyer. She has won over half her cases and if you c
Johnny Williams
Oct 18, 2009 Johnny Williams rated it really liked it
HEY now-- John boy does good on this one--and even leaves a cliff hanger at the end--
If you are a Sanford fan -- this is one of his "you won't put it down" ones--
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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 th ...more
More about John Sandford...

Other Books in the Series

Lucas Davenport (1 - 10 of 27 books)
  • Rules of Prey (Lucas Davenport, #1)
  • Shadow Prey (Lucas Davenport, #2)
  • Eyes of Prey (Lucas Davenport, #3)
  • Silent Prey (Lucas Davenport #4)
  • Winter Prey (Lucas Davenport, #5)
  • Night Prey (Lucas Davenport, #6)
  • Mind Prey (Lucas Davenport, #7)
  • Sudden Prey (Lucas Davenport, #8)
  • Secret Prey (Lucas Davenport, #9)
  • Easy Prey (Lucas Davenport, #11)

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