Winter Prey (Lucas Davenport, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Winter Prey (Lucas Davenport #5)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  21,933 ratings  ·  291 reviews
A "chilling" (Publishers Weekly) thriller featuring Lucas Davenport. A family-killer known as the Iceman is freezing the blood of every mother, father, and child in rural Wisconsin.

Lucas Davenport searches the icy woods of rural Wisconsin for a brutal killer known only as the Iceman.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 1st 1994 by Berkley (first published March 24th 1993)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Winter Prey, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Winter Prey

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieAngels & Demons by Dan BrownRebecca by Daphne du MaurierIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Best Crime & Mystery Books
252nd out of 4,388 books — 10,047 voters
The Da Vinci Code by Dan BrownThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonAngels & Demons by Dan BrownThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg LarssonThe Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
161st out of 1,924 books — 2,463 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Since his New York adventure from the last book was wrapped up, Lucas Davenport is again bored and at loose ends. With nothing better to do, Lucas is riding out a long winter in his cabin in the woods of Wisconsin. Once again it’s the murder of innocent people that will give Davenport something to occupy his time. The guy really needs a hobby…

A vicious killer who thinks of himself as the Iceman is desperate to stop a compromising photograph becoming public so he butchers a family and burns their...more
James Thane
The first of Elmore Leonard's famous ten rules for writing is, "Never open a book with weather." In Winter Prey, the fifth book in John Sandford's excellent Prey series, the author ignores the rule and opens the book with a blistering winter storm. Indeed, the severe weather that permeates the novel virtually becomes a character in and of itself, to the point that the reader might well want to be sitting in front of a blazing fire with a snifter of fine Brandy close at hand.

The book finds Sandfo...more
aPriL purrs 'n hisses
James Thane, a GR member, has the best review on this book. Check it out.

This is a chilling book.

The Iceman is the kind of guy who if he doesn't want a picture shown around, a picture of an unidentified nude man from the shoulders down, he will kill everyone in the house to find it. You really don't want to cross his path. Unfortunately, the LaCourt family does. Lisa LaCourt finds a magazine picture and shows it to her friends on the school bus. The nude man was weird, but even more shocking wa...more
This is an interesting change of pace for the PREY series. Instead of being set in a big city, the setting is a small Wisconsin town, which finds itself with a multiple homicide. Lucas Davenport, recuperating in the area and still dealing with the effects of the last few books, is called in for help. In addition to the change in setting, the antagonist of the book is NOT the usual "super-smart bad guy," which is a nice change from previous novels. Davenport's love interest is actually a well-rou...more
This one felt a bit reminiscent of Eyes of Prey (#3) and Silent Prey (#4) in regards to the antagonist - Iceman - thinking in terms of himself and “the Beast inside”. As in “the Beast wanted to go kill them now”. The antagonist in the previous books thought of himself in terms of ‘Beauty’. Too similar for my taste and maybe when the books were first published, it wasn’t so bad given the lag in publishing dates, but since I’m reading them almost back to back, it popped out at me.

I was also disap...more
Reading any of John Sanford's "Prey" series is always a treat, but as with most series books, I prefer to start at the beginning. Given the rather large number here, of course, it's possible I won't finish for another few years; I also like to read one or two, then a book by someone else, then back to a Sanford book, and so forth.

This one is somewhere around No. 5, and prior to this, I much preferred Sanford's books featuring Virgil Flowers. But my husband Jack, also a Sanford fan who likes to s...more
Deana M
The story takes place in Wisconsin; Lucas Davenport is summoned from his cabin to take a look at a murder. The murders are gruesome; a man, woman, and teenage daughter were murdered, but not only that, the house was set on fire after the murders occurred. The Iceman, who is the killer, is searching for a picture that could incriminate him in a child sex ring. The murders needed to happen so his identity could stay a mystery. Father Bergen, the local priest is their number one suspect. From the b...more
Kathy Davie
Fifth in the Lucas Davenport thriller series revolving around an ex-cop who misses the action. This story takes place in Grant, in northern Wisconsin, in the depths of winter.

My Take
Man, another good one from Sandford. It’s terrifying how easy it is for someone like the Iceman to exist within a community, to abuse and murder people without being caught. It’s such a small community that I bet every person could name off every other citizen in the area. And yet, the Iceman hides within it.

I’d sure...more
Nov 12, 2009 Tylerg rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Tylerg by: Library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rated R
Have you ever read a book that started with an introduction from the author about how fantastic the book is and how proud they are of the work you're about to read??
It's interesting.
If you want to experience that, you probably want to try it on a different book.
This one brushed the edges of an atrocity without really calling out the atrocity.
The author introduced the killer once, which is fine... unless you brag about the surprise ending in your introduction. I'm sorry, but a "surprise" i...more
An unidentified man referred to as the iceman goes on a killing rampage and Lucas Davenport is called in by the local sheriff to assist in the case. At this point of the development of Lucas in the Prey series Lucas is in between jobs after being fired from the Minneapolis PD for the manner in which he solved a murder case. Lucas developed a software writing company and bought a cabin in Northern Minnesota. While living there he was contacted and asked to help a small police department. This is...more
A decent outing that sets up Davenport into a different type of job. Sandford really likes getting inside the heads of his killers, and I have to admit it's the least interesting aspect of these books for me. Diving deeply into the dark heart of murder isn't all that interesting for me. That said, he has gotten away from revealing the killer immediately and then making the entire book a big chase. It's been much more fun trying to figure out who the killer is, even as we get a peek inside the nu...more
Well, this was an interesting trip down memory lane (or rather forgetful lane). I had read this sometime back. There is an advantage to rereading a novel, especially in the case of a prolific writer like Sandford. The advantage is that their earlier work is often less myopic and clever, with fully, well developed and interesting characters. It sometimes happens in a particularly long series that the characters tend to age with the novelist and become less enchanting. Now I may be cynical, who kn...more
Richard Ward
"People around here think you're Sherlock Holmes."
“I'm not."

No, Lucas Davenport, you're not. I find you neither entertaining, interesting, nor likeable. I almost gave up on this novel several times, but I kept hoping it would get better. It never did. By the time the killer was revealed, I was beyond caring. Now I think I'm going to give up on the entire series. Life is too short and there are tons of crime fiction series out there; I can come up with no reason to read another Lucas Davenport

Rating: 3.5 stars

Winter Prey is the whole reason I wanted to read the Lucas Davenport series; everyone, including my dad, seems to say that this is their favorite. I've been told that they need to be read in order, so I started with #1 Rules Of Prey (loved it!!), tried #2 but couldn't get into it, read #3 Eyes Of Prey (liked it), and skipped #4 for now because I was anxious to move on to this one. Which brings me here. And I'm sorry to say that I was quite underwhelmed!

The book starts off with a...more
(#5 of the Prey Series)- The author of four previous mystery thrillers starring Lucas Davenport evokes with precision and clarity two disparate, but equally unsettling types of harshness: the raw power of nature and the pitilessness of certain human beings. In a rural area of northern Wisconsin, a family of three is savagely wiped out by the Iceman, who then torches their house. In pursuit of a damaging photograph--a snapshot of him in a sexual situation with a local boy--this fiend puts no valu...more
Finished Winter Prey the first day of summer. Although Davenport is finally able to piece together some aspects of the Iceman he is hunting, the story is a bit atypical for Lucas. That's all I will write without going into spoilers. 7 of 10 stars
This is the first Sandford novel I picked up and have been hooked every since. The "Prey" series, a detective series, is impressive. Sandford's ability to consistently write gripping, edge-of-your-seat thrillers is most impressive. I'm always a bit saddened when I finish one of his books; not to mention exhausted, since I usually stay up until the weeeee hours reading it. All of the "Prey" books are fantastic but this one, the first one I read, holds a special place in my heart. Thank you John S...more
If anyone likes a story of nailbiting suspense from page one, then read this book, and savor it like a fine wine, for it's the best of it's kind. Let's just say that the beginning is chilling to the bone, and the ending will have you thrilled to exhaustion. Literally. Strap yourself in , and enjoy the ride. The first of the Prey novels I read, and still my favorite.
Jun 01, 2008 Sherry rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: thrillers/suspense
Shelves: read-again
I’m a great fan of John Sandford and have followed his series faithfully but if asked for a favorite, it would have to be “Winter Prey”. I’m not sure if it’s because of the story line or maybe the setting of the story, regardless of the reasons, this book is one of those that you can’t put down, absolutely mesmerizing.
As thrillers go, it doesn't get much better than this: 4 1/2 stars.

Deducting a half-star for the practically-mandated chase/shoot-em spree near the end, a really tiresome way to end what was otherwise a pretty out-of-the-box police procedural tale. Since I'm wading around in the Lucas Davenport series, I know that Sandford eventually figures out how to end books more creatively. But still--there was a long section that sounded like it came out of a potential film director's notes: he runs here,...more
I really enjoy these "Prey" novels by John Sanford and this one was no exception ... a fast paced and fun read. I'm reading them in order as the lead character, Lucas Davenport, fascinates me as did Robert Parker's lead detective Spencer.
Two-haiku review:

Northern Wisconsin.
Whole family killed, house burned.
Locals call Lucas.

More murders follow.
Woman doctor is threatened.
Lucas protects her.
Book 5 renewed my enjoyment of the series. The Iceman made a good villain and the small town atmosphere was portrayed nicely (and sometimes not so nicely).
Aug 01, 2014 Elvis rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I liked the book. It wasn't his best, but it was decent.

I wasn't fond of the ending. It just lacked the typical detail that I felt that it needed. You know what happened and all that, but I guess I felt it was lacking. Maybe you could compare it to hearing about a score of football game but not seeing the highlights. It just left me wanting more details.

He's still guilty of writing, writing, writing, new subject. I guess I could be writing on book 20 of this series and I would still not be a hug...more
Amanda Patterson
Too many prey novels when this one came out. The author was reaching for any story.
Heather (DeathByBook)
Another strong one from Sanford. Great to read when it's -20 degrees out.
A murder gang targets the Republican convention in St. Paul, stealing money from pols. At the same time a truly demented but inept paraplegic hopes to capture Letty, Lucas Davenport's almost adopted daughter, in revenge for issues he blames on Davenport. The nice thing about Sandford's books is that the reader can relax, knowing that Lucas will figure it all out and save those who deserve saving. I know; in some of his titles people die horribly in the beginning, and I haven't read all of his bo...more

This was my first toe in the water with the highly prolific John Sandford, whose Minneapolis detective, Lucas Davenport, battles dangerous criminals while designing games on the side.

In this thriller set during a brutal winter in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Davenport is signed up temporarily as a sheriff's deputy in a small town where a family has been killed and tortured and their house set on fire.

Throughout the book, there are chapters narrated by the killer, The Iceman, but the trick of course...more
Finally got around to finishing this one. For those of you who have seen my endless rants about how much I love Virgil Flowers and just can't get into Davenport, I will admit he is starting to grow on me a bit. I'd actually give this 3.5 stars if I could, especially in comparison to some of the other books I've read recently, but it is definitely a solid three if not more.

Started reading this during an ice storm, and we have had more vicious winter weather most of the time since. I guess that he...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Time Bomb (Alex Delaware, #5)
  • Lost Light (Harry Bosch, #9)
  • The Coffin Dancer (Lincoln Rhyme, #2)
  • Sanctuary (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #7)
  • Voodoo River (Elvis Cole, #5)
  • Private Practices (Alan Gregory, #2)
  • Prime Witness (Paul Madriani, #2)
  • Copper River (Cork O'Connor, #6)
  • Blood Orchid (Holly Barker #3)
  • Gone (Quincy & Rainie, #5)
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...
Rules Of Prey  (Lucas Davenport #1) Buried Prey (Lucas Davenport, #21) Chosen Prey (Lucas Davenport, #12) Bad Blood (Virgil Flowers, #4) Secret Prey (Lucas Davenport, #9)

Share This Book