Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wounded Prey (Farrell & Kearns, #1)” as Want to Read:
Wounded Prey (Farrell & Kearns, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wounded Prey

(Farrell and Kearns #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  473 ratings  ·  72 reviews
“It’s time to finish what he started…”

A young girl is snatched in broad daylight from outside her school and later found brutally murdered and hanging from a tree.

When recently retired San Francisco Police Inspector, Bob Farrell, sees this on the news, he realises his worst nightmare has just come true. The same brutal killer a government agency stopped him from putting
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Exhibit A (first published May 26th 2013)
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 Wounded Prey, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Wounded Prey

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  473 ratings  ·  72 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Wounded Prey (Farrell & Kearns, #1)
Dan Schwent
Rookie cop Kevin Kearns witnesses a child abduction and gets his ass handed to him by the perp, one Vernon Slocum. The girl winds up dead a short time later and Kearns finds himself the scapegoat. When a retired cop with a history of his own with Slocum, Bob Farrell, shows up offering him a chance at redemption, Kearns jumps at the chance. But will even two lawmen be enough to bring in a remorseless killing machine like Slocum?

First off, the official stuff: I got this ARC from Exhibit A in
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
What an exceptional read this was. I love a crime thriller with a nasty BAD serial killer in it, the serial killer in this book is one of the darkest and most evil I have come across. The fear of him kind of bounced off the pages into my home. And I have come across a lot of them in my reading lifetime.

This is a crime thriller that is a cut above many I have read, I can't praise it enough. With smooth prose, very believable and very flawed characters (more than one) this book is one of those
This book is a combination of a lot of old standard themes: the "buddy" cops gone rogue, older cop mentor/green rookie & the evil FBI. There are lots of bullets flying, bleeding and/or dead bodies & vigilantism. So if you're a fan of B grade action movies that are heavy on violence but light on character development & realism, this is for you.
Kevin Kearns, our rookie, has been an Iowa Dep. sheriff for about 6 months & his career may already be over. He tried to stop a child
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me approximately 40% of this book before I really started to enjoy this novel fully but by the end I was looking forward to reading more from both the author and the series. The main characters grew on me and I loved the way Farrell and Kearns interacted forming an excellent combination. The book although dark and gruesome is also full of lighter and more humorous moments that made me laugh out loud at times. The characters and situations are described so well it was easy to picture the ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

In 1967, when Staff Sergeant Bob Ferrell investigates the brutal death of a Saigon prostitute’s young son, he’s led directly to 20 year old Lance Corporal Vernon Emil Slocum, a violent bruiser who’s racked up a ton of medals during combat, but whose fellow soldiers have noticed behavior that defies the norm, and the definition of “normal” in Vietnam was already stretched to the limit. An obvious limp was the big identifier
 Nyarlathotep Twelfth Month The Haunted Reading Room
Disturbing and unsettling topic; but deeply-characterized, good understanding of psychology, well-written.

Review of Wounded Prey by Sean Lynch
5 stars

I reviewed a complimentary e-book copy provided in return for my fair and impartial review.

It’s not too uncommon to find a good novel, but it is more rare to come upon a novel as absorbing as this one, where reading it causes the external environment to drop away and time to pass without noting it. “Wounded Prey” is a very disturbing, graphic,
Jeff Dick
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: angryrobot
Needs Warning Labels

Wounded Prey should come with warning labels:

Danger: Very dark places ahead
Don’t start reading on a weekday

I knew that I wanted to read this book, but I didn’t expect that it would be so very, very good.

After a long day of work and a longer evening of homework (long division), I decided to read the first chapter … just to get the taste on my tongue.

I didn’t sleep much that night.

I’m not sure that I would have wanted to with Vern Slocum loose in my mind. The next day I
Jul 20, 2013 rated it liked it
The Vietnam War provided the perfect opportunity for Vernon Slocum to unleash all of his twisted, murderous rage on the world, a product of his abusive childhood. His skills as a Marine earned him many medals and his commanders and squadmates recognized him as a man who got the job done - and who could easily end them if they questioned his more depraved actions. But when Slocum returns to the real world 20 years later, his kidnapping and brutal murder of a young girl isn't going to go ...more
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
A memorable manhunt for a Terminator-like, psycho killer on the loose in the heartland. What separates this book from the pack are the characters in the chase, their back stories and motivations. It also helps to have arrogant, glory hunting FBI types hounding the good guys in the chase. This is an outstanding first book in what I hope will be a long running series.
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Good story, but not written very well.
David Ledeboer
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wounded Prey by Sean Lynch is an upcoming book from Exhibit A, a crime-publishing imprint of Angry Robot, and I can already tell you it is going to draw a lot of comparisons to other great crime stories. It’s already been noted as a mix between No Country for Old Men and Silence of the Lambs. I’ve debated over and over again about throwing out my own comparisons of the villain, Vernon Slocum, to that of so many other diabolical characters and I just can’t do it. Why? Because those characters are ...more
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Knowing my predeliction for reading crime books written by those who have experienced this world at first hand, Sean Lynch was an absolute find for me! With not only experience as an Infantryman in the US Army and a long career in law enforcement, Lynch is perfectly placed to imbue this novel, a brutal and bloody tale of the pursuit of a psychopathic killer, with a frighteningly accurate depiction of the essential natures of both killer and pursuer- and yes, this is definitely not one for the ...more
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
The bulk of this novel is set in the late 1980s and this gives the story a refreshingly uncluttered air. With not a mobile phone or Internet connection in sight, this is a proper old school police procedural. No country-wide database searches here, well not ones that would give an immediate response anyway. Farrell and Kearns have to rely on chasing up leads the old fashioned way and actually visiting the locations where the might find the clues that they are looking for.

The burgeoning
Tony Healey
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I’ve read from crime publisher Exhibit-A, and the first from author Sean Lynch.

As I said in a tweet to the book’s editor, “It should have been called Relentless.”

In WOUNDED PREY, psycho killer Vernon Slocum is on the loose, murdering kids just as he did years before in the madness of Vietnam. Bob Farrell was an investigator during the Vietnam killings, and Kevin Kearns is a rookie deputy who’s just gone up against Slocum…andlost. With both men reeling from the realisation
Jim A
Jul 25, 2013 rated it liked it
I put this in my "It's okay" category. Nothing special but held my interest.

There is no sense of danger for either of the main characters, as the title gives every indication it's the beginning of a series. I wasn't sure how the author, a retired police officer, was depicting the young deputy, Kearns. Was he a young officer who showed humanity or was he a wuss? About halfway through the book the question is answered by a dialogue with Farrell.

Slocum, the bad guy, is very bad indeed. Psycho does
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sean Lynch goes onto my favorite authors list with this beauty. There's lots of action and really good character development. For some reason, I feel Lynch has read some Joe Lansdale and adopted that writer's "in your face", borderline over the top style. The older detective Farrell is a chain-smoking alcoholic and the younger Kearns is quicker with his fists than his mouth. The only thing that prevented me from giving Wounded Prey 5 stars was that the writer carries the incompetence and ...more
A Reader's Heaven
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)

A young girl is snatched from her rural Iowa school in broad daylight. The child is later found murdered, her body hanging from a tree.
When retired San Francisco Police Inspector Bob Farrell reads a newspaper account of the horrific crime, he realizes his worst nightmare has come true. The same remorseless predator a government agency stopped him from putting away twenty years before is once more on the loose.
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, 2013
Murdered children create an instant emotional response in almost everyone, unless they're a psychopath or a sociopath. Children are the most vulnerable part of society; they need adults to care for them and protect them and despite being well-aware that life is harsh and way too many children end up dead, damaged, or hurt due to an adult's actions, I'm always shocked when confronted with it. We recently had quite a high-profile case in the Netherlands, where two little boys had disappeared after ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This book started off rather quickly for me and I found that it was the type of twisted writing that I periodically enjoy. Around the 75th percent of the book, the writing began to drag and I found it more difficult to be pulled back to the book and I picked up other books instead. Finally, this month I forced myself to finish it to complete my review.

Overall, I would say the characters and storyline were strong and I can understand why this book has so many high ratings. I have recommended this
M.K. Pachan
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I first read Wounded Prey in 2014 shortly after it became available in Canada. It was just as good the second time through. The relationship between the two main characters - Bob and Kevin is very unique and interesting. The plot is very violent and gruesome and we can only hope we never run into anyone like the villain Slocumb in real life. Great storyline. My only criticism is the occasional head-hopping between character's thoughts and the sometimes over-explaining of new characters past ...more
Jack Okorn
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read. I am glad that I started another series which I try not to do because I am reading so many already. Sean has a great ability to write scenes. I always enjoy when I am reading when I can close my eyes for a moment and feel that I am looking around a room or place that the author is taking you to. And this book holds no punches. It is gripping and very scary at times. But it is also a book you won't want to put down.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it liked it
A lot of excitement and a really creepy villain!
Vera Seidler
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good!

Excellent book. Great characters (though flawed),
Great story, detestable bad guy. Gripping. I will definitely be getting book 2! Highly recommended.....
thomas zappetti
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Page turner

Awesome read fast paced couldn't put it down . Great character s farrell and Kearns are incredible. Can't wait to read the next installment

Marni Tagami
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Bob Farrell had the opportunity to arrest and imprison Vernon Slocum in Vietnam, but he didn't do so. Slocum was brutal and fearless, largely built and super strong. The troops he accompanied knew they were plenty safe when he was around. Safe from the Viet Cong that is. They also knew they were dead meat if they got in Slocum's way. Farrell could have arrested Slocum for crimes he committed in Saigon, but he did the easy thing. He waited. He knew Slocum would be leaving soon. In spite of his ...more
Christine Mcknight
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've just finished reading one of those novels that you never want to see end. That novel is "Wounded Prey: Introducing Detectives Farrell and Kearns".

A man abducts a young girl in broad daylight, and rookie deputy Kevin Kearns attempts, but fails to prevent the crime from happening. As a result, the little girl is murdered, and Kearns finds himself under suspicion. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, retired police inspector Bob Farrell reads about the murder in the paper. He is certain that the
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won this book on Goodreads "First Reads" contest and, since I never win anything, I nearly fell off my chair when I got the eMail! But I'm glad I won it and I sure didn't fall out of my La-Z-Boy while I was reading it although I came close because of the many violent quakes this story gave me! This book takes the reader on a brutal, violent, gory, bloody and wild ride through much of the western USA and is guaranteed to keep one saying "Just one more chapter" well past bedtime into the wee ...more
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast-paced, high-energy read. Although emotionally wrought at times given the nature of the crimes, the relationship between Farrell and Kearns (and their encounters with certain FBI agents) provided a little light relief when necessary.

There is an awful lot of backstory that needs to be introduced throughout the course of the book, but Sean Lynch does this in such a way that it never feels like an info dump but instead enriches the whole experience.

Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
WOUNDED PREY (Farrell and Kearns Thriller Book 1) By Sean Lynch

I read this book back in the fall of 2017 and I should have left at least a paragraph or two of praise for this terrific tale. I did leave a well deserved 5-Star Rating before I moved on to my next book. In retrospect that may not have been fair.

First off the bat, this book carries the caption of "Thriller" in its title (like so many others), and I want to tell you, that is an UNDERSTATEMENT. This novel is not
Colleen Estep
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review, thriller
It is hard to believe that "Wounded Prey" is the first novel by Sean Lynch. Fast paced and I was hooked by the end of the intro page.
Bob Farrell is a divorced, hard drinking, chain smoking and recently retired San Francisco Police Inspector. One morning at his kitchen table, drinking coffee, there is a short story about a small mid western town that horror has visited. As Farrell reads the short article about a young girl who was kidnapped and then found hanging upside down with her throat
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Hard Road (Jon Reznick, #1)
  • An Ace and A Pair (Dead Cold Mystery #1)
  • The Dead Never Forget (Bragg #1)
  • The Last Dance
  • Un escándalo en Bohemia  (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, #1)
  • Red Metal
  • Drunk on a Plane: The Misadventures of a Drunk in Paradise: Book 1
  • Trident's First Gleaming (Special Operations Group #1)
  • Cleaver Square (DCI Morton #2)
  • The Advocate's Ex Parte (The Advocate #5)
  • THE THOUSAND DOLLAR KIDNAP: The New Colt Ryder Thriller
  • Under a Black Sky (Part of the Daniel Trokics Series)
  • War Zone (Tanner #27)
  • And Justice for One
  • Santa Cruise: A Holiday Mystery at Sea
  • Red Tide: The Chinese Invasion of Seattle (Occupied Seattle, #1)
  • Die Nacht gehört den Wölfen
  • Charlie (Recovering Commando, #1)
See similar books…
Sean Lynch was born and raised in Iowa, holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology, and served in the U.S. Army as an enlisted infantryman.

Sean spent nearly three decades as a municipal police officer in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he worked as a Motorcycle Officer, S.W.A.T. Officer, Sex Crimes Investigator, Firearms Instructor, and Homicide Detective.

Learn more at

Other books in the series

Farrell and Kearns (3 books)
  • The Fourth Motive (Farrell & Kearns, #2)
  • Officer Involved (Farrell and Kearns, #3)