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The man was smart and he didn’t mind killing people. Welcome to the big leagues, Davenport. Lucas Davenport’s first case as a U.S. Marshal sends him into uncharted territory, in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series.

Thanks to some very influential people whose lives he saved, Lucas is no longer working for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but for the U.S. Marshals Service, and with unusual scope. He gets to pick his own cases, whatever they are, wherever they lead him.

And where they’ve led him this time is into real trouble. A Biloxi, Mississippi, drug-cartel counting house gets robbed, and suitcases full of cash disappear, leaving behind five bodies, including that of a six-year-old girl. Davenport takes the case, which quickly spirals out of control, as cartel assassins, including a torturer known as the “Queen of home-improvement tools” compete with Davenport to find the Dixie Hicks shooters who knocked over the counting house. Things get ugly real fast, and neither the cartel killers nor the holdup men give a damn about whose lives Davenport might have saved; to them, he’s just another large target.

393 pages, Hardcover

First published April 25, 2017

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About the author

John Sandford

264 books8,154 followers
John Sandford was born John Roswell 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 the U.S. Army from 1966-68, worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian from 1968-1970, and went back to the University of Iowa from 1970-1971, where he received a master's degree in journalism. He was a reporter for The Miami Herald from 1971-78, and then a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press from 1978-1990; in 1980, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis. From 1990 to the present he has written thriller novels. He's also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art. He is the principal financial backer of a major archeological project in the Jordan Valley of Israel, with a website at www.rehov.org In addition to archaeology, he is deeply interested in art (painting) and photography. He both hunts and fishes. He has two children, Roswell and Emily, and one grandson, Benjamin. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007, and is greatly missed.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,826 reviews
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,828 followers
March 2, 2020
I received a free advance copy of this from NetGalley for review.

The twenty-seventh book in a series would be when you’d really expect an author to run out of gas and just coast along on the fumes of creativity and the goodwill of hard core fans. So how do you explain John Sandford writing one of the most exciting Prey novels now?

You can’t. So just enjoy it.

Lucas Davenport is now a deputy US marshal, and he got the gig thanks to his political connections. In fact, Lucas has so much juice that he gets to pick and choose his cases, and he’s still got a taste for hunting the worst of the worst. That’s why he decides to track down Garvin Poole, an armed robber who shoots first and doesn’t bother asking any questions later because he killed anyone who could have answered.

Poole dropped out of sight until he recently ripped off a massive amount of cash, and a small child was collateral damage on that caper so he is back on the government’s radar. He also mightily pissed off a drug cartel because it was their money he stole, and they want it back so badly that they’ve dispatched a pair of cold blooded thugs to viciously torture and kill anyone who ever knew Poole on the off chance that they might know where he is.

Giving Davenport a new gig with the US Marshal’s Service was an inspired choice because Sandford writes great manhunts and a big part of what marshals do is chase fugitives. (It also makes me fantasize about a crossover between Lucas and the late Elmore Leonard creations Raylan Givens and Karen Sisco.) So the book immediately plays to Sandford’s strength as Lucas first sniffs around for a lead on Poole, and then finds himself in a race against the cartel to find him.

Having Davenport run around various Southern states gives the whole thing a sense of momentum, and the cat and mouse games between him, Poole, and the cartel killers shows off the kind of fantastic plotting and pacing that Sandford can seemingly do in his sleep. He almost always manages to make everything seem realistic, natural, and intelligent while keeping a reader turning pages as fast they can to see what happens next.

Taking Davenport out of his usual Minnesota setting also freshens things up. I don’t think that Sandford ever fell into a rut, but any long running series is going to develop a certain rhythm to it after a while. Lucas had his home life to ground him along with his cop buddies and a bunch of friends he’d turn to for help regularly, and while it was all still good it was also very familiar. This isn’t the first time that Sandford has mixed things up because Davenport has changed jobs before, and he’s grown and mellowed as a character over time.

That’s all still here, but by putting Lucas into a completely new branch of law enforcement as well as changing his geographic location it took away all the old support systems. Which means that Sandford has to develop new characters, new ways of handling things, and new problems for Davenport. All of which he’s done very well, but Sandford also knows where his bread is buttered so it still seems very much like a Prey novel. It’s like he’s given Lucas a makeover. He’s still the same old ruthless bastard he's always been when he's on the hunt, but now with a new haircut and a spring in his step as he does it.

Also, since I've reviewed a lot of Sandford on here I regularly get asked if it's the kind of series you can read any book or if you need to read the whole series to understand. My standard answer is that most are self-contained stories that can be enjoyed by themselves, but this one in particular would make a great place to jump in for anyone looking to try it out.

Next: Lucas gets a rematch in Twisted Prey.
Profile Image for Andrew Smith.
1,052 reviews583 followers
June 18, 2020
About ten years ago I had a job that required me to undertake a lengthy commute - it resulted in me being cocooned in my car for about three and a half hours each day. That’s when I started listening to audiobooks. The radio was driving me crazy – how many times can you listen to the same news headlines before madness sets in? So I was making regular trips to my local library to grab any audiobooks that took my fancy. They didn’t have great variety, but they did have a good stock of John Sandford books, which in itself is a little strange because I'd have to search pretty hard to find any of his books in my local book shop.

I quickly identified that Sandford’s front man, Lucas Davenport, is the coolest cop around. He is big and tough, good looking (in a slightly battered sort of way) and has a penchant for the good things in life: expensive clothes, high end cars and beautiful women. As the series progresses he works his way through an awful lot of suits, a number of expensive German cars and a progression of attractive women. And he solves a lot of crimes, shoots up quite a few felons and decorates his body with a collection of scars, courtesy of the bad men (and women) he comes up against.

This is the twenty seventh book in the ‘Prey’ series, featuring Lucas. You might think it’s all got a bit samey by now, a bit ‘been there, done that’ – but you’d be wrong. One of the things that Sandford has cleverly done is to move Davenport on. Gone are the womanising days – he’s happily settled with a wife and family now – and he’s changed jobs a couple of times, finding improbably titled appointments that seem to offer him an ever increasing level of freedom to do whatever he likes. The result is that the supporting cast has grown and diversified: we’ve lost a few good ‘uns along the way but gained some new, interesting characters too.

In his latest role Lucas is a U.S. Marshall, but not in the conventional sense. His level of freedom to pick and choose his cases is unprecedented. Here he decides to go on the hunt for a career criminal who’s just shot-up a drug cartel counting-house in Biloxi, Mississippi, leaving behind five bodies including one of a six-year-old girl. There’s a brilliant collection of characters here which includes a female torturer known as ‘Queen of home-improvement tools’. It all rattles along at a decent pace, with lots of dry humour and plenty of action. It’s a book I really didn’t want to end. In my view it’s one of the best in the series.

I really think that Sandford is under-rated as a crime fiction writer, certainly in the UK. I believe he pushes out material that rivals Michael Connelly in its readability and power to hook you into a story, and in Lucas Davenport he’s certainly created one of the all time great fictional cops. If you’re already a fan of Sandford’s writing then you’ll certainly not be disappointed with this one. If you’ve yet to catch up with him but enjoy good well crafted crime fiction, I’d really urge you to give him a try.

My thanks to Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,820 reviews478 followers
June 28, 2022
Lucas is back on form!

Lucas is now a US Marshall after saving the life of a presidential candidate. Luckily, he is still his own man. For the most part, Lucas is able to select the cases that interest him and proceed with an investigation.

The newest case that attracts him, involves the robbery and murder of five people at a Honduran drug cartel counting-house in Biloxi. One of the victims was a 5-year-old girl. Everything points to the killer being Garvin Poole. Yet, no one has been able to catch him before. He is a cold-blooded killer without a conscience. Poole's only weakness seems to be that he is in love with Dora Box. An ex-beauty queen who loves him despite his tendencies.

Also on the hunt, are two killers, Soto and Kort, who are hired by the cartel to find the people who stole the money from them and eliminate them.

Joining Lucas, is two other US Marshalls, Bob, and Rae. Both are as determined as Lucas to catch Poole and his associates.

I liked this one. Everything was new to Lucas. He isn't in the twin cities anymore. He has to start making new connections and learning this new gig as a Marshall. Lucas is all about the hunt and catching the bad guy or girl. (I still don't forgive him for Clara Rinker). He is like a bloodhound, once he has the smell, he can't stop until he finds his prey.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Liz.
2,028 reviews2,538 followers
July 3, 2017
Another well done book in the Lucas Davenport series. Always fast paced, always entertaining. This book introduced some new characters, as Lucas is now part of the US Marshals.
As with all his books, there's a mix of dry humor and gruesome details.
Profile Image for James Thane.
Author 9 books6,915 followers
April 21, 2018
I confess to feeling enormously conflicted about this book, which features John Sandford's principal protagonist, Lucas Davenport. Through the twenty-six books that precede this one, Davenport has been first a detective on the Minneapolis P.D. and then head of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. In each instance, he took on only the most challenging and interesting cases. At the end of the book preceding this one, he saved the life of a Very Important Person and was rewarded with a new, prime job with the U.S. Marshals Service.

Now in his new job, Lucas takes on a particularly difficult and nasty case. A pair of robbers hit the counting house of a drug cartel in Biloxi, Mississippi, and escaped with several million dollars. In the process, they killed five people, including a six-year-old girl who was the granddaughter of one of the drug runners. The authorities believe that the man behind the robbery and murders was Garvin Poole, a particularly elusive killer who has managed to evade capture for years. Lucas now accepts the assignment of finding Poole and bringing him to justice.

The Feds are not the only one looking for Poole and his accomplices. The head of the drug cartel wants his money back and he also expects to make an example of anyone who would dare to attack his operation in this fashion. He sends a couple of assassins to begin working their way through Poole's family members and acquaintances, in an effort to force someone to give up his location. One of the assassins is a particularly large, ugly woman who enjoys torturing people with power tools.

Fairly soon, of course, Lucas and the assassins will cross paths, and the race is on to see who will get to Poole and the money he stole first, assuming that anyone can. It's a great chase across several states, with lots of action and plenty of intrigue, and in that respect, it's a hugely entertaining read. The problem, at least for me, is that, while we have here a character named Lucas Davenport--a guy who looks like Lucas Davenport and who dresses like Lucas Davenport, this does not seem remotely like a Lucas Davenport novel.

Early in the book, Davenport notes that in Minnesota he knew the state and its criminal element intimately. He had sources everywhere. He also had a team around him that he had depended on for years and with whom he had worked very closely. He confesses that, now out on the road, he's something of a fish out of water. So is the reader, and therein lies the rub.

Through the twenty-six Prey novels and Sandford's eleven Virgil Flowers books, the reader had also developed a fairly good understanding of the criminal world in Minnesota. The reader had also grown very well acquainted with, and often very fond of, the supporting cast that surrounded Davenport. As much of a cliche as it is, picking up one of these novels always was like meeting old friends on familiar ground. You knew what you were getting, and you couldn't wait to turn the first page.

As good as this book is, you get none of that here, and as a long-time reader, you can't help but feel a bit disappointed--or at least I couldn't. All of the old supporting cast is back up in Minnesota, along with Lucas's Porsche, and without them the book feels decidedly empty. In particular, Davenport has always had an interesting love life, even after his marriage, and one of the fun things about these books has always been the sexual banter between Lucas and the various women with whom he's been involved. That too is totally absent here. While there are a couple of female characters who doubtless would have interested Davenport while he was a single man, now that he's happily and faithfully married, the reader can only imagine the sparks that might have flown between Lucas and these women under different circumstances.

As an additional concern, Sandford sometimes strains a bit too hard to be cute. Too many of the southern males in this book have names that sound too distinctively like backwoods country bumpkins. A group of criminals is called the Dixie Hicks. Sandford does give Lucas a couple of new partners, two U.S. marshals who are, unbelievably, named Bob and Rae. If that weren't bad enough, Rae is a female whose last name is Givens.

Which brings us to the crux of the matter. The truth is that this could be a book featuring any U.S. Marshal. The protagonist could be John Smith, or Joe Jones, or practically anyone else. It could be Raylan Givens. But the hard fact is that there's little or nothing here that makes this book uniquely a Lucas Davenport novel.

I've been a huge fan of this series from the beginning and I can understand that Sandford might be tired of writing the character or that he may be running out of ideas for plots that leave Lucas in Minnesota. But if that really is the case, maybe the better solution would have been for Sandford to put Davenport on the shelf for a while until he came up with a new inspiration for the character. In the meantime, he could have created an entirely new character, made him a federal marshal and put him in the middle of this plot. Unrestrained by the fact that he was writing Lucas Davenport, Sandford might have written here a book that was even more entertaining.

I have no idea where this series is going to go from here, and in some respects Sandford--and Lucas--may have burned their bridges. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the series somehow gets back to "normal" or that it quickly develops in a way that makes up for that. In the meantime, I'm very happy about the fact that I have all those earlier books on the shelf that I can reread at any time. The bottom line is that, while this is a very good book, I wish it had been a real Lucas Davenport novel. 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Sandy.
873 reviews218 followers
March 8, 2017
The “Prey” series began in 1989 which is pretty mind boggling, when you thing about it. I’ve been reading the books for years & have my favourites like every other fan. But I felt like the last couple of books had lost a bit of the old spark & wondered if that would continue in the latest instalment.

The short answer is no, it hasn’t. The author has shaken things up by giving his popular MC a new job & surrounding him with a completely different cast of characters. Lucas is now a U.S. Marshal & thanks to some political connections, gets to pick & choose his cases.

The first one to catch his eye is a multiple murder in Biloxi. Four men associated with a Honduran drug cartel were shot while counting the proceeds & unfortunately one of them brought his granddaughter to work.

Garvin Poole & Sturgill Darling are responsible for the carnage. They’re 2 good ol’ boys known to law enforcement as the “Dixie Hicks” & have an uncanny ability to strike fast & disappear. But after making off with almost $8M they just may have pissed off the wrong people this time.

Turns out the Hondurans frown on being robbed & they quickly unleash a pair of bizarre assassins to get their money back. One is pretty handy with guns, the other has a passion for power tools. Their search turns into one long road trip through the southern states & the highways get a little crowded once Lucas & the Marshals Service join in.

The change of venue & cast breathes new life into the series. Lucas is still the smart, dogged cop in Gucci loafers but for the first time in years, he’s starting over. His special status ruffles feathers around the office & he doesn’t have his usual gang of dependable colleagues & snitches to fall back on. But he still loves the hunt & along the way hooks up with Bob & Rae, an entertaining duo who may end up filling the shoes of old characters like Capslock & Shrake.

Sanford retains much of what has made this series so popular. You can count on a twisty plot, car chases & shoot outs, colourful bad guys with questionable fashion sense, dry humour & an economical, laconic style of dialogue. His penchant for quirky character names continues. Case in point: Garvin’s girlfriend Dora Box. When you come across her full name you’ll see what I mean. And if you’re really lucky, there may even be a cameo by that fuckin’ Flowers.

He’s a master of pacing & the story clips right along before the race to a satisfying finish. I really enjoyed this & whipped through it in a day. It’s a chance to ride shotgun with a more introspective Davenport & the characters he encounters along the way make for an entertaining trip.
Profile Image for Brenda.
725 reviews148 followers
May 28, 2017
If you're a John Sandford fan, you'll get what you expect with this book. They are getting to be formulaic, but I still enjoy them.
Profile Image for Michael.
1,094 reviews1,510 followers
July 8, 2017
Reflecting on my completion of this read a week ago has moved me to up my rating on the pleasure meter. It stands out as more fun and clever over the batch of other mysteries and thrillers I’ve been reading. Also, it was refreshing with this one to get our hero Lucas Davenport out of Minnesota law enforcement and into the national scope in his new position with the U.S. Marshal Service. As a bonus for saving the ass of the Democratic candidate for President, his position allows him to pick his own cases and report to Washington directly, garnering resentment from staff and director of the local Miinnesota branch serving as his home base. Though he is out of his known environment and mistrusted by his local co-workers due to his independent wealth, fancy suits, and cars, he learns to expertly harness help from friends in the FBI, DEA, and Border Patrol to solve cases effectively. The case Lucas takes in this tale has him travelling through the South on a desperate chase for some really bad dudes, a multistate hunt he finds he can really get his jollies from.

An armed robbery of the money distribution office in Biloxi, MS, run by a Honduran drug cartel has led to five killings, including the shooting of a six-year old girl. The planning and MO behind the violent raid leads Lucas to suspect the perpetrator is the same gunman wanted for an armored car robbery years ago, Garvin Poole, in teamwork with an unknown job scout and logistics expert. We the readers know the latter to be Sturgill Darling as we get equal airtime in the minds of the bad guys, which is typical with Sandford’s style. His method takes away the whodunit, leaving us engaged with the why and how, and what they will do to evade capture.

The thrill of the chase amps up into overdrive when it becomes clear that family members and associates of suspects that Lucas interviews are being tortured and murdered by a professional killer crew sent by the cartel to recover their money. The cat-and-mouse threesome among the Lucas and his colorful, competent partners and two sets of brutal killlers as played out over a large geography gave the book a great cinematic and kaleidoscopic feel (think of the flux and flow of “The Fugitive”). Garvin’s wife, Pandora Box, and woman on the cartel recovery squad, Charlene Kort take over the stage from the men at certain times, rivaling each other in their own nastiness and vicious proclivities at killing. Stanford’s play with his villains’ human quirks recall films from the Coen brothers. A major shootout at an art colony in the town of Marfa, TX, near the Mexican border town of Presidio, was a great climax for the ending scenario. (Oddly, the same town featured in a weird and campy cable miniseries that I recently watched called “I Love Dick.”)

With a new job, Lucas gets some new partners to take the shoes of Jenkins and Shrake in his Minnesota cases of the past. The duo of Bob and Rae were a welcome addition. The latter, a tough black woman, gives Lucas a challenge in shooting basketball hoops. Her lively sarcastic ways are illustrated in this sample, which follows upon her first spying Lucas turning up in a Givenchy suit and equally luxurious shoes:

When he emerged from the back room, Rae checked him out and said, “I’m going back home. Can’t compete with this shit.”
“Bet he can’t get his gun out as fast as we do,” Bob said.
“That’s why I hired you guys,” Lucas said. “I’m basically the brains behind the operation. You’re the muscle.”
“Muscle, my ass,” Rae said. “We’re the Einstein of the Marshal Service. Let’s get some pancakes and figure out what we’re doing today.”

On the ascending scale of badness, here are narrative bits about Gavin from a sheriff, about a Cuban member of the cartel hit team, and about his partner:
"He’s smart, he’s likeable, he’s good looking. He once played in a pretty fair country band, and he’s got no conscience. … He’s got friends who’d kill you for the price of a moon pie. Some people think he’s dead, but he’s not. He’s out there hiding and laughing at us. Yes, he is.”

Luis Soto was a bad man and liked being a bad man. The badness rolled off him like a malarial sweat, a mean little rat-bastard who could walk into a bar and order a shot of Reposado Gold, and everybody in the bar would figure him for a gun and a razor and an eagerness to use them.

Bad as Soto was, he was nothing like the nightmare of Charlene Kort. …With twenty-eight years of unrelieved poverty following her like an incurable disease, she’d found the calling when she murdered an assistant manager at the Dollar Store where she was working the overnight shift as a stock girl.

And why did this last bit of background stand out as so heinous? Her action was spurred simply by the manager’s verbal slur: “You’re dumb trailer-trash, white trash, trash …”. Within seconds he was killed on the spot by her with an iron. The beginning of her career as the Queen of Home Improvement Tools (and perhaps a bit of one upsmanship over the nailgun killer in McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men") was just beginning here:

After a while, having thought how much fun this was, she walked over to the hardware section and got a pair of wire-cutters, a drywall saw, a hammer, and a contractor’s trash bag …

Overall, this was lively, exciting, entertaining. There was good suspense over the three sets of adversaries trying to figure out each others’ moves. It was also thought provoking how so much of the good and bad guys’ efforts hinged on tapping information about cell phone location and monitoring. Back in Minnesota, Lucas shares this thought with his old deputy Virgil Flowers:

They’re great, these little machine are, that we all agree to be spied on for the privilege of carrying them. The phones know where we’ve been, when we were there, and, lots of time, what we were doing there—what we were buying, who we were talking to, and where those people were. …We know all that, but we can’t get away from them. Even crooks know it, and even they can’t get away from them.
Profile Image for Jean.
732 reviews20 followers
September 26, 2017
“Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Or, in Lucas Davenport’s case, not in Minnesota. Davenport, formerly a Minneapolis homicide detective, turned Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension detective, is now working as a U.S. Deputy Marshal, which means that he has one whole big territory to cover – the U.S. of A. In the 27th installment of John Sandford’s Prey series, Golden Prey, Lucas has got friends in high places, thanks to his work saving the lives of some influential people in the past, and they’ve rewarded him with a job where he gets to pick his own cases. It sort of made me think of that old TV Western, “Have Gun – Will Travel”. Davenport’s wife Weather isn’t thrilled with him traveling all over the country chasing bad guys, but she knows that her husband gets antsy if he isn’t doing what he does best – hunting.

When a couple of nasty dudes rob a drug cartel’s counting house, stealing gobs of cash and shooting five people, including an innocent child, Lucas knows this prey has his name all over it. This turns out to be one wild chase. Lucas traipses all over the South, it seems, tracking the killers. The killers also have hired assassins tracking them, because the drug cartel wants its money back. Those two hired “guns” don’t mess around; they use any “tool” necessary to torture anyone who might have information that can lead them to their targets. Yikes!

While I will say that Sandford had a very vivid imagination in creating his very vile killers in this book, there is far too much testosterone here for me. And the most violent character was a woman! I almost did not finish this book after reading the first fifty pages, but I decided to keep going based on the fact that I have read almost all of Sandford’s Prey books and several of his Virgil Flowers stories as well. So I know the man can write. Even the criminals have some qualities about them that I liked. I mean, they loved their wives and were loyal to their fellow bad guys, their teammates. They had some smarts. But there seems to be no end to their viciousness and cruelty.

Lucas seems to thrive on tracking these guys. He loves the chess match, and it doesn’t matter to him one iota if he has to kill every last one of them. In fact, I think he looks forward to it. I did really like his partners on this quest, Bob and Rae, two experienced cops out of the Texas U.S. Marshal’s area. Sandford had some fun with names in this one, showing dry humor and one-liners that got a grin or a slight chuckle out of me in an otherwise grim saga. If you’re a Lucas fan, you’ll still find things to like, maybe even love, about Golden Prey. As Prey books go, however, this one is not high up on my list.

3 stars
Profile Image for Jim.
562 reviews85 followers
January 15, 2019
Readers familiar with the Prey series know that Lucas Davenport left the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and is now a U.S. Marshal. I am still trying to adjust to this change ... as is Lucas. This new career came about after he saved the life of a candidate for President. In effect a political appointment. There are others in the service who resent his coming in "from the top down" rather than having had to work his way up. Another adjustment is he now has to work anywhere in the country rather than just Minnesota or a neighboring state. It can be a cultural adjustment. As in this story where the case he works is in the South.

Lucas is looking for something challenging and he finds it when a pair of robbers, known as the Dixie Hicks, knock over a Biloxi, Mississippi drug-cartel counting house. In the process they kill five people, including a six-year-old girl. The cartel wants their money back and Lucas and the assassins are in a race to get the Dixie Hicks. Neither the robbers or the assassins, including a torturer known as the “Queen of home-improvement tools”, care who gets hurt along the way.

This story features John Sandford's usual, sometimes, dark humor and gruesome details. We are also introduced to some new characters who sound like they may appear in future Prey novels. Bob and Rae are a lot like Shrake and Jenkins. Lucas may have left the BCA because of the bureaucratic BS but the grass isn't always greener on the other side. It is a good thing Lucas has some political heavyweights in his corner.
Profile Image for Corina.
759 reviews2,129 followers
June 12, 2017
I love this series. It's one of my favorite audiobook series. I love the narrators voice and the stories are always captivating and enthralling. Some books are better than others, but all are wonderfully entertaining. And I'm always looking forward to a Lucas Davenport novel.

Golden Prey had less about Lucas's family life - which I really enjoyed, and it had less of the bullshitting that's was usually exchanged between the guys - which had me usually cracking up. So missing both of these aspects, which I enjoyed most of all, made Golden Prey one of my least favorite books in this series. Lucas a brand new marshal, experienced quite an adjustment period throughout Golden Prey. He was now a small fish in a huge pond. Being a marshal was definitely different to anything he has ever done before. And he didn't feel as comfortable and in control as he did before.

I liked the close knitted group of friends and colleges he had before, so I'm not yet sold on the marshal business, but I'll see how Lucas does on his next case.
Profile Image for Julie.
931 reviews34 followers
May 25, 2019
Another great book by Sandford :) Some new people were added and of the course the villains you have to hate. 27 books not counting the virgie books (have read all of those too) and still going strong!!!!!
Profile Image for Tim.
2,133 reviews200 followers
September 11, 2017
An excellent story by a great, great writer. 10 of 10 stars
Profile Image for ElaineY.
2,122 reviews68 followers
July 1, 2017
Narrator: Richard Ferrone

Looks like I'm the only one who found the latest Prey book a bore. I don't mind same-old, same-old because when I like them, they invariably become comfort reads.

Not so in this case. There wasn't any mystery, no twists, just Lucas on the hunt and that revolving around more hackneyed tropes - drug runners wanting their money back, out to show it's a bad idea to steal from them, and Lucas harrying all over the place. I like Davenport more than any other fictional cop (or this would have been a 2-star review) but I didn't have half as much fun as he did in his latest caper. The book lacked suspense and tension for me even though there was action.

Primarily an action book without any bone-chilling thrills. I didn't bother to finish the audio but did skim through the last few chapters of the Kindle.
820 reviews78 followers
May 20, 2017
Trademark Lucas Davenport with some suspense, characteristic humor, and action.There is little mystery and no real twists- but Lucas fans will enjoy Lucas's latest "hunt" in his new job as a U.S. Marshal.
Profile Image for Darlene.
370 reviews132 followers
May 18, 2017
This book Golden Prey, the 27th book in John Sandford's 'Prey' series, picked up where the story ended in the previous installment, Extreme Prey. Lucas Davenport, former investigator for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), after saving the life of the Democratic candidate for President when she was targeted by a group of homegrown extremists at the Iowa State Fair, has cashed in on his good deed... landing a position with the United States Marshal Service as a deputy marshal. Davenport isn't winning any popularity contests with his fellow marshals as the typical duty roster never has his name on it and doesn't seem to apply to him. Davenport chooses which cases he wants to become involved in .... and the case that currently interests him involves a fugitive named Garvin Poole. Poole had been on the Marshal Service's most wanted list for years and had seemed to vanish; that is, until a recent robbery of a drug cartel's counting house in Biloxi, Mississippi put him squarely on Davenport's radar. Two armed men... suspected to be Gravin Poole and his sometimes cohort Sturgill Darling... shot five people, including a six-year-old girl and got away with millions of dollars in cartel money. THIS was the kind of case Lucas Davenport had been hoping for. He loved the thrill of the hunt....

Davenport travels south to Mississippi, interviewing people and trying to find a lead to where Poole and his longtime girlfriend might be.... always suspecting that family and neighbors of the two aren't being completely forthcoming with any information they might have. But suddenly, the Poole case takes a bizarre turn and becomes a lot more complicated.... people close to Garvin Poole are being tortured and murdered. It seems Davenport may not be the only person looking for Poole.The cartel wants the stolen money returned and they have sent a couple of crazy assassins to look for Poole.

This story takes the reader on a thrilling ride as Lucas Davenport, along with two new partners from the Marshal Service .. Bob and Rae... travel further south on their hunt for Poole, ever mindful of needing to stay one step ahead of the cartel assassins. The reader will not be disappointed.. this latest Davenport case ultimately comes to an explosive conclusion deep in the heart of Texas!

I wasn't sure I would enjoy this latest in the 'Prey' series. I'm usually not particularly interested in stories featuring drug cartels. Plus, I had really enjoyed Davenport's cases in the Twin Cities when he worked for the BCA. I enjoyed the familiarity and the banter between Davenport and the cops he had always worked cases with... Jenkins and Shrake. But I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly entertained by this story. This case was classic Davenport! Highly recommended!
1,818 reviews64 followers
November 29, 2020
A good book with lots of action, good plot twists, but unnecessarily violent at times. Davenport's first case as a U.S. marshal. Recommended to Sandford fans.
Profile Image for Suzanne Arcand.
305 reviews23 followers
May 15, 2018
This is a bad book. Why, oh why, did I force myself to read? What was I hoping? That a story would develop. That at least one of the characters would show some depth? If I did, it was all for nothing.

It’s a very easy story to summarize. There is an evil guy, Garvin Poole, a psychopath really, and he has a friend, Darling. This “friend” has this fantastic idea to make them rich: they will rob millions from a drug cartel. Now, you and I can see what’s wrong with this picture but they don’t, so they go right ahead and surprise, surprise, the drug lord finds two other psychopaths to chase them: Soto and Charlene Kort. Meanwhile a marshal, Lucas, is also pursuing this man. The whole book is a big chase with body strewed along the way, like so many road markers, the police always one step too late. You just know from the beginning that it’s going to end with a gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

That said, it’s not poorly written. There are a few colourful phrases: “The badness rolled off him like a malaria sweat… He reminded Kort of a bobble-head doll with a mean streak.” Poole’s girlfriend is named Pandora Box. There is light banters to let us know that this is an entertaining book and shouldn’t be taken too seriously centred around Lucas being a Yankee down south such as this exchange between him and a local policeman.

“Stay behind me, but don’t shoot me in the back.
That’d be embarrassing as hell, Dean whispered… Course, you are a Yankee, probably wouldn’t actually get fired.”

Or “The side of the road was a crush of dry yellow grass, some of it with nasty little yellow burrs; a perfect hiding place for snakes, in Lucas’s opinion, though, being from Minnesota, he had no idea where a rattlesnake might hide in real life. In movies, they were usually coiled on a rock, where they were easy to spot…”

A few things always annoy me. One of them is a man babysitting his own children: “Adams was at home, babysitting for his wife…” It’s not called babysitting; it’s called being a father. I suppose he tried to make it up by including lesbian dope cartel gun-women and Ray, a classy female cop.

I discovered a small border town, Marfa which is a major centre for minimalist art, particularly the work of Donald Judd, which is used judiciously in the story. So I did learn something. That’s why I gave it two stars. If you want to find out more regarding Marfa, here is a link: https://www.archdaily.com/777737/how-.... I recommend you skip the book and just read about Marfa.
Profile Image for Joanne.
749 reviews17 followers
October 19, 2020
The start of this book stopped my heart, thank goodness the rest of the book had it running at double time. Lucas is now a US Marshall who can pick and choose his own case. I was a little concerned that the series would suffer with tne loss of some of my favourite book friend's. I need not have been concerned we get to see Lucas at his best, and we get introduced to two new friends Ray and Bob. With a cracker story and some great characters this book is a winner, as are all of the Prey books.
Profile Image for Andy.
1,377 reviews467 followers
May 2, 2018
Not awful but nothing special. This book is what happens when "cut to the chase" is all you do for the entire story.
Profile Image for Cindy Newton.
622 reviews129 followers
August 13, 2017
Another great entry into the Lucas Davenport series. I label these books as mystery/thrillers, but the mystery part is not completely accurate. We, the reader, know exactly who the bad guy is and what he's done. For us, it's more about watching the cat and mouse game as Lucas ruthlessly hunts down his prey (see how I did that?). The game is always thrilling, though, and despite knowing all the details of the crime and every move the bad guys make, there's plenty of suspense to go round. It was nice to see Lucas launched into a new milieu. He's used to being the lord of all he surveys, and here he is plopped down into a much bigger pond where he knows few people. Being Lucas, he still acts as though he's the lord of all he surveys and, like those supremely self-confident kids in high school, he reigns supreme based completely on his swagger. By the end, it is made clear to everyone that he is lord of all he surveys, so that's settled!

I love that this is Sandford's 27th book with this protagonist, and it is still fresh. It's been so interesting watching Lucas go from a footloose and fancy-free horndog to a happily married father of four. I was so hoping that Letty would get a series of her own, but I'm not sure Sandford would want to try to deliver on three series a year! Maybe if he ever retires Lucas, Letty can take over the family business of cracking skulls and kicking ass--she's certainly capable!

Highly, highly recommended to lovers of crime fiction--it just doesn't get any better than John Sandford!
Profile Image for OutlawPoet.
1,208 reviews69 followers
March 15, 2017
So, when I started reading this book, I was surprised. I was kind of…bored.

You see, I like this series and I like Davenport. But the people they start out chasing just bored the spit out of me. Evil? Sure. Violent? Absolutely. Dull as dishwater? Yup!

I was tempted to give up.

Enter Kort. Sociopathic. Unattractive. Bat (insert expletive here) crazy. Able to saw your limbs off you with a smile. Hello!!! I was in. And if Kort wasn’t enough, we eventually end up with a fierce foursome of females who completely own this book. These women aren’t just kickass. They are bloody (emphasis on the bloody) brilliant. I loved them.

Yeah, I had to get through Davenport’s bespoke suits (yawn). I had to get past the people Davenport was actually chasing (oh, they got feels – they aren’t just evil). But I didn’t care because our four girls took over this book and went wham bam over everything.

So a surprising four stars. The main plot was ho hum, but man, the sub plots more than made up for it!

*ARC Provided via Net Galley
Profile Image for Wendy.
546 reviews19 followers
June 20, 2017
Golden Prey

This was a good book but not as good as I was hoping or expecting. I don't know if this is true or not but I think I read somewhere that this was the last book in the Lucas Davenport series. I'm really hoping that this is not true because it has become my favorite series. If it is I'll certainly be disappointed but I'm still looking forward to everything else John Sandford will write in the future.
Profile Image for Jim.
Author 7 books2,030 followers
September 29, 2018
Lucas is back, but as a US Marshal & he takes on the job of finding a very elusive thief & killer. All good so far & the novel starts with a bang. He winds up broadening his horizons to the southern states & Sanford puts his tongue firmly in his cheek. One of his new partners is Ray Givens, a tall black woman who helps him chase the remnants of the Dixie Hicks gang. Seriously.

The action is fast & furious. Great use of technology in the form of tracking cell phones, a theme he expounds upon at the end of the novel. I don't know how much cooperation is normal between branches of law enforcement with the US Marshals, but when Lucas asked for anything, the results were delivered on a silver platter immediately. Good stuff & I enjoyed it all, but it was a bit over the top when taken as a whole.

And then there was the end where Lucas' titular boss has a meeting & Lucas' speech to him the day before. Way over the top.

This was fun, but not one of the best. It's also the last one I'll be reading for a while. The library only has 1 copy with over 50 & 150 people waiting for the last 2 books. Hopefully they will buy a few more copies or I might be dead of old age before I can listen to them. I've been listening almost exclusively to Sanford's books in this series & Virgil Flowers since July, so taking a break isn't a bad idea.
Profile Image for Diana.
156 reviews29 followers
April 20, 2022
Excellent! 4+⭐️ solid!
I’m so glad to see the Prey novels picking up the pace again with fresh ideas. Lucas Davenport is now a US Marshal and back to “hunting” which he is fantastic at.
Profile Image for Tim.
301 reviews16 followers
May 11, 2017
I received a copy of this from the publisher through NetGalley to review.

GOLDEN PREY by John Sandford is the 27th book in the Lucas Davenport/Prey series that finds Lucas starting another chapter in his law enforcement career as he’s become a U.S. Marshal after leaving the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and he finds that there is some initial resentment of the political influence that resulted in him getting the job.
Lucas adapts as always, finding ways to get the most out of the people he's assigned to work with, along with impressing those he works for by utilizing his creative ways of matching wits with the criminal element he's in pursuit of by using any resources available that are often unconventional and innovative.
Garvin Poole is a legendary hit man who has been laying low and has fallen off the map along with his love interest named Dora Box (as in Pandora’s) until he is contacted by a former partner in crime by the name of Sturgill Darling who has carefully planned a heist requiring Gar’s skill set.
Sturgll, Garvin and others belonged to the “Dixie Hicks” that have pulled off jobs in the past, usually with casualties resulting both for victims and the crew which has reduced in number by attrition.
Pursuit of those involved in the heist and subsequent murders is an action packed journey for both Lucas and fellow officers, and for Garvin, Sturgill, and associates that intensifies when a male/female hit squad for the cartel joins the pursuit of Gar to recover the stolen money and exact revenge.

John Sandford has once again written a fine book in this impressive series that is notable for being consistent from book to book. Several interesting and unusual descriptions of the people in his stories makes for a departure from stereotypical characters in novels of this genre, such as Lucas being an ex-college hockey player that has made a fortune designing video games and law enforcement training programs yet continues to work pursuing criminals because he's addicted to it. Garvin has gained notoriety for his creation of “partscasters” which are electric guitars assembled from parts and customized with unique features and paint jobs, something not normally associated with a hit man and is not unlike Lawrence Block’s Keller collecting stamps.
Recommended, of course, but I must say here that it would be best to start at the beginning of the series with Rules of Prey and work your way through the series as you get to experience the development of Lucas and other characters from book to book as is true with most series.
4 stars as usual.
Profile Image for Dawn.
956 reviews36 followers
March 14, 2017
This book is fantastic! I cannot wait to go back and catch the rest of the series.

Alex Davenport, US Marshal, is new to the Marshall's office but not new to law enforcement. He has been having a tough time trying to find out what he wants to do inside the parameters of his new position. He knows one thing though and that's that he wants to hunt.

In this book he gets his chance. He's looking for a cold blooded murder who has no conscience and doesn't mind putting a bullet in anybody. He's been off the grid for five years and no one's caught him. Lucas likes a challenge and this is one he won't back down from.

He isn't the only one mad searching for Poole and his girlfriend. The guys who he stole millions are looking for him and they've sent out killers to find him. They won't stop at anything and the woman likes to torture.

As the case gets worked more and more other agencies and officers are caught up in the mix. Read to find out if Lucas will get his man.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Randal White.
804 reviews69 followers
March 14, 2017
It's been several years since I have read one of Sandford's "Prey" novels. I'm happy to say that I picked the right one to jump back into the series. This was a highly enjoyable book, and I had a hard time putting it down.
Sandford's protagonist, Lucas Davenport, has found himself in a new and exciting position. He has now been assigned to the U.S. Marshal's Service, as a special appointee. This move has allowed Sandford to move beyond the Minnesota area and expand the scope of Davenport's adventures.
Golden Prey's focus is on the robbery of a drug money counting operation, the people who stole the money, the cartel employee's trying to get the money back, and Davenport's team trying to apprehend them all. The novel moves across several states in the South, ending in the finale in Texas.
The novel moves along very fast, with action in every chapter. The characters are well developed. The action sequences are loads of fun. And the novel ends well, with enough of a teaser to keep readers coming back for the next one.
All in all, a great, fun read!
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