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Certain Prey

(Lucas Davenport #10)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  18,287 ratings  ·  540 reviews
Clara Rinker is twenty-eight, beautiful, charmingly southern—and the best hit woman in the business. She just goes about her business, collects her money, and goes home. Her latest hit sounds simple: a defense attorney wants a rival eliminated. No problem—until a witness survives. Clara usually knows how to deal with loose ends: cut them off, one by one, until they're all ...more
Kindle Edition, 398 pages
Published March 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published May 10th 1999)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  18,287 ratings  ·  540 reviews

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John Culuris
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star, top-shelf
The 10th Lucas Davenport novel is one of his most popular because, I believe, it is a study of opposites and contrasts. Davenport crosses more than a few lines in pursuit of a murderer and the professional killer she’s hired. Meanwhile the assassin is an extremely sympathetic character. When a complication arises that may trace back to the hired killer, the instigator arranges a meeting and is surprised that the killer is a woman. As each complication is removed, another grows; and the developin ...more
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. ...more
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
Nov 06, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 poli
Every great detective needs their Moriarty, and in "Certain Prey" Lucas Davenport finds her. This is the introduction to Clara Rinker. Clara and Lucas go toe to toe (though he doesn't realize it) when Lucas and his group start looking into what looks like a professional hit on a rich socialite with a not very bright husband (seriously you guys, it hurt to read this guy talking). When the FBI lets Lucas know this may be connected to a hit woman that has been doing this for years that has never be ...more
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great addition to the series with a new set of bad 'guys' that are great women. It's not often that I read a book with a really good woman heavy & he manages 2 of them. They were a great match that led into a really satisfying ending.

Again, the way Davenport & his have to figure out what is going on is great. They don't always get it right, but even their blind alleys are interesting. As usual, Davenport shines, but only with the help of a great supporting cast. As us
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
They talked for a long time, nihilism and religion, guns and ammo, and that night, very late, as Carmel was dozing off, she smiled sleepily as she replayed the conversation. She'd gone to college with a lot of finance and law students. They'd stayed up nights studying, not talking.

This night, she thought, was like what a lot of people did in college, a few beers with friends, talk about God and death.

Carmel Loan is a sharp and completely unscrupulous defense attorney. She's ruthless, dev
Rohit Enghakat
This is my first Sandford and it was pretty much just about ok. I was expecting a lot more given the fantastic average rating of above 4. The plot starts off with the murder of Barbara Allen, wife of a property dealer Hale Allen. The killer is a professional hit-woman Clara Rinker hired by a hot-shot criminal lawyer Carmel Loan. The plot gets murky with more mindless killings. The protagonist is a cop Lucas Davenport who is assigned the job of solving the crime. In fact, this is not a whodunnit ...more
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd reading - Before reading the most recent Davenport story, I'm running back through and bringing myself up-to-date on the characters.

Carmel Loan is a top notch lawyer in the Minneapolis area. She gets what she wants professionally - and now - personally. She wants a fellow lawyer, but the problem is, he's married to a wealthy lady already. Solution: hire a hitman, or in this case, a hitwoman.

Carmel contacts a drug abuser she's represented before to find the appropriate baddie, an
Maureen DeLuca
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Lucas Davenport! A story that I enjoyed, even though it was a bit far fetched at times. Book number 10 in the series, and going strong - I'm probably the only one who has not yet finished the series- but I started in order and I'm still enjoying it. I know I won't be 'happy' further along , for to me--- well Lucas should be a man who 'plays the field' with a few different love interests. But I'm pretty sure, I'll love the story lines anyway!!

Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The genesis of understanding the why of disrespectful 'lawyer jokes'.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-audible
Even better the second time!
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Fast and furious. The tenth Lucas Davenport novel from author John Sandford, "Certain Prey", is relentless by it's pursuit of a female hit woman. In probably Lucas Davenport's toughest case ever with the Minneapolis P.D. one wrong move could get himself killed. Davenport's most worthy adversary Clara Rinker fears and hates Davenport equally as this suspense thriller flies along at warp speed. Knockout beautiful defense attorney Carmel Loan is in love with Hale Allen. Allen is a property and real ...more
RJ Koch
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
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? ;-)
Shane Phillips
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's always interesting when your home town is mentioned in a book. While not completely set in my home town of Wichita, KS, Lucas made several stops there and the villain was based there. This was a good story with a surprising ending.
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even better the second time. This is a BAD bad guy (or girl in this case).
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alright you thrill-seeking, fiction reading, bullet-dodging, crime scene peeking, evidence planting, breaking and entering, crime enthusiast sonuvaguns, here it is:

Carmel Loan is an elite criminal defense lawyer who has gotten some real creeps off the hook. This sultry vixen is not to be underestimated because when she wants something, she will do anything she can to get it. The "something" in this case is a himbo lawyer named Hale Allen. This guy makes Carmel go googly eyed when his
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
Dec 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Brent Soderstrum
Mar 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

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
Oct 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
One of the better Prey novels! Why- lots of Carmel and Clara and their crazy dysfunctional friendship, and not as much Davenport. It says a lot when you are rooting more for the villains than the hero.
Jeff Dickison
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good Lucas Davenport story as he must find the professional hit-person who killed a woman and the person that hired the hit done. This is the story that introduces the diabolical Claire Rinker. Well done, exciting, with plenty of plot twists. Recommended to Davenport fans.
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This well written "Prey" story features a strong hit woman along with good plots. 8 of 10 stars
David Shaffer
good book one of the best prey books that I have read so far
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See also John Camp

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 U

Other books in the series

Lucas Davenport (1 - 10 of 31 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)