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The Fool's Run (Kidd & LuEllen, #1)
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The Fool's Run

(Kidd and LuEllen #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  5,236 ratings  ·  219 reviews
John Sandford, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Prey novels gives suspense an ingenious twist as he takes readers into the mind games of two irresistible con artists plotting the perfect sting...

Kidd is a computer whiz, artist, and professional criminal. LuEllen is his lover, and his favorite partner in crime. Their playing field in on the cutting edge of hi
Paperback, 340 pages
Published December 1st 1996 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published January 1st 1989)
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Andy Bachand LuEllen's real name is Lauren(revealed in the Kidd novel "The Hanged Man's Song" the last Kidd novel) and no Kidd and Lauren do not get married in…moreLuEllen's real name is Lauren(revealed in the Kidd novel "The Hanged Man's Song" the last Kidd novel) and no Kidd and Lauren do not get married in Silken Prey, they've been married for years by the time Silken Prey occurs.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,236 ratings  ·  219 reviews

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Andrew Smith
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Most crime fans will be familiar with Sandford’s Davenport and Flower books, but how many have sampled his earlier Kidd series? I hadn’t, until a Goodreads friend posted a favourable review – so, this was my first.

Initially it felt a little dated, as the hired computer wiz kid (Kidd) wrestled with old technology to infiltrate a defence industry corporation - well, the book was written in 1989, so technology has moved on. And I couldn’t escape the feeling I was reading a variation of a Bernie Rho
John Culuris
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: top-shelf
Published originally under John Sandford’s real name, this novel features Kidd, a computer genius (in 1989) who is recruited by a civilian defense contractor to destroy a rival company over industrial espionage. A solid debut novel that shows that from the start the author had the ability to create compelling characters. It is also interesting to look back at the “modern computer capabilities” of the day.
Jim A
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
First written by John Camp, John Sandford’s real name. It features Kidd and LuEllen as the two protagonists. Kidd is an artist, a software designer and a computer hacker. His specialty is getting into corporate computer systems and looking around. LuEllen likes to get into homes and look around. She's a high end burglar.

The story holds up pretty well considering it was written in 1989. The technology is dated as one would imagine. If you can get past the references to IBM AT, PS2 and Kaypro com
Joe King
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
About the first 30% (I am reading on kindle app which is how I can be specific with %) I thought, "I am just not into this book. One star. Then I kept reading, about 45% I started to like it more and thought 3 stars. By 60% I couldn't put it down. It is a little dated, but great book.
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
Sanford introduces new characters with this book. The unlikely team of Kidd, a freelancing computer expert with a passion for painting, and LuEllen, a successful full-time residential burglar. As with all of Sanford's starring characters, they are extremely interesting, multi-dimensional, believable...
In this case, Kidd has been contacted by huge corporation to hack into the computer system of their main competitor and wreak as much havoc as possible. The two corporations are vying for a major g
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I decided at some point to read all of John Sandford's mysteries, however, I wasn't smart enough to start at the beginning and have just read his books as I found them. I have now read 20 of his thirty some novels and find myself reading many of his early books now. I have enjoyed them more than the recent efforts. He originally published this book under his real name John Camp, but has republished all his books under his pseudonym. John Camp was a Pulitzer Prize winning author and must have had ...more
Dec 08, 2013 rated it liked it
In my effort to work my way through John Sandford's works, I realized that I had missed his FIRST book, written under his real name, John Camp.

FOOL'S RUN reads in many ways, like a "dry run" for the first few novels in the PREY series. It's more of a "techno-thriller" than a crime novel, but the authorial voice and dialogue are very similar to the first few Davenport novels. The protagonist, Kidd, is also something of a template for Davenport, who doesn't feel that he has to "play by the rules,
Travis Starnes
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book involves computers and was written very early in the digital age, something that might bother a lot of people reading this book years after it was written. While it doesn’t bug me I can see how the dated technology could throw some readers. It is important to note that the computers in the book are a plot point and not the real focus of the book. Like Sanford’s other work The Fools Run is more about Kidd’s ability to think his way around situations.

This book really gives you what reade
David Hensley
Jun 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Hiis first novel, there are senblences of the sttyle and click in his later and present work, but it also has some head scratching moments and silver bullets. Workth reading and rememberering when computers used dial up modems.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book a long time ago, possibly when it was first published. I found it entertaining, perhaps because the protagonist is a software developer. It falls into a genre that I refer to in my mind as the "Mission Impossible" genre. Mostly in the sense of the original TV series where "An elite covert operations unit carries out highly sensitive missions subject to official denial in the event of failure, death or capture." (IMDB description) I'm a sucker for stories where a team of experts ...more
Susannah Carleton
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story about a computer hacker hired by a company to ruin its biggest competitor for a prime defense contract. He and his friends do the job he was hired to do, but shortly thereafter learn that the facts they had been given were lies. They also realize that one of their group who was killed died because of a hit ordered against them by the company that hired them. (The other two escaped.)

Now, the hacker is out to destroy the company that hired him, in the hope of obtaining a truce or stal
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a 3.5 but because it's a Sandford it gets a 4. Kinda funny read with the computer lit almost 30 years later :)
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book that features a hacker an his exploits named Kidd. It's the first of a series. The plot is interesting. But the description of the hacking techniques is dated. I finally looked at when the book was originally published, 89, and that kind of explains it. It suffers from a technology point of view these days as no one uses dial up modems anymore, at least I hope not. But that aside, it provided an interesting insight into how some hackers actually work. Recommended.
Angel Bix
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
As an avid John Sanford fan, I have read his Lucas Davenport "Prey" books and his Virgil Flowers novels and always enjoy them. A friend loaned me this book telling me it was one of his first novels and not Davenport or Flowers but Kidd! The computer hacker! So I started reading it months ago, and initially found it somewhat dated, (that's my fault it's 2017 and this book was written way back in 1989!), but then as I read further I became intrigued by what the characters were able to pull off. CD ...more
Feb 10, 2014 rated it liked it
I have read a lot of John Sandford's books but this is the first book focusing on the character of Kidd that I have read. It did not disappoint. Since the book was first published in the late 80s/early 90s it is somewhat dated. Much of the actual computer hacking is on very outdated equipment but the principles of cyber attacks on companies is still a real concern.
Sandford writes some of the best characters I've read. They are always interesting and even though they may operate on the fringes o
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-fiction
"The Fool's Run" was first published in 1989 before the internet and everyone had a cell phone. The main character is an artist and computer hacker named Kidd who lives in St. Paul and whose character is slightly interwoven in Sanford's Lucas Davenport 'Prey' series.
I just re-read Fool's Run and as always, Sandford provides a solid, entertaining suspense novel. I also noticed that Sandford's writing has gotten even better. He is a terrific and entertaining writer and never fails to deliver.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Good book, but not what I've come to expect from John Sandford. Of course, this is all new characters (to me) and this book was written years ago in 1989. The computer stuff was at the same time to technical and way too old. It's hard to believe that everyone having a computer at home and everyone using the internet has really only been about for a few years. I'll read more of the Kidd novels and see how they progress.
Ken Schloman
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Although I am a longstanding fan of Sandford's other series, This is the first of the Kidd series I've read. I wasn't disappointed. It is a great departure from his usual police procedurals. The "heroes" are really "antiheroes", neither good nor bad. Good character and plot development. Any Sandford fan should explore this interesting series.
Mar 08, 2010 rated it liked it
This is the first Kidd story I've read and while I enjoyed the story I wasn't "wowed" by it. Could have been because of the subject - the introduction to the computer world and hacking, but I think I mostly found it anti-climatic. Not a bad story, well written but not a "sitting on the edge of my seat" like I do with most other Sanford books.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
In fairness to Mr. Sanford I rated this novel very low because I don't enjoy reading about business and computers and hacking, maybe it's too close to what we are experiencing with Mr. Trump in the White House.
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hackers, the tarot, a Sneakers-sort-of plot. It all makes for an entertaining story.
Aug 09, 2013 added it
It's really hard to write a tech novel that stands the test of time. Specifics about modems/phreaking aside, the general plot could still work today.
May 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Very, very difficult to get into. I actually skimmed quite a bit until the last third.
Leon Aldrich
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
With only four in this series, I'll be done in no time.

Sanford's "Prey" series is one of my all time favorites. I'm torn rating this between 4 and 5. But for me it was time well spent.
This book was written in 1989 and, as such, it shows. The main character is Kidd, a computer hacker/painter. He has been hired to hack into an aviation company's computers by Anhiser, a rival company who contends that this company, Whitemark, has stolen some technology that will cause Anhiser to lose out on a lucrative government contract. Kidd enlists the aid of LuEllen, a burglar, and Dace, a journalist, to help him pull off the hacking contract. There's a lot of computer jargon at the beginni ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book is is typical of John Sandford in that it is very easy to read. You can read large chunks of this book in one sitting without even realizing you're doing it. The characters are likable but fairly static. The only real drawback to this book is that it doesn't really "hold up." This book is about "cutting edge" computer hacking in a time where one of the main characters has never "seen a computer working" before. The world and computers have changed so much since then that it is hard to ...more
Diane T.
This book is written by Prey series author, John Sandford. I have been a long time Sandford fan so, I thought I would give it a try. Having read it, I am still pondering if I like it.

The plot moved smoothly and the overall story was interesting. It was the main characters that I'm unsure of. Kidd & LuEllen are no ones heros but they aren't bad guys either. Maybe they were a bit too human for my taste. I don't know. I have already started "The Empress File", second book in the series. Maybe I
Frederick Tan
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Kidds novel. Surprisingly good and Sandford is smooth. Kidds is a refreshing character who is a computer whiz and a veteran of Nam. The puzzling thing is his relationship with LuEllen. A sort of friend with benefit on the side. She is a smooth operator in the guise of a cat burglar. Together with Dace, they took on a cyber attack for a rival defence contractor cyber attack which somehow turn awry as things didn't seem to be what they turn up. As bodies keep pulling up, Kidds will have t ...more
Robert Ullrich
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Fool's Run is my second Kidd novel. The moral to an immoral s story, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. The life of a two million dollar score is just too enticing for Kidd to turn down. As a result, he buys into the backers story without doing his due diligence. As the job comes to an end, reality bites Kidd hard, costing one of his team. The end game truly was ingenious; executed to perfection. I am definitely ready for The Devil's Code!
May 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not bad, if this really is his first novel (real name; apparently I had it backwards - Sandford is the pseudonym). Can be a bit daunting if there's no computer security in your background, but the story sails on through, sometimes funny, or sad, but lots of tension and nail-biting. Someone gave me book 3 of the series, but I gave it to the library when I saw it wasn't free-standing. Glad I tracked this one down, now I can read all 4.
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2017 Reading Chal...: The Fool's Run (Kidd & LuEllen, #1) 1 12 Mar 06, 2015 06:54AM  
  • The Hanged Man's Song (Kidd & LuEllen, #4)
John Roswell Camp is the real name for author John Sandford.

John Sandford is the pseudonym for the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Camp. He is the author of over twenty Prey novels; eight Virgil Flowers novels, and seven other books, including the young adult novels Uncaged and Outrage, written with Michele Cook. He lives in New Mexico.

Other books in the series

Kidd and LuEllen (4 books)
  • The Empress File (Kidd & LuEllen, #2)
  • The Devil's Code (Kidd & LuEllen, #3)
  • The Hanged Man's Song (Kidd & LuEllen, #4)