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

(Kidd and LuEllen #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  7,908 ratings  ·  290 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 Sil…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)

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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  7,908 ratings  ·  290 reviews

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Start your review of The Fool's Run (Kidd & LuEllen, #1)
Listen all y'all, it's a sabotage.

Corporate sabotage, that is.

Kidd is an artist who uses his computer skills to pay the bills that selling paintings won’t cover. He’s also willing to engage in some hacking if the price is right. The wealthy owner of an aviation company approaches Kidd to help him even the score after one of his rival corporations stole a breakthrough piece of technology developed to help sell a new type of jet to the military.

It’s a risky operation that has to be done on a dead
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.
Mary Drayer
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are interested in a computer spy thriller...You found it here! The twists, computer geniuses, guns, all within a great con game...
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. ...more
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,
Carol Jean
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Whew! Burglary, computer hacking, armed robbery...this book has it all! Well-drawn characters and a plot that winds up, takes a breath, and goes on! Very enjoyable.
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
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My fun with John Sandford (real name: John Camp) began with the "Virgil Flowers" series, followed by several of the "Prey" series. So imagine my surprise to learn of this series, which he apparently wrote back in the 8o's, along with his "Prey" novels, but under his real name. See, that's why I love Goodreads; it's such a wonderful source of information about authors & books that I'd otherwise likely never encounter. So, many thanks to my fellow readers / friends here on Goodreads for making me ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A 1980's techno thriller from John Sandford that introduces characters who pop up in some of the Prey books. The techno stuff is amusingly dated, and the writing lacks the punch and humor Sandford has perfected in the Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers series. But even subpar Sandford is well worth reading, and I enjoyed getting the origin story for Kidd and LuEllen. 3.5 stars. ...more
Jun 30, 2021 rated it liked it
I love the Davenport and Virgil books, but I didn’t get into this as much. The characters are interesting, and I still enjoy Sandford’s style…but eh. Maybe it’s the whole “computer hacker” focus (which is not my thing) in a book written in the late 1990s. 😂 Still, entertaining enough to finish!!
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 :) ...more
Teri Pre
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-reads
I really wish I would have read this series before I came across the characters in the Prey books. I kind of know too much about the future Kidd & LuEllen. Great story though!
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. ...more
Ken Tapman
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story good main character

Interesting to meet a new main character, sort of like a young Lucas good mix of light weight computer description with assorted supporting cast.
Easy read, easy escape -good.time.for a story where the "good guy" wins unlike what real life is like for most people who feel powerless in the face of a pandemic.
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. ...more
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. ...more
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. ...more
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great start to a series, too bad he's only written four books. While Kidd shows up in some of the Prey books, I really like this viewpoint and wish he would write more!
John Camp = John Sandford, btw...
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. ...more
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.
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2017 Reading Chal...: The Fool's Run (Kidd & LuEllen, #1) 1 12 Mar 06, 2015 06:54AM  

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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)

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