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Invisible Prey (Lucas Davenport #17)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  12,915 Ratings  ·  505 Reviews
A wealthy woman and her maid are murdered. Robbery would seem the likely scenario, except that none of the clues are coming together for Lucas Davenport. At least not those he can see.
ebook, 448 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by Berkley Books
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With this one, I have now reviewed all 23 of John Sandford’s Prey series. I really feel like I should get a nicely framed certificate or perhaps a medal along with a ceremony commemorating the occasion….Maybe a small gathering with some cake and punch?…. No? Nothing?

Fine, ya bunch of ingrates….

A rich old lady and her housekeeper have been brutally killed in what appears to be a home invasion burglary of the type that small time crooks might pull. However, when there are indications that a few v
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: robert-s-reads
I love “That Fuckin’ Flowers.” He may not be the main show or even a Romeo, but he’s one hilarious bastard. He may need to spend a bit more time at the range, and there’s the distinct possibility he’s more interested in writing and fly fishing than he is detective work, but that just makes him memorable and interesting.

The usual suspects populate INVISIBLE PREY, so if you’re familiar with Lucas Davenport and Weather and Kidd, you’ll feel right at home. But if this is your first rodeo, then I sho
James Thane
In any long-running series, even one as good as this one surely is, inevitably some books have to be better and some weaker than others, and although I certainly enjoyed reading Invisible Prey, it's not among the best books in John Sandford's Prey series.

In every one of the books, at least thus far, the lead character, Lucas Davenport, and his supporting cast have always been consistently excellent--witty, intelligent, and always a lot of fun to hang out with, even if only vicariously. Given tha
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No. 17 in the series down; I'm closing in fast with five more to go! I admit I'm always a bit skeptical of writers who churn out this many books; it's not uncommon to see the quality drop off - sometimes considerably - as they seem to be writing almost by rote (James Patterson comes to mind). But so far, Sanford hasn't fallen into that trap. Although I've enjoyed some better than others, not a single one has been disappointing.

This one, I think, is among his best so far. It centers on the murder
Mike French
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Somehow I missed this one when it was released. Thru the magic of Goodreads, I spotted that this was the only one not read and quickly rectified the situation. The Lucas Davenport series is one of my favorite series of all time and Invisable Prey didn't disappoint!
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't unique in any way for me, although I was entertained. I believe this book had the first introduction to Virgil Flowers, who now has his own book series. That counts for something.
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lucas Davenport, special agent for Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, is trying to deal with the sensitive investigation of a local politician who has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a minor when his boss calls him in on another case that occurred in one of St. Paul’s richest neighborhoods. Two elderly women have been found bludgeoned to death in a home filled with antiques. Although robbery is the suspected motive, not much has been taken, so Lucas asks his intern, S ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
'Invisible Prey' is the 17th book in the Minnesota state detective Lucas Davenport series. It allows us a small peek at the intersection of how the crime occurs, and how politics and multiple police departments define the applied tactics and resources of the investigation of the crime, and how the identity of the victim determines whether police are thorough or superficial in their interest of solving a case. Old people who are poor and alone are just below the crimes of the underclass in where ...more
Kathy Davie
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Seventeenth in the Lucas Davenport series and revolving around a maverick detective determined on justice no matter how or who. It's based in Minneapolis.

My Take
Lucas Davenport is an interesting character. Definitely a complex one. I recently read that Sandford thought of him as a kind of sociopath but that Lucas has mellowed out since. And there is a line early on in the story that makes me think that Sandford is too right. I also suspect it's part of what makes him such a good cop.
"…he'd be pl
Laura Belgrave
May 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
I’ve probably read all of the “Prey” books that Sanford wrote. There are a lot of them. But I’ve found Sandford to be an uneven writer. Sometimes his stuff is close to brilliant. Sometimes, well, you get the impression that deadlines were looming and he just had to bash the thing together and get it out the door. Also, he has a habit of writing in really brief chunks -- kind of like “mini chapters” -- and although there’s nothing inherently wrong with that technique, I find it annoys me from tim ...more
Jenn M
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I really liked this 17th book in the Lucas Davenport series. John Sandford's character development, plot creation, and overall writing just gets better and better!

Great characters in long-running multi-book series, like the Lucas Davenport series, should grow on readers, and hopefully, become as familiar as family members or best friends. As the characters' fame increases, readers clamor to know more about them, just as readers would seek to learn more about close friends or favorite celebr
J.T. Lewis
Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Sanford’s ‘Invisible Prey’ is the 17th installment of his Lucas Davenport series…17th!

Wow, I can’t imagine, I’m only on my second book of my 1st series.


Anyway, you can’t write 17 books about the same character without doing something right. Mr. Sanford has again shown that he has the skills to get this accomplished. The synopsis of the story:

In the richest neighborhood of Minneapolis, two elderly women lie murdered in their home, killed with a pipe, the rooms tossed, only small items s
Laura Elisabeth
Aug 01, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
One of Sandford's many Lucas Davenport titles, this book features more of a when-the-hell-will-the-investigators-notice-whodunnit than a simple mystery. The killers are revealed almost right away, and the rest of the book follows Davenport as he and other investigators try to piece the complicated crime (involving murder, antiques, quilts, inheritance, fraud, theft, and many, many more different aspects). After reading reviews of his other books in the series, it seems that this one is a bit of ...more
Notwithstanding I have no interest in the commerce of antiques (I do like art, but not the price put on it), this was quite an original back-drop for this 17th Prey book. The book begins when two elderly women living in a grand home containing many valuable and not so valuable art-works are being coldly murdered and robbed. The robbery is a puzzle, because the thieves made a rather peculiar choice in what they took.
At the same time, Lucas Davenport is dealing with a politically sensitive investi
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just re-read, actually re-listened, John Sandford's Invisible Prey, narrated by Richard Ferrone, and wow, I have only one word to describe it: a Treat! It's simply delicious. The book is excellent, one of John Sandford's best in my opinion, although Broken Prey is still my favorite in the series. Dear good old John Sandford. He's probably my most favorite thriller author. I wish him many more prolific years. He knows how to write crime fiction (those many years spent as a crime reporter come t ...more
Charissa Wilkinson
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, adult
Overview: Lucas Davenport is on a dual mission this time around. A few elderly women in Minnesota have been killed in what appears to be home invasions. Here’s the deal, somehow all three were fans of vintage quilts. Could there be a connection here: And is there anyway to solve a politically charged sexual assault without getting the reputation of being the Governor’s hatchet man?

Likes: Lucas has a pretty good attitude. He get’s a kick out of the chase. Weather gave a lot of advice when Lucas n
Mar 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Prey series never disappoints. It is edge of your seat action with a gritty detective at its heart. This is the 17th installment and Lucas is as entertaining as ever. You don’t need to read the series in order, but if you are like me you prefer it. John Sandford’s website,, lists all the books in order.

A rich widow and her maid are bludgeoned to death in one of the most impressive mansions in Minneapolis and a politician is caught with his pants down with a 16 year old g
Brent Soderstrum
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 17th book in the Lucas Davenport series.

This tale really started out kind of slow compared to most of Sandford's Prey novels. Yes two old ladies are killed early on in their home and despite the owner being rich, not much of value appears to be taken. The book goes on with old rich people being killed in similar fashion. We know who the killers are early on and Davenport try to figure it out. A little tame for what I was use to.

But the ending certainly was a good one. Revenge is very
I probably wouldn’t read another Lucas Davenport novel, but this one was certainly acceptable for whiling away 1) a long layover in the airport and 2) an afternoon at the beach. The writing is the usual pedestrian stuff; still, given the current quality of genre literature (and the fact that editors are MIA) it’s better than many. That said, the prose is marred by some really glaring boo-boos in punctuation and grammar, including a use of semicolons that someone perhaps thought was idiosyncratic ...more
Raoul Jerome
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good one from Sandford. Lucas is very good as always along with Virgil and a little assist from Shrake and Jenkins. This one was a little scary because the reader knew who the bad buys were early on even though Lucas and his crew didn't. I kept wanting to stop reading and yell at Lucas to say "these guys are close to you and you don't really know who they are! Wake up!"... He had no way of knowing early on--obviously..Sandford had to finish the book. Interesting twist at the end which ha ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Not as exciting as some of the other Lucas Davenport novels, because this one is about quilts and artwork. Still, Sandford's writing is always seamless and tight. He always tells a good story, just some better than others.

Loved this observation:

"The thing about Botox is that when you've had too much, you then have to fake reactions just to look human--and it's impossible to distinguish real fake reactions from fake fake reactions."
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great Prey novel (I, for one, don't think there is a bad one in the bunch)! No. 17. Also introduces Flowers who Sandford goes on to write a series with him as the lead (My next read from here). This one had some unusual killers which made it interesting. I highly recommend and hope you enjoy if you decide to read this series. And you really really should!
Another enjoyable book in this consistently well done series. Lucas is always a great character and this book introduced Virgil Flowers whose series I will have to start soon. The plot had a lot going on but I found all the various twists and turns quite entertaining. Listened to the audio version which was read by Richard Ferrone who really makes this series for me.
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very pleased with this one. I was getting a little worried about Sandford from the last two books featuring Davenport but this on has renewed my faith. So glad to have finally met Virgil Flowers! My mother has been telling me to read that series and now I feel I can with good faith.
Johnny Williams
May 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a "Prey" series reader -- don't miss it-- If this is your first -- don't you dare start here -- Go back a few ( or the start) you will appreciate it much much more
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was not disappointed with this story line or the plot twists. Lucas Davenport never lets me down whether it is with his take on human nature or his investigative spirit.
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I love any Lucas Davenport, but I especially enjoyed the foray into the art world in this one!
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is this 17th novel in the currently 27-book "Lucas Davenport" mystery-thriller series in which Virgil Flowers, a Davenport protégé whose going-on-10-book spinoff series hadn't yet spun off at the time, shoots a woman in the foot while aiming for center mass, only to see her finished off by another woman more inclined to shoot to kill. It's an incident I've already seen mentioned, in spare outline, in many other Davenport/Flowers books written after this, due to the order in which I have been ...more
Donna Siebold
This book opens with two killer Big and Little going to the home of an elderly woman, Mrs. Bucher and bludgeoning her and her housekeeper, Mrs. Peebles, to death. Lucas gets involved because the woman was incredibly wealthy and the governor wants Lucas to solve this crime quickly. He also wants Lucas to focus on Burt Kline, the president of the state senate, who has been accused of statutory rape.

Well, few things go as smoothly as the governor would like. Lucas soon learns of several other elder
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always look forward to a “Prey” book. This one is the 18th in the Lucas Davenport series. In this episode, Lucas finds himself not only working in a politically charged environment but also working on several cases at once – a gruesome murder and the robbery of very expensive antiques. The cases are inevitability entwined – but only by the villains in an attempt to throw off the police. (Note: I’m not giving anything away here.) Unlike prior Sanford novels, these murderous villains are not 'ma ...more
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See also John Camp

John Sandford was born John 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
More about John Sandford...

Other Books in the Series

Lucas Davenport (1 - 10 of 28 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)
  • Certain Prey (Lucas Davenport, #10)
“Flowers said, “I got two bottles of water in the car.”
“Get them. And get your gun,” Lucas said.
“The gun? You think?”
“No. I just like to see you wearing the fuckin’ gun for a change,” Lucas said. “C’mon, let’s get moving.”
“The thing about Botox is that when you've had too much, you then have to fake reactions just to look human--and it's impossible to distinguish real fake reactions from fake fake reactions.” 8 likes
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