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Certain prey



Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, ©1999.
Physical Description:
339 pages ; 24 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
The story of a professional hit woman for the Mafia in Minneapolis. She is hired to eliminate the wife of a man a woman desires. A policeman dies in the process and detective Lucas Davenport goes after her. By the author of Secret Prey.
Electronic Access:


Call Number
Sandford Prey v.10
Mys Sandford Prey #10
Sandford, J.

On Order



"You know life is good when you have a new Lucas Davenport thriller to escape into," said The Chicago Tribune of Secret Prey, and everyone agreed that it was one of Sandford's very best. "Enthralling?Everything works," said USA Today. "Sandford is at the top of his game," agreed the Richmond Times-Dispatch.Now Davenport confronts an entirely new kind of adversary. Her name is Clara Rinker, a Southern woman, trim, pleasant, attractive--and the best hitwoman in the business. She isn't showy, not one of those movie killers; she just goes quietly about her business, collects her money and goes home.It's when she's hired for a job in Minnesota that things become complicated for her. A defense attorney wants a rival eliminated, and that's fine. But then a witness survives, the attorney starts acting weird, this big cop Davenport gets on her case, and loose ends begin popping up faster than a sweater unraveling. Clara hates loose ends, and knows of only one way to deal with them: You start cutting them off, one after the other, until they're all gone.Lucas thinks the case is worrisome enough, but he has no idea of the toll it is about to take on him. For of all the criminals he has hunted during his life, none has been as efficient or as ferociously intelligent as the one who is about to start hunting him--and none knows so well what his weak spots are'and how to penetrate them.Filled with the brilliant characters and exceptional drama that have been his trademarks, Certain Prey is John Sandford's most suspenseful novel yet--the author once again "at the tope of his game."

Author Notes

John Sandford was born John Roswell Camp on February 23, 1944 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Before entering the U.S. Army and serving in Korea, he received a bachelor's degree in American history from the University of Iowa in 1966. After leaving the service, he received a master's degree in journalism from the University of Iowa.

During the 1970s, he worked at The Miami Herald, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. In 1985, he began researching the lives of a farm family caught in the midst of the crisis of American farming. The article, Life on the Land: An American Farm Family, won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing and the American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for Non-Deadline Feature Writing.

After winning the Pulitzer Prize, he began writing fiction. His works include the Prey series, the Virgil Flowers series, and The Singular Menace series. He has also written nonfiction works on plastic surgery and art.

Sandford's Young Adult novels, Uncaged and Outrage, Books 1 and 2 of The Singular Menace Series co-written with Michelle Cook, made the New York Times Bestseller list in July 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

For all his brooding, Minneapolis cop Lucas Davenport lacks the charisma of, say, Robert B. Parker's Spenser or James Patterson's Alex Cross. The vast popularity of the Prey novels is probably due, then, not so much to this dependable hero as to Sandford's clever plotting, sure pacing and fully rounded villainsÄas well as his smart prose. As if acknowledging his series' hero's unflashy demeanor, Sandford, in his 10th Prey book (after Secret Prey), allows two gleefully unrecalcitrant female antagonists to steal the show from Davenport. Clara Rinker's life as a murderer and mob hit woman begins when she is raped at age 16 and beats her assailant dead with a baseball bat. Years later, the other femme fatale, sociopathic Minneapolis defense lawyer Carmel Loan, hires Rinker to kill the wife of property attorney Hale Allen, whom Carmel desires; within days, she has Hale in bed. The storyline spools out as a cat-and-mouse among the women and Davenport, with the villainesses dominating the action, sometimes in tangential scenes. When the junkie who connected Carmel to Rinker blackmails the pair, for instance, Carmel tortures him with an electric drill as Rinker watches. The action doesn't always wash: Davenport tumbles to Carmel's involvement too easily, and Carmel's ferocious response to being framed by Davenport redefines the term "over the top." The play between the two women, who bond like sisters, is as fascinating as the courtship of venomous lizards, and the novel's background humÄcomprised of various amatory rustlings, forensic and legal ploys, and maneuvers among cops, FBI agents, mobsters and the killersÄis rich in authentic detail. While not the pseudonymous Sandford's best, (he is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Camp) this is a swift, satisfying entry in a series with long, muscular legs. 300,000 first printing; $300,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection; author tour. (May) FYI: Mind Prey was adapted into a TV movie, John Sandford's Mind Prey, which aired on ABC in March . (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

After ten thrillers in his series about Minneapolis cop Lucas Davenport (Secret Prey, 1998, etc.), Pulitzer Prize--winning journalist John Camp, writing under his Sandford pen name, hits a home run over the curve of the earth as the brilliantly swift Certain Prey sinks a meat hook under the reader's jaw on page one and never lets up. In the opening scene, Clara Rinker, a 16-year-old runaway and nude dancer, is raped one night behind her St. Louie nudie bar and within two pages she has her revenge, battering her fat-trucker rapist's head in with a metal baseball bat. Her coolness about the murder leads her to become a hit woman for the Mafia. By age 20, reader-friendly Clara's making so much money as an assassin-for-hire that she goes to business school to figure out how best to use the cash she's been piling up under various names. When Minneapolis defense attorney Carmel Loan decides she wants a rival removed, she has a Mafia client hire Clara for her. Clara does the hit, killing Barbara Allen, but a cop witnesses the deed and is shot as well. Which draws in Lucas. Will the spiritedly attractive villain survive her encounter with Lucas and go on, like Hannibal Lecter, to enjoy an even greater feast of crimes? Top suspense. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Sandford's Prey novels continue to attract widespread critical and popular acclaim. This tenth in the series won't change the pattern. Trying to avoid facing his empty personal life, enigmatic Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief Lucas Davenport is jolted out of the doldrums by the handiwork of professional hitwoman Clara Rinker, in town to do what she does best. Adding to his problems is glamorous defense attorney Carmel Loan, a clever and intimidating lawyer. When Davenport suspects an alliance between the two women, he soon faces two deadly enemies. Sandford keeps the level of suspense dizzyingly high as he shifts viewpoints between the women and Davenport, but what sets this story apart is his examination of the odd friendship between cold-blooded killers Clara and Carmel. Also stellar is his ability to show Clara's human side--to the point where readers may (guiltily) find themselves rooting for her. --Jenny McLarin

Library Journal Review

This time, Lucas Davenport's formidable opponent is a hitwoman. A BOMC main selection. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.