Lucas Davenport Books in Order: How to Read John Sandford’s Series?

Lucas Davenport books are a series of thriller and suspense novels written by the renowned American novelist, John Stanford.

The central character of the series, Lucas Davenport, is a detective working with the Minneapolis police force. He is a wealthy man who once owned a software company that designed computer games.

Lucas is charismatic and has a kind face. His friendly expressions are often contradicted by his cold smile. Lucas likes to do things his way. He works semi-independently and is known to have killed many criminals.

The Lucas Davenport book series, also known as the Prey series, is immensely popular among thriller and suspense fans. It contains a total of 32 novels.

Sl. No.Lucas Davenport Books in Order
1)Rules of Prey
2)Shadow Prey
3)Eyes of Prey
4)Silent Prey
5)Winter Prey
6)Night Prey
7)Mind Prey
8)Sudden Prey
9)Secret Prey
10)Certain Prey
11)Easy Prey
12)Chosen Prey
13)Mortal Prey
14)Naked Prey
15)Hidden Prey
16)Broken Prey
17)Invisible Prey
18)Phantom Prey
19)Wicked Prey
20)Storm Prey
21)Buried Prey
22)Stolen Prey
23)Silken Prey
24)Field of Prey
25)Rhymes With Prey: Lincoln Rhyme vs. Lucas Davenport (Short Story)
26)Gathering Prey
27)Extreme Prey
28)Golden Prey
29)Twisted Prey
30)Neon Prey
31)Masked Prey
32)Ocean Prey
33)Righteous Prey

John Stanford’s Biography

John Stanford, born on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States, is an American novelist and former journalist. He is a New York Times bestselling author and a recipient of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize, which was awarded to him in 1986.

John is popular for the Prey series, which revolves around the detective police officer Lucas Davenport. He introduced another series called the Kidd series as its sequel.

John has also written a third series titled Virgil Flowers. The protagonist of this series, Virgil Flowers, also appears as a supporting character in some novels from the Prey series.

Other works of John Stanford include the Singular Menace series, the Letty Davenport series, which features Lucas Davenport’s daughter, and the books The Night Crew, Dead Watch, and Saturn Run.

He has also written a few short stories. His non-fiction books include The Eye and the Heart, Plastic Surgery, and Murder in the Rough.

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Who is Lucas Davenport?

Lucas Davenport is the main character of the Prey series. He is a detective residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Lucas works with the Minneapolis Police Department. He is a tall, slender man with dark hair, blue eyes, and wide shoulders.

Lucas was born and raised in a Catholic family. Lucas is unorthodox and manipulative. He is fashionable, drives a Porsche, and is a womanizer. But most importantly, he is smart and can think like a criminal.

Apart from being a police celebrity, Lucas also designs computer games. He is a rich man who once owned a software company. Lucas is also a gun freak.

He is the owner of a variety of ammunition, including a Beretta 92F, two Colt Gold Cup .45 ACP competition pistols, three .22 caliber pistols, a Heckler & Koch P7 automatic pistol, a.38, a Browning Citori over-and-under 20-gauge shotgun, and other street guns. His hobbies include poetry, reading, and war gaming.

Lucas Davenport Books in Order

John Stanford’s Lucas Davenport series consists of 32 novels. The first book, titled Rules of Prey, was published in 1989. It introduces us to Minneapolis detective police officer Lucas Davenport.

The series progresses with the sequels to Rules of Prey. The 32nd book, titled Righteous Prey, was released in 2022.

1) Rules of Prey

Rules of Prey

The first book in the Lucas Davenport series is titled Rules of Prey. G. P. Putnam’s Sons published its first edition on July 24, 1989.The hardcover contains 316 pages.

The main character, a renowned detective and police lieutenant named Lucas Davenport, is introduced. The plot takes place in the Twin Cities, where the antagonist of the story, a mysterious man infamous as “Maddog,” is on a killing spree. All his murders are thrill kills.

Maddog is revealed to be a lawyer named Louis Vullion. He conducts extensive research on his victims before killing them.

Louis has studied the cases of other criminals to make sure he doesn’t commit the mistakes they did to avoid capture.

As the killings become more frequent, police officer Lucas Davenport is asked to step in and solve this case.

2) Shadow Prey

Shadow Prey

Shadow Prey is a sequel to Rules of Prey. It was released in 1990. The paperback edition of this book has 480 pages.

The story takes place during US President Kennedy’s regime. Members of a bizarre Indian community are killing people in a terrifying manner by slitting their throats with an obsidian knife.

The victims have little connection with one another. The baffled police ask Lucas Davenport to investigate this case.

The masterminds behind the killings are two elderly Indian men known as the Crows. The son of the Crow, Shadow Love, is creating hindrances for the police. Shadow Love begins to stalk Lucas.

Meanwhile, Lucas is working with a policewoman named Lily Rothenburg. As the affair between them begins to grow, the killings become more frequent. Lucas and Lily must do everything they can to capture Shadow Love.

3) Eyes of Prey

Eyes of Prey

The third book in the Prey series, Eyes of Prey, is a sequel to Shadow Prey. It was first released on April 4, 1991. The hardcover has 318 pages.

After solving two extremely bizarre murder investigations, police Lieutenant Lucas Davenport has become a victim of depression. However, he needs to come back into action.

His commander asks him to take over the murder case of Stephanie Bekker, a pathologist’s wife. Lucas agrees reluctantly, but he is once again exposed to the same gore, mutilation, and savagery.

The criminal mastermind is a man of extraordinary evil and intelligence. The investigation intensifies, and things get darker for Lucas. But there is no turning back from it now. Lucas must face his fears and solve the case.

4) Silent Prey

Silent Prey

The fourth book in the series, Silent Prey, is a sequel to Eyes of Prey. The paperback edition of Silent Prey was first published in 1992. It contains 416 pages.

Stephanie Bekker’s husband and murderer, Dr. Michael Bekker, has fled to New York to kill more people. Michael is a psychopath who carefully plots, targets, and kills his victims.

With the murder count going higher than ever in the city, the police start to investigate the man who knows Bekker better than anyone.

Lucas arrives there, as does Lily. But Lily has her own matters to handle. She is occupied with the task of investigating a group of rogue killers who call themselves Robin Hoods. Lucas and Lily once again need to work together as their hunts merge.

5) Winter Prey

Winter Prey

One of John Stanford’s best books, Winter Prey, is the fifth novel in the Lucas Davenport series. It was published in 1993. The book comprises 416 pages.

The story takes place in Wisconsin. The antagonist, called the Iceman, is introduced. He is a sociopath who brutally kills his victims and covers his tracks with their blood. He is an unstoppable serial killer who executes his murders almost flawlessly.

Lucas Davenport is asked to assist in this chilling case. What is unknown to the detective is the fact that The Iceman knows all his moves.

Things begin to heat up when Lucas chases the madman. He must do everything it takes to stop the serial killer.

6) Night Prey

Night Prey

The sixth novel, titled Night Prey, is another masterpiece from John Stanford. It was first released in July 1994. It consists of 464 pages.

 After a two-year hiatus, Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport returns to Minneapolis. His first problem begins when State Investigator Meagan Connell, a dying cancer patient, believes that a serial killer is running loose in the city.

Meagan is determined to find the serial killer within the few weeks she has left, but the police are unconvinced by her theory.

Lucas works with Meagan and discovers that her suspicions might indeed be true. Upon investigation, they find out that the bodybuilder and former prison guard Robert Koop is the killer.

A maniac obsessed with a woman named Sara Jensen, Koop leaves her initials on the bodies of each victim he murders. Davenport pursues Koop, but Sara must act as a decoy. Lucas must capture the monster before Meagan’s cancer kills her.

7) Mind Prey

Mind Prey

The seventh novel in the series, Mind Prey, is an outstanding thriller. It was first published on January 1, 1995. The book contains 448 pages. Mind Prey was adapted into a TV movie of the same name in 1999.

An unidentified man kidnaps a psychiatrist named Andi Manette and her daughters, but Andi recognises him.

Hours later, Lucas Davenport is at the crime scene, busy investigating. He suspects that greed might have motivated the criminal, as Tower Manette, a wealthy businessman who happens to be the father of Andi’s daughters.

But as the events unfold, Lucas realizes that one of Andi Manette’s patients might be involved in the brutal kidnapping. Situations begin to get riskier as time passes. Lucas must act soon.

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8) Sudden Prey

Sudden Prey

The eighth novel in the Prey series, John Stanford’s Sudden Prey, was released in July 1995. The book consists of 481 pages.

The plot focuses on Candy, a violent bank robber whom Lucas Davenport and his men have been chasing for months. They finally succeed in spotting her, and a shootout ensues.

During the shoot-out, however, Candy is killed. Candy’s husband, a vicious criminal, swears revenge and hunts down every person responsible for her death. He kills the person nearest to them to make them suffer.

After two casualties, Lucas finally realizes the pattern. Fueled by terror and rage, he quickly jumps into action. Lucas Davenport cannot afford to lose a loved one, but it may already be too late.

9) Secret Prey

Secret Prey

John Stanford’s ninth novel in the outstanding Prey series is titled Secret Prey. It was first published in May 1998. The book contains 464 pages.

The story begins with a company chairman who is murdered in cold blood. He lies dead in the woods, killed by a bullet shot at close range. Surrounding him are four executives, indifferent to the death; they have no reason to be sorry for the chairman.

Lucas feels like the case would be cracked effortlessly by gathering and confronting every suspect. He is proven wrong when hints of something greater and more sinister begin to show.

Lucas has an old, familiar feeling of the impending evil as the number of deaths increases. He lost his fiancée not long ago after all. But this time, he may be the target.

10) Certain Prey

Certain Prey

The tenth book in the Lucas Davenport series, John Stanford’s Certain Prey, was published on August 31, 1999. The hardcover consists of 339 pages. A TV movie adaptation of the novel has also been made. It was released in 2011.

Carmel Loan is an intelligent and attractive woman accustomed to getting what she wants, by whatever means necessary. Things get interesting when she develops a romantic obsession with barrister Hale Allen, who is already married.

Carmel hires a beautiful but deadly hitwoman, Clara Rinker, to get rid of the barrister’s wife. The smart and skillful Clara succeeds in her job, but she is witnessed by a cop. It is the murder of the cop that gets Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport’s attention.

Lucas soon becomes the target of an intelligent, skilled, and ferocious killer. Solving the case is not the only thing he should be worried about when the question is about survival.

11) Easy Prey

Easy Prey

First published in May 2000, the bestselling novelist John Stanford’s Easy Prey is the eleventh book in the Lucas Davenport series. The paperback edition came out in February 2001. It has 400 pages.

Lucas Davenport is sent to the white stucco house to investigate a murder. The victim, a model named Alie’e Maison, was brutally strangled. The suspect, however, is one of Davenport’s own men. Lucas realizes that a lot is going on in this case.

Many secrets, like the finding of a body stuffed in the closet of the same house where the model was killed, are revealed as the investigation progresses. More brutal and unrelated murders will come to light soon. Lucas Davenport must think ahead of the clever murderer to capture him.

12) Chosen Prey

Chosen Prey

John Stanford’s bestselling novel, Chosen Prey, is the twelfth book in the Lucas Davenport series. It was first published in May 2001. The book contains 416 pages.

Art history professor and writer James Qatar is also a huge pervert. Taking pictures of women and turning them into sexual drawings is his hobby. Trouble begins when he accidentally kills a woman in the process. He enjoys this act and now turns into a heinous criminal.

Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport takes up this case, considering its straightforwardness. But he later understands that things are not as easy as they seem.

James may be a jolly pervert, but he is learning to become a great criminal. Lucas needs to capture this monster, and he needs to do it soon.

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13) Mortal Prey

Mortal Prey

The thirteenth book in the Lucas Davenport thriller series, Mortal Prey, was first released in May 2002. The paperback edition was released in May 2003. The book contains 416 pages.

Narrowly missing her target, Lucas in Certain Prey, Clara Rinker is now living in Mexico with her boyfriend—that is, until he is shot by a sniper. Her boyfriend’s father swears revenge, but Clara knows she was the target.

The killer is among the five people who hired her as a hitwoman in the past. She is trying to find the killer; meanwhile, the FBI asks Lucas to track her down.

Clara is clever and unpredictable. She admires Lucas, but she needs to take him down for her own safety. Lucas feels likewise, and a crossfire ensues.

14) Naked Prey

Naked Prey

First published in May 2003, Naked Prey is the fourteenth novel in the Prey book series. The total print length of the book is 464 pages.

Lucas is now married and has a child. Being a family man is no problem, but he is asked by his old boss to take up a troubleshooting job. He is now working for Governor Elmer Henderson.

A new case comes up where the naked bodies of a black man named Deon Cash and a white woman named Jane Warr are found hanging from a tree in northern Minnesota.

Everybody is calling it lynching, but Lucas knows there is more to the case than it appears. He must remain prepared for the worst.

15) Hidden Prey

Hidden Prey

John Stanford’s fifteenth book in the famous Lucas Davenport book series was first released on May 11, 2004. The paperback edition was made available on April 26, 2005.

The story takes place six months after the events of Naked Prey. A Russian man is found dead, shot three times by bullets older than fifty years. He is identified as the son of a high-ranking member of the Russian Oil Ministry.

Lucas Davenport, now a state troubleshooter, is asked to investigate this case. He must work with a Russian cop to uncover the mystery of this murder.

16) Broken Prey

Broken Prey

Broken Prey is the sixteenth novel in the Lucas Davenport series. It came out in 2005. The book contains 512 pages.

Three psychopathic serial killers called the Big Three are now behind bars. But murders continue to happen, and the surprising fact is that these murders closely resemble the pattern of the Big Three.

The first victim is a young woman covered in bruises, raped several times before murder, her throat slit, and her body laid out on a ritualistic display.

Soon another body is found, killed in the same manner, but this time it is a man. There is nothing in common between them. With the Big Three behind bars, who can this criminal be?

17) Invisible Prey

Invisible Prey

John Stanford’s Invisible Prey is his seventeenth book in the Lucas Davenport series. It was originally published on May 15, 2007. The paperback edition of the book contains 448 pages.

Two women from the richest neighborhood in Minneapolis lay murdered in their ransacked residence. It clearly looks like a random robbery. But when Lucas observes the case closely, he realizes that something more sinister is happening.

What looks like a case of theft may actually be a part of a well-planned criminal conspiracy. Lucas gets closer to the killers as the investigation progresses, but he doesn’t know that they are expecting him.

18) Phantom Prey

Phantom Prey

The eighteenth book in the series, Phantom Prey, was published in 2008. The book contains 480 pages.

Alyssa Austin, a widowed heiress, returns home one night and finds blood on the walls of her house. Her daughter, Frances, is nowhere to be found.

Alyssa always considered Frances’ associates to be freaks or phantoms. But now there is tension in the air. When the police fail to find Frances, Alyssa takes the help of Lucas to solve this mystery.

With the murder of goths increasing in the city, Lucas must uncover all the dark secrets behind Frances’ disappearance.

19) Wicked Prey

Wicked Prey

The nineteenth novel in the Lucas Davenport series, Wicked Prey, is extremely well written. It was published on May 12, 2009. The book contains 464 pages.

The Republicans are visiting the Twin Cities for their convention, and the criminals, Brutus Cohn and Rosie Cruz, don’t want to miss this opportunity to make money.

They start by invading hotel rooms, but each of their crimes gets more severe than the last. It all starts when they end up killing a police officer. Lucas steps in. He also needs to take care of Randy Whitcomb, a psychotic pimp and robber in a wheelchair seeking vengeance on him.

Things take unexpected turns when Whitcomb targets Lucas’ 14-year-old daughter, as killing Lucas with a bullet won’t be painful enough.

20) Storm Prey

Storm Prey

Storm Prey is the twentieth novel in the Lucas Davenport series. The book was originally published on May 18, 2010. The paperback edition contains 416 pages.

Lyle Mack and three of his associates plot to raid a pharmacy. During the robbery, however, an associate named Mikey kicks a pharmacist to death.

Lucas’ wife, Dr. Weather Karkinnen, who was present there to perform surgery, spots their car and is now an important witness in this case. Lyle Mack and his gang will try to destroy all evidence. Weather is in grave danger. Lucas and his team must act soon.

21) Buried Prey

Buried Prey

Buried Prey, originally released on May 10, 2011, is the twenty-first addition to the Lucas Davenport series. The book contains 450 pages.

When an old house in Minneapolis is demolished, the long-buried bodies of two girls covered in plastic are recovered. Lucas knows exactly how long these bodies have been there.

He remembers the incident of 1985, when the news of the disappearance of two girls was spreading all over the city. The police couldn’t find a clue, so they closed the case, but Lucas knew something was off.

Years later, he now has the chance to start over and investigate this case. But the bodies weren’t the only things buried in that ramshackle house. It was something more than that, and Lucas knows it.

22) Stolen Prey

Stolen Prey

John Stanford’s Stolen Prey is the twenty-second novel in the series. It was published in 2012. The paperback edition of the book contains 480 pages.

A heinous crime takes place in the town of Wayzata in Minnesota. The family of an executive vice president of a bank, including the husband, wife, and two daughters, are killed in cold blood.

Even the dogs lay dead. This murder appears to be worse than any other Lucas has seen before. As he and his team dive deeper into the case, more shocking truths are revealed.

23) Silken Prey

Silken Prey

John Stanford’s Silken Prey is the twenty-third novel in the Lucas Davenport series. It was published in 2013. The print length is 416 pages. The book is short but exciting.

Lucas is investigating a case in secrecy. The trails lead him to a man named Bob Tubbs who has mysteriously disappeared from his residence without a trace; worse, he hasn’t used his credit card for a while.

Lucas makes the case public by calling it a homicide investigation. Then there is this wealthy heiress named Taryn Grant with her own ideals.

She has the money and the people to do what she wants. With dirty politics getting involved in the case, this may be Lucas’ most interesting investigation ever.

24) Field of Prey

Field of Prey

Published in 2014, Field of Prey is the twenty-fourth and another blockbuster novel in the Lucas Davenport book series. It contains 421 pages.

Layton Carlson Jr. plans to lose his virginity to his girlfriend on the 5th of July in a remote farmyard in Red Wing, Minnesota. Upon reaching the location, he discovers a foul smell. He mentions it to a county deputy, and the next thing that follows is a police investigation in the farmyard. The cops discover a cistern filled with 15 skulls.

Lucas makes some shocking discoveries of his own. The victims must have been long dead, but the question is, how could someone have managed to kill 15 people and go unnoticed?

25) Rhymes With Prey: Lincoln Rhyme vs. Lucas Davenport (Short Story)

Rhymes With Prey: Lincoln Rhyme vs. Lucas Davenport (Short Story)

Rhymes with Prey is a short story from the famous collection titled Faceoff. Jeffery Deaver’s character Lincoln Rhyme and John Stanford’s Lucas Davenport must work together to solve a twisted murder case.

Detective Lily Rothenburg, Lucas’ old friend, asks him to help her with a secret case. They team up with the best forensic criminalist in New York City, Lincoln Rhyme, and his partner, Amelia Sachs.

The case involves the deaths of four young female Mexican immigrants. They suspect that a few corrupt cops must be behind the murders. But as the investigation progresses, they realize that things are not as they seem. Lily and Amelia must act as bait to lure the killer out.

26) Gathering Prey

Gathering Prey

Published on April 25, 2015, John Stanford’s twenty-fifth book in the thrilling Lucas Davenport series, Gathering Prey, focuses on underground sub-cultures. USA Today ranks Gathering Prey in the top hundred among all books published in 2015.

Lucas’ adopted daughter Letty returns home from college and answers the call of a woman traveler named Skye, her friend from San Francisco, who is worried that someone is murdering her friends.

She is hiding in North Dakota and wants Letty’s father, Lucas Davenport, to look for her missing companion. Lucas agrees to help her, and they follow in pursuit.

Further investigation leads them to a drug dealer named Pilate, who is en route to a subculture gathering. The trip will prove dangerous to Lucas and Letty, and it may change Lucas’ life forever.

27) Extreme Prey

Extreme Prey

The sequel to Gathering Prey and the twenty-sixth book in the series, Extreme Prey, was first published on April 26, 2016. The paperback edition of the novel contains 416 pages.

After the events of Gathering Prey, Lucas is no longer employed by Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Elmer Henderson, Lucas’ friend and Minnesota’s left-wing governor, invites him to a supposedly fun presidential campaign. But things get way more thrilling when they discover that an unknown man is intending to kill the governor and anyone who tries to stop him.

28) Golden Prey

Golden Prey

The sequel to Extreme Prey, John Stanford’s Golden Prey, is the twenty-seventh book in the series. The book was first published on 25th April 2017.  The hardcover contains 400 pages.

Lucas is now appointed as a U.S. Marshal. He decides to take up the case of holdman Garvin Poole.

Poole and his men rob the house of a drug cartel in Mississippi. They kill four members of the family and a six-year-old girl. Meanwhile, two people are working for the robbed drug cartel boss. They eliminate Poole’s parents to exact revenge on him.

Lucas has gathered every piece of information about Poole. But here’s the thing: Neither Poole’s men nor the cartel killers care about him. Things may turn ugly for Lucas soon.

29) Twisted Prey

Twisted Prey

Published on April 24, 2018, Twisted Prey is the twenty-eighth novel in the Lucas Davenport book series. The book contains 464 pages.

The twisted antagonist from Silken Prey, psychopath Taryn Grant, is back in business, and Lucas, now a U.S. Marshal with a wide scope of investigation, crosses paths with her.

According to rumors, Taryn has now found a seat in the U.S. Senate, and she has grown her connections. Lucas tries to pin her down. It may be difficult and more dangerous now, but for Lucas, it’s all worthwhile.

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30) Neon Prey

Neon Prey

John Stanford’s twenty-ninth book in the Lucas Davenport series was first published on April 23, 2019. The book contains 416 pages.

U.S. Marshal Lucas Davenport is asked to track down a minor law offender who has skipped bail. Upon receiving the search warrant, Lucas and his team start to investigate his house, but to their horror, a garden full of dead bodies is discovered.

What’s worse is that they find out that the criminal is a clever cannibal. The investigation soon escalates and turns into a search for a serial killer. But there are more dark and unexpected secrets that remain to be revealed.

31) Masked Prey

Masked Prey

The thirtieth book in the Lucas Davenport series, Masked Prey, was originally published on April 14, 2020. The hardcover contains 416 pages.

The story introduces us to an anonymous stalker lurking in the city. When a U.S. Senator’s daughter goes through her social media profile and finds a strange blog with her picture and name in it, an identified stalker who takes photographs of children belonging to U.S. politicians comes to light.

These photos are being uploaded to a right-wing website, where people are making disturbing comments.

The FBI gets involved, but the photographer cannot be tracked. Due to the FBI’s legal constraints, the worried Senators decide to take U.S. Marshal Lucas Davenport’s help.

32) Ocean Prey

Ocean Prey

Published on April 13, 2021, the thirty-first book in the Lucas Davenport book series, Ocean Prey, has acquired the top rank in the New York Times Bestseller list. The book contains 432 pages.

While fishing in the Atlantic, an off-duty coast guardsman spots suspicious activity in a nearby boat. Three guardsmen arrive to investigate but are killed.

The FBI is called in, but they do not give this case much importance. Lucas Davenport is asked to take up this case. He teams up with BCA agent Virgil Flowers to uncover the mystery behind the murders.

33) Righteous Prey

Righteous Prey

The thirty-second book in the Lucas Davenport book series, Righteous Prey, was originally published on October 4, 2022. The book contains 416 pages.

A bunch of vigilante killers who call themselves The Five have been tracking down and murdering criminals.

The Five are mysterious, deadly, resourceful, and rich. They kill criminals, make donations to charities through the dark net, and use Bitcoins to process online transactions to make themselves untraceable.

When the Five become active in the Twin Cities, Lucas and Virgil are asked to investigate. But the murders were well planned and executed. Lucas and Virgil must work together and capture these self-righteous criminals.

Pin this: Lucas Davenport Books in Order
Pin this: Lucas Davenport Books in Order