He calls himself maddog.
Never kill anyone you know.
By day he's an uninteresting research lawyer; by night, he is a cold-blooded serial killer.
Never have a motive.
He credits his past success to a list of rules by which he kills.
Never follow a discernable pattern.
At each of the crime scenes, he leaves a note written from cutout newspaper letters.
Never carry a weapon after it has been used.
The police find virtually no evidence that could be tied to the murdererbut there's a survivor.
Isolate yourself from random discovery.
The Minneapolis Police Chief puts Lieutenant Lucas Davenport on the case.
Beware of leaving physical evidence.
Can the maddog be caught before he kills again? The answer can be found in Sandford's classic thriller, Rules of Prey
This novel is the first installment in the Prey series that's so popular with the readers.
Lucas Davenport is a police lieutenant in the Twin Cities. He doesn't play by the rules, but his peers respect him. In his spare time, he develops role-playing games. The money from his efforts makes him known as the only cop who drives a Porsche to work.
He's a complex man who doesn't like to be tied down. This preference complicates his love life, as we see in the story. Lucas walks a fine line by bedding two women very close to the maddog case.
In Rules of Prey, the readers know the identity of the maddog from the beginning. We see him plan his moves up to the final attack. We watch Davenport as he gets closer to the killer, creating his own trap as well.
This is a match between two smart menhero versus villain. Brave the gory scenes and read about the ultimate battle between good and evil.
It's nice to start the Prey series with this book, but it isn't necessary. Sandford does a great job of reminding readers of events in the previous series installments.
Of course, because this is the first book, the character of Lucas Davenport is not fully developed. He's young, successful and popular with the ladies. He's also directly tied to the police department, which is not the case in the later novels. Lucas appears to be a young risk taker here. Whereas in the more recent installments, he's more of a wise, experienced investigator.
This is the first book John Camp wrote under the pseudonym John Sandford. Regardless of the name on the cover, this man is a gifted writer. The plots of the story, as well as the characters' intentions are all carefully plotted. What seems like a small action in the story, is really part of the whole. Sandford is known for these surprises.
Rules of Prey is an extreme thriller. The crimes are heinous, and the actions deviant. If you can't stomach blood and gore, skip this entire series. I suggest the McNally series by Lawrence Sanders or Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series instead.
For the rest of you who like to delve into the minds of a cold-blooded killer and the rogue cop who can stop him, pick up a copy of Rules of Prey and read the story that started it all for Lucas Davenport.