Book Review: John Sandford’s Mind Prey

Posted September 13, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: John Sandford’s Mind Prey

Mind Prey


John Sandford

It is part of the Lucas Davenport #7 series and is a detective mystery, mystery in Paperback edition that was published by Berkley on May 1, 1996 and has 354 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books in this series include Rough Country

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Rules of Prey, Shadow Prey, Eyes of Prey, Winter Prey, Silent Prey, Night Prey, Sudden Prey, Easy Prey, Chosen Prey, Mortal Prey, Naked Prey, Hidden Prey, Broken Prey, Invisible Prey, Phantom Prey, Wicked Prey, Storm Prey, Buried Prey, Silken Prey, Stolen Prey, Field of Prey, Gathering Prey, Dark of the Moon, Heat Lightning, Rough Country, Bad Blood, Shock Wave, Mad River, Deadline, Storm Front, Extreme Prey, Escape Clause, The Fool's Run, Deep Freeze, The Empress File

Seventh in the Lucas Davenport detective mystery series based in Minneapolis.

My Take

Sandford sets the story so we’ll empathize when the action heats up. A sub plot is that ring Davenport keeps bouncing around, slipping on and off his finger, rumors are rife and the betting hot, lol. Sandford is just plain mean to us with Weather vacillating over how much Lucas loves his job and if she can handle it. Lucas’ own concerns — exacerbated by his ladykiller past — keeps us on our toes as well. Will he or won’t he? What I love, however, is the times when Lucas realizes how he loves her and why. Not the usual approach guys have about a beautiful woman, but in how she makes him feel. The intrigue and passion.

I know the husband is the most likely to have done it, but I like George Dunn. Yeah, he behaved like a jerk, but I like the core of him. Andi is different from him, as adventurous in her field as George is in his, and I like her too. I like how she works with her kids. I like too that she and Grace work at escaping, how they plan, the role playing they endure to figure out how to survive.

Okay, yeah, I got why confidential records should be kept private and protected, however, I did enjoy how Lucas rolled right over Nancy Wolfe and her protests. It does create problems when they run across the huge number of patients who are abusing children — and none of them have been reported to the cops. I was fuming about this until later in the book when Elle passionately defends the reasons these shrinks are ignoring the law. And I hate to say that she makes an excellent point.

Gawd, reading how Mail thinks… he’s pathetic. And ya just know that psychopaths like him actually believe what they’re thinkin’. As difficult as it is to buy into this, Mail really believes he and Manette are “building a relationship”… *gag*… And then he starts to focus on Ice!

Then these “friends” of Andi’s. . . W. T. F.? They’re more concerned with their own pride than helping the cops rescue or at least have a chance at rescuing Andi and her daughters. I just don’t get that.

I’m not sure what happened around the whole Davenport Simulations trap and Mail’s actions to escape. It was messy and convoluted in how Sandford presented the timing and the various parties’ moves.

Ah, jesus, then there’s Genevieve… Thank god for the grins those last four paragraphs engendered… oh, yeah, lol.

The Story

A high-profile kidnapping of a psychiatrist and her kids has everyone hopping, turning over some nasty possibilities. When the kidnapper makes contact, Lucas gets his computer company involved with a bit of compelling fakery.

The Characters

Deputy Police Chief Lucas Davenport has a mean smile and an obsession with that engagement ring. He also has a feminine side. I know, right? Lucas and feminine just don’t seem to go together… Dr. Weather Karkinnen is a surgeon who operates almost daily. She and Lucas are living together now. Dr. George Howell, a plastic surgeon, is Weather’s mentor. And, ooh-boy, does it piss Lucas off. Sister Mary Joseph, a.k.a., Elle Kruger, is an old friend from Lucas’ childhood; today, she’s a psychologist. Davenport Simulations is Lucas’ gaming company, and it’s managed by Barry Hunt, who doesn’t much like Lucas. Ice is a Goth gamer, one of the techies at Davenport Simulations.

The cops
Detectives Marcy Sherrill (Mike is her husband) and Tom Black, her gay partner, take charge of the kidnapping. Hendrix is a born-again Christian. Detective Bob Greave, well, he means well. Rose Marie Roux is the chief of police for Minneapolis, more politician than cop. Danny Kupicek is an intelligence cop; Harmon Anderson is their computer expert; Frank Lester is deputy chief for investigation; Sloan is Intelligence; Del Capslock is Narcotics; Haywood; Loring; Franklin; and, Peterson are all involved. Officer Don Carpenter is with Cottage Grove PD. Bill Path and Jesus Martinez are bomb squad.

The FBI Agent-in-Charge is T. Confrad Haward; behind his back, his people call him Dumbo. Marie is thirty-two going on fifteen. Danny McGreff will monitor Dunn. Brunswick is a medical examiner’s investigator on the John Mail jump. Dr. L.D. Rehder works at the nuthouse where Mail was incarcerated.

Dr. Andi Manette is a psychiatrist who has separated from her contractor husband, George Dunn, who owns and operates North Light Development. Genevieve and Grace are their daughters. Tower Manette is Andi’s father, a very wealthy man who runs the Manette Trust and the Manette Foundation. His first wife, Bernie, died; now he’s married to Helen. Ralph Enright is Tower’s gofer lawyer.

Dr. Nancy Wolfe is Andi’s partner and not too forthcoming on the details. Unless she can screw up someone else’s life. It is a complementary partnership with Andi good at business and Nancy building reputations.

“Dr.” David Girdler calls himself a psychotherapist — and I reckon the psycho part is right. He’s more interested in promoting himself in any way than in being correct. Clarice and Thomas Bernet are the jerk-off, unwilling parents of the second witness, Mercedes. Thank god one witness has some smarts! Marcus Paloma runs Erewhon, a game store in Dinkytown. Cindy McPherson is a gamer and a student. Gloria Crosby is a gamer, murderess, and forger who’s not very good at reading people. Marilyn Crosby is her mother. Irv operates a small concern, Irv’s Boat Works, on Lake Minnetonka.

John Mail is a born-psychopath and a made-sociopath — fits in with the Word Confusion I did on :