Looking for a list of John Sandford books in order? We’re here to help!
John Sandford has written numerous best-selling novels and is a name synonymous with excellent crime writing. His best-known series of novels features the character of Lucas Davenport, a Minneapolis detective who regularly finds himself caught up in murder investigations.
Before we jump into the list of John Sandford books in order, though, let’s learn a little more about the man himself.
Who is John Sandford?
Iowa writer John Sandford is best known for his two series, Lucas Davenport/Prey, and his spin-off, Virgil Flowers. John Sandford is a pseudonym for John Roswell Camp. After his publisher requested a pseudonym to publish the Prey series, he chose to use this pen name.
Camp published all his novels under John Sandford after the Lucas Davenport stories became popular. Rules of Prey was John Sandford’s 1989 debut hit. Since then, there have been more than 20 sequels.
John Sandford Books In Order Of Publication
In this list of John Sandford books in order, we’ll divide each section by series and list each of the books in their order of publication.
Lucas Davenport Books in Order
- Rules of Prey (1989)
- Shadow Prey (1990)
- Eyes of Prey (1991)
- Silent Prey (1992)
- Winter Prey (1993)
- Night Prey (1994)
- Mind Prey (1995)
- Sudden Prey (1996)
- Secret Prey (1998)
- Certain Prey (1999)
- Easy Prey (2000)
- Chosen Prey (2001)
- Mortal Prey (2002)
- Naked Prey (2003)
- Hidden Prey (2004)
- Broken Prey (2005)
- Invisible Prey (2007)
- Phantom Prey (2008)
- Wicked Prey (2009)
- Storm Prey (2010)
- Buried Prey (2011)
- Stolen Prey (2012)
- Silken Prey (2013)
- Field of Prey (2014)
- Gathering Prey (2015)
- Extreme Prey (2016)
- Golden Prey (2017)
- Twisted Prey (2018)
- Neon Prey (2019)
- Masked Prey (2020)
- Ocean Prey (2021) (Virgil Flowers Team-Up)
Letty Davenport Series
- The Investigator (2022)
Virgil Flowers Books in Order
- Dark of the Moon (2004)
- Heat Lightning (2008)
- Rough Country (2009)
- Bad Blood (2010)
- Shock Wave (2011)
- Mad River (2012)
- Storm Front (2013)
- Deadline (2014)
- Escape Clause (2016)
- Deep Freeze (2017)
- Holy Ghost (2018)
- Bloody Genius (2019)
- Ocean Prey (2021) (Lucas Davenport Team-up)
Kidd & LuEllen Books
Singular Menace Books with Michele Cook
John Sandford Books in Order – Standalones
John Sandford Books in Order – Non-Fiction
- The Eye And The Heart (1988)
- Plastic Surgery (1989)
John Sandford Books in Order – Anthologies
Summary of the Lucas Davenport Books in Order – First 15 Books
Now that we’ve listed out the John Sandford books in order, let’s take a closer look at his primary work. The Prey series is an action thriller that follows Minneapolis police detective Lucas Davenport.
We’ve provided a brief summary about each book in case you need a refresher or are interested in learning more about the books.
Rules of Prey
The “maddog” murderer who is terrorizing the Twin Cities is two things: Insane and extremely intelligent. He kills for the pleasure of it and thoroughly enjoys placing elaborate obstacles to keep the police befuddled.
Each clever move he makes is another point of pride. But when the brilliant Lieutenant Lucas Davenport, a dedicated cop and a serial killer’s worst nightmare, is brought in to take up the investigation, the murderer suddenly has an adversary worthy of his genius.
Never get involved with a cop: Lieutenant Lucas Davenport has been warning women for years, but now he finds himself on dangerous ground with a policewoman named Lily Rothenburg, on assignment from New York to help investigate the murders.
Both have previous commitments, but neither can stop, and as their affair grows more intense, so too does the mayhem surrounding them, until the combined passion and violence threaten to spin out of control and engulf them both.
Together, Lucas and Lily must stalk the drugged-out, desperate world of the city’s meanest streets to flush out Shadow Love – not knowing they are now the objects of his deadliest desires.
Eyes of Prey
Lieutenant Davenport’s sanity was nearly shattered by two murder investigations. Now he faces something worse.
Two killers, one hideously scarred, the other strikingly handsome, a master manipulator fascinated with all aspects of death. We are looking into the dark mirror of Davenport’s soul.
This is the case that will bring Davenport back to life. Or push him over the edge.
His guards slain, the brilliant, insane pathologist of “Eyes of Prey” flees to New York, there to continue his research into aspects of death. Carefully, Michael Bekker conducts his experiments, searching the eyes of his dying victims for what they can reveal. But the mounting body count is causing an uproar in the city.
In desperation, the police reach out for the man who knew Bekker best, but when Lucas arrives, he finds unexpected danger as well. For Lily Rothenburg, the policewoman whose intense affair with Lucas has never completely faded, is there too.
Now, consumed with her own investigation of a group of rogue killers who could be inside the police department, she draws Lucas into her orbit again, until their hunts merge, their twin obsessions driving them ever closer to the edge…and then over.
It is winter in the remote, dark Wisconsin woods. But the chill in the local sheriff’s bones has nothing to do with the weather. The extravagance of the crime is new to him.
The murdered man, woman, and child; the machete-like knife through the man’s head; the ashes of the fire-consumed house spread over the ice and snow.
In desperation, the sheriff turns for help to the reclusive lawman he’d heard had a cabin up here, and with reluctance Davenport agrees, but it is a decision he will soon have reason to regret. For this is a kind of criminal new to him, too.
As he sifts through the ashes of the case itself, other crimes, shocking to his carefully hardened shell, emerge, and it becomes clear that there is an evil in these woods, an evil at once alien to him and closer than he can imagine…and against which even his skills may not prevail.
After a two-year break, Minneapolis detective Lucas Davenport is back on the force. As Deputy Chief.
His first problem is acerbic state investigator Meagan Connell, who is determined to prove a link between several particularly brutal attacks on women. The more Davenport looks into it, the more he suspects that Meagan is right to fear the worst.
Somewhere out there, spying on his unknowing victims at their most intimate moments, lurks a killer of unusual skill and savagery – and he’s only just getting warmed up.
It was raining when psychiatrist Andi Manette left the parent-teacher conference with her two young daughters. She was distracted and barely noticed the red van parked beside her, barely noticed the van door slide open as they dashed up to their car. But she did notice the hand reaching out for her and the voice from out of the past.
And then the Manette family was gone.
Hours later, deputy chief Lucas Davenport stood in the parking lot, a blood-stained shoe in his hand, the ground stained pink around him, and knew that this would be one of the worst cases he’d ever been on.
With an urgency born of dread, he presses the attack, while in an isolated farmhouse, Andi Manette does the same, summoning all her skills to battle an obsessed captor. She knows the man who has taken her and her daughters, knows there is a chink in his armor, if only she can find it. But for both her and Davenport, time is running out.
It begins with a death and ends with one.
For months, Lucas Davenport’s men have been tracking a vicious woman bank robber named Candy, and when they finally catch up with her, she does not go quietly. In the ensuing shoot-out, she dies – and Davenport’s nightmare starts.
For her associates are even worse than she was, particularly her husband, a deeply violent man who swears an appropriate revenge: First he will find the names of those responsible; then he will kill those nearest and dearest to them, just the way they did Candy.
So it begins.
The husband of one officer is shot and killed. The wife of another is ambushed at work. When a third attack is thwarted, the pattern becomes clear to Davenport, and with an urgency born of rage and terror, he presses the hunt, desperately trying to track down the killers before they can strike again, before they can reach out for Davenport’s own loved ones. But in this effort, he may already be too late.
The company chairman lay dead in the woods, his orange hunting jacket punctured by a bullet at close range. Around him stood the four executives with whom he had been hunting, each with a reason not to be sorry about the man’s death.
A classic murder mystery, it would seem: The kind where the detective gathers everyone together at the end and solves the case. But Lucas Davenport knows it’s not going to be that easy.
There are currents running through this group, hints and whispers of something much greater than the murder of a single man. Some time soon, unless he could stop it, there would be other deaths – and Davenport can’t help but wonder if maybe the final death might be his own.
Attorney Carmel Loan is beautiful, intelligent, ambitious – and used to getting what she wants. When she becomes infatuated with fellow barrister Hale Allen, she isn’t going to let a little thing like his being married get in the way.
So, through the contacts of an ex-client, she hired professional killer Clara Rinker to get rid of Allen’s wife. Smart, attractive Rinker is the best hitwoman in the business – but things go wrong, and the shooting of a witness, a cop, brings DI Lucas Davenport into the case.
Carmel Loan and Clara Rinker team up to clean up the loose ends – which includes getting Davenport off their backs by whatever means necessary.
In life she was a high-profile model. In death she is the focus of a media firestorm that’s demanding action from Lucas Davenport. Especially as one of his own men is a suspect in her murder.
But when a series of bizarre, seemingly unrelated slayings rock the city, Davenport suspects a connection that runs deeper than anyone has imagined – one that leads to an ingenious killer more ruthless than anyone had feared.
An art history professor and writer and cheerful pervert, James Qatar had a hobby: He took secret photographs of women and turned them into highly sexual drawings.
One day, he took the hobby a step further and…well, one thing led to another, and he had to kill her. A man in his position couldn’t be too careful, after all. And you know something? He liked it.
Already faced with a welter of confusion in his personal life, Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport decides to take this case himself, hoping that some straightforward police work will clear his head, but as the trail begins to take some unexpected turns, it soon becomes clear that nothing is straightforward about this killer.
The man is learning as he goes, Lucas realizes, taking great strides forward with each murder. He is becoming a monster – and Lucas may have no choice but to walk right into his lair.
Years ago, Lucas Davenport almost died at the hands of Clara Rinker, a pleasant, soft-spoken, low-key Southerner, and the best hitwoman in the business.
Now retired and living in Mexico, she nearly dies herself when a sniper kills her boyfriend, the son of a local druglord. While the boy’s father vows vengeance, Rinker knows something he doesn’t: The boy wasn’t the target – she was – and now she is going to have to disappear to find the killer herself.
The FBI and DEA draft Davenport to help track her down, and with his fiancé deep in wedding preparations, he’s really just as happy to go – but he has no idea what he’s getting into.
For Rinker is as unpredictable as ever, and between her, her old bosses in the St. Louis mob, the Mexican druglord, and the combined, sometimes warring, forces of U.S. law enforcement, this is one case that will get more dangerous as it goes along. And when the crossfire comes, anyone standing in the middle won’t stand a chance.
Lucas Davenport’s old boss, Rose Marie Roux, has moved up to the state level and taken Lucas with her. She’s created a special troubleshooter job for him on the cases that are too complicated or politically touchy for others to handle.
In addition, Lucas is married now, and a new father, all of which is fine with him: He doesn’t mind being a family man. But he is a little worried. For every bit of peace you get, you have to pay — and he’s waiting for the bill.
It comes in the form of two people found hanging from a tree in the woods of northern Minnesota. What makes the situation particularly sensitive is that the bodies are of a black man and a white woman, and they’re naked.
“Lynching” is the word that everybody’s trying not to say – but, as Lucas begins to discover, in fact the murders are nothing like what they appear to be, and they are not the end of it. There is worse to come – much, much worse.
Six months ago, Lucas Davenport tackled his first case as a statewide troubleshooter, and he thought that one was plenty strange enough. But that was before the Russian got killed.
On the shore of Lake Superior, a man named Rodion Oleshev is found shot dead, three holes in his head and his heart, and though nobody knows why, everybody – the local cops, the FBI, and the Russians themselves – has a theory. And when it turns out he had very high government connections, that’s when it hits the fan.
A Russian cop flies in from Moscow, Davenport flies in from Minneapolis, law enforcement and press types swarm the crime scene – and, in the middle of it all, there is another murder.
Is there a relationship between the two? What is the Russian cop hiding from Davenport? Is she a cop at all? Why was the man shot with fifty-year-old bullets?
Before he can find the answers, Davenport will have to follow a trail back to another place, another time, and battle the shadows he discovers there – shadows that turn out to be both very real and very deadly.
Final Thoughts On John Sandford Books In Order
I hope you’ve had a great time reading John Sandford books in order and that this information has helped clear up any confusion surrounding their publication order. If not, or if you have any other questions, drop them in the comments below.
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