Gathering Prey by John Sandford
Gathering Prey – A terrifying Lucas Davenport thriller from #1 New York Times–bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize–winner John Sandford.
They call them Travelers. They move from city to city, panhandling, committing no crimes—they just like to stay on the move. And now somebody is killing them.
Lucas Davenport’s adopted daughter, Letty, is home from college when she gets a phone call from a woman Traveler she’d befriended in San Francisco. The woman thinks somebody’s killing her friends, she’s afraid she knows who it is, and now her male companion has gone missing. She’s hiding out in North Dakota, and she doesn’t know what to do.
Letty tells Lucas she’s going to get her, and, though he suspects Letty’s getting played, he volunteers to go with her. When he hears the woman’s story, though, he begins to think there’s something in it. Little does he know. In the days to come, he will embark upon an odyssey through a subculture unlike any he has ever seen, a trip that will not only put the two of them in danger—but just may change the course of his life.
Praise for Gathering Prey
Sandford has always been at the top of any list of great mystery writers, and this book shows why. His writing and the appeal of his lead character are as fresh as ever. – The Huffington Post
There is no limit to John Sandford’s ability to keep new breath and blood flowing into his Lucas Davenport novels. This is a series you must be reading if you are not already. – Bookreporter.com
Sandford handles [the action] with his usual artful combination of suspense and humor. – Publishers Weekly
Review By carol irvin TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I’ve read all of the Gathering Prey books and this 25th one is among the very best of the series. I have been waiting for Letty, Lucas’s adopted daughter, to become more of a character in these books and with this one she does. She has a major supporting role to Lucas. We start off with Letty in California, about to leave for the summer as she’s just finished her freshman year at Stanford. She sees two young people who are Travelers and gets them some food. They tell her about a Charles Manson like gang operating out of California. The leader’s name is Pilate and he has about 20 followers. Letty goes home to her family in Minnesota. She left her cell phone number with the travelers and when she next hears from one of them that summer, Pilate’s gang is in full swing and headed in a north easternly direction across the country.
Pilate’s gang is as bad or worse than Manson’s and this draws Lucas into the case. Pilate is from L.A. and used to doing his crime binges there. We criss cross through South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as Lucas and Letty follow the gang.
I loved the UP part of the story especially. I’ve been to the UP in Michigan. You have to be incredibly hearty and hale to live there. There are all outdoors people. They all own a gun and know how to use guns. There is a huge amount of land comprising the UP with only 3% of the state of Michigan living there. This is not where you go to live if you are a wimp. Its summers are cool, when this story takes place, and its winters are brutal.
Added into this mix is a bunch of people called jugaloos who travel all around staging festivals where they don face paint, play music, hang out and a fair amount of dope is smoked. They are basically harmless but the gang likes following them around all of these states because you can hide easily among them once you get disguised to look like one of them.
This is a great story and I was really sad to see it end. I hope to see Letty again in the next book. She and Lucas are terrific together.
About the Author
John Sandford was born John Camp on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended the public schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. He then spent four years at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies in 1966. In 1966, he married Susan Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, a fellow student at the University of Iowa. He was in the U.S. Army from 1966-68, worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian from 1968-1970, and went back to the University of Iowa from 1970-1971, where he received a master’s degree in journalism. He was a reporter for The Miami Herald from 1971-78, and then a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press from 1978-1990; in 1980, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis.
From 1990 to the present he has written thriller novels. He’s also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art. He is the principal financial backer of a major archaeological project in the Jordan Valley of Israel, with a website at www.rehov.org. In addition to archaeology, he is deeply interested in art (painting) and photography. He both hunts and fishes. He has two children, Roswell and Emily, and one grandson, Benjamin. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007, and is greatly missed.