Rules of Prey

Rules of Prey

4.12 (54,467 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

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Product details

  • Hardback | 324 pages
  • 153 x 234mm
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Grafton
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0246136073
  • 9780246136077

Review Text

First-rate cat-and-mouse thriller - cop vs. serial killer - that's the fiction debut of a pseudonymous Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Games are the name of the game here, from the "rules' that self-styled "maddog" rapist/killer Louis Vullion, an attorney, leaves for the police (e.g., "Never kill anyone you know") after each of his Minneapolis kills to the lucrative computer war-games that tough hero-cop Lucas Davenport designs in his spare time. As a "player," Davenport sets out to catch Vullion by outwitting him - mostly by releasing false and infuriating information (for instance, that the cops think Vullion is impotent) through a dumb TV reporter who makes perfect cheese for the trap Davenport's setting. As Vullion and Davenport make their moves - the killer snuffing a young whore, then a cripple, and the cop mixing inspiration with dogged footwork and handling an overzealous media - author Sandford colors in a deep background for each: the killer with bis lonely, sterile house and nerdy ways, Davenport with his old friend who's a nun, his pregnant reporter-girlfriend, and his new flame, Carla Ruiz, who survived an aborted attack by Vullion. And if the action sometimes breaks into arrhythmia (a red herring about the false arrest of a suspect) or cliche, the action shifts into high gear when the cop's mousetrap snaps shut but misses the killer. Realizing he's been made, Vullion designs an elaborate vengeance-puzzle (the "stroke") that features Carla as the prize even as Davenport counters with a set-up (the "coup") to ice Vullion cold-bloodedly and with impunity. Neither as psychologically astute as Ridley Pearson's Undercurrents (1988) nor as flat-out terrifying as Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs (1988), but for ingenuity and sheer entertainment Sandford's first far outclasses most other recent serial-killer novels, marking him a thriller writer to watch. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

54,467 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 40% (21,782)
4 39% (20,977)
3 17% (9,398)
2 3% (1,504)
1 1% (806)
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