I read two to three books a week, mostly mysteries with the occasional nonfiction or literary selection tossed into the mix. How can you not love a book that keeps you up late into the night because you can’t put it down?

This situation seems to occur more and more frequently these days, perhaps because I’m retired and don’t feel compelled to turn out the lights at 10 p.m. Lately, I’ve found myself trying to keep my eyes open at midnight and beyond so that I can finish a book.

The latest mystery to keep me awake beyond my preferred bedtime was John Sandford’s “Twisted Prey,”  No.  28 in his Prey series. I couldn’t quite finish it that first night and had to stay up late one more night. I’ve read all of the Prey books with Lucas Davenport as the main character.  No. 29, “Neon Prey,” came out in late April, and 2019 marked 30 years since “Rules of Prey” came out. 

Sandford also has another series of 12 books starring Virgil Flowers, a minor character in the Davenport series, but I haven’t yet gotten hooked on those. Since I find the Davenport books so engaging, I probably should give the other series a try

I knew the Davenport series took place in chronological order, and that’s the way I’ve tried to read them, so I was surprised to read on the Sandford website that “people seem to read them out of order.” I prefer to see the characters in a series develop and dislike feeling like I’ve missed some vital happening in their lives.

Finding his website led me to read more about the author. I had no idea Sandford was a pseudonym for John Roswell Camp and that he’d won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1986. The man is prolific with 40 books published. Born in 1944, he has no plans to stop writing, though he says the Prey series may cease in two years.  

I knew that Mark Harmon of NCIS had starred in a made-for-TV movie as Lucas Davenport. I loved it and kept hoping there’d be more. I was disappointed to read there are no plans to make any of the other books into movies, even though the 2011 movie got high ratings.

I’m a sucker for intelligent and well-read characters who have a way with words, and Davenport fits the bill. He enjoys reading fiction and poetry. Though he’s a detective in the Minneapolis Police Department, he’s wealthy and drives a Porsche. To find out how he came by his money — legally, by the way — you’ll have to read the books.

If you like detective stories and you’ve never picked up a Prey book, I suggest you start at the beginning with “Rules of Prey.” I’m going to go out on a limb and predict you’ll be hooked. 

Kathy is a Sandy Springs resident. Find her books, “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch” and “The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday,” at the Enchanted Forest and on Amazon. Contact her at inkpenn119@gmail.com, follow her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/KathyManosPennAuthor/, and/or read her blogs at https://theinkpenn.blogspot.com.


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