Thursday, May 6, 2010

MIND PREY - John Sandford

Today I'm involved in John Sandford's DAYS OF PREY blog tour. His newest and 20th Lucas Davenport novel, STORM PREY, is due out May 18th, so in honor of this milestone, John Sandford is having a blog tour that's slightly different. All of the blogs involved in the tour are reading different books from the series, but we're all answering the same questions for each of the books. My book today is MIND PREY. After the questions, there are some additional fun things connected to the tour, so make sure you check it all out.

Mind Prey is the seventh book in the Lucas Davenport series, and it was first published in 1995.

  • What is Lucas doing when he first appears in the book?

Lucas arrives at the crime scene, where two detectives are waiting for a crime scene analyst to remove a shoe from under a car. It's evening and raining; Lucas was called away from dinner and the female detective doesn't have a hat or an umbrella. After Lucas gives the female detective a hat, he fiddles with a ring he is carrying in his pocket as the detectives fill him in on the crime details.

  • Give a sense of time and place.

As I mentioned above, the crime is being investigated during a rainy evening. The end of summer and the rain is cold. Lucas and the detectives are outside of a private school. The kidnap victims were accosted in the parking lot following parent-teacher conferences that evening.

  • Lucas' occupation or professional role.

In MIND PREY, Lucas Davenport is the Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief as well as the owner/founder of a software company.

  • Lucas' personal status.

Lucas is single in MIND PREY but the ring he is fiddling with when he enters the first scene is an engagement ring. He is contemplating asking his girlfriend, Weather Karkinnen, to marry him.

  • Lucas Davenport is a known clothes-horse; did you notice any special fashion references?

I actually didn't notice specific references to his clothing. If they were there, they were overshadowed by other elements of the books. What did stand out was his expensive car, a Porshe, and the three-carat, tear-shaped diamond engagement ring.

  • What was the crime/case being solved in MIND PREY?

A psychiatrist is kidnapped with her two daughters outside their school. The only clues Lucas has to find the three victims is the escape vehicle, a van, and a description of the t-shirt the kidnapper was wearing. It doesn't take long for the kidnapper to engage Lucas in a game of cat and mouse. No matter how close Lucas gets, the kidnapper manages to stay one step ahead.

  • Does the title, MIND PREY relate to the crime?

Very much so. The kidnap victim is a psychiatrist. Her assailant is a former patient (no worries, that's not a spoiler). And the entire plot is one big mind game.

  • Who was your favorite supporting character?

I was especially fond of Weather but I also really enjoyed Lucas' partner, Sloan. Both of them seem to lighten up the very serious, very somber Lucas Davenport.

  • What was your favorite scene or quote?

As I contemplated my response to this one, I could identify many little zingers that Sloan throws out throughout the novel that made me laugh out loud, but taken out of context, they don't make as much sense. Not only are they funny, but I think the are vital considering how dark this novel gets at times. Beyond that, my favorite scene would involve a spoiler, so if anyone would like to know it, you can e-mail me and I'll share, but I don't want to wreck it for anyone who is still planning to read MIND PREY.

  • How do you envision Lucas Davenport? If he were to be portrayed in a movie, what celebrity would play him?

Lucas' large stature is the most prominent characteristic for me. That's probably the one physical attribute I would make sure the actor possessed. And then the blue eyes. There seemed to be a lot of attention paid to his blue eyes. Russell Crowe would, therefore, probably be my first choice of celebrity for Lucas Davenport. He has the darker complexion as well. Russell Crowe is also very good at the strong, silent, contemplative role.

A very distant second might be John Travolta.

So, those are MY thoughts on MIND PREY. Since I'm a late-comer to the Lucas Davenport series, all you experts weigh in with your thoughts on my responses. How would you have responded for MIND PREY? Who would you want to play Lucas in a movie version of the series?

O.k., so there's more cool stuff to go along with this tour. Penguin set up this cool blog tour site that you should check out. You can read excerpts from the PREY books and find links to the other blogs on this tour.

Penguin is also providing me with a giveaway. If you complete the form below, you will be entered to win a paperback copy of MIND PREY plus an ARC of the new Lucas Davenport novel, STORM PREY. I will accept entries for this contest through next Friday, May 14th. This contest is open to residents in the U.S. and Canada (no P.O. Box addresses, please).

And last but not least, keep your eyes peeled here because you will see more of John Sandford before the month is over!

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Dru May 6, 2010 at 5:32 AM  

I've read all of his book and I look forward to reading the next in the "Prey" series.

Jenn's Bookshelves May 6, 2010 at 8:28 AM  

I totally forgot about the blue eyes! Russell Crowe is definitely a good match for him then!

L.J. Sellers May 6, 2010 at 10:37 AM  

John Sandford is terrific, and I'd love to win this book.

Christine May 6, 2010 at 11:58 AM  

MIND PREY was one of my favorites in Sandford's Prey series! I've read all but 2 or 3 of John Sandford's novels. I really enjoy his characters and their interactions with each other. Those are people I'd want to meet!

I think I can see Russell Crowe playing Lucas. Problem is I've got such a definite picture in my head of what Lucas looks and sounds like, it's hard to see anyone playing him; but I have that problem with most of my favorite characters. ;-)

trish May 6, 2010 at 1:24 PM  

Oh, love this review! The hardest part about this whole tour is that I think I want to read each book. LOL. Like I have time to read another 20 books!!

Thanks for being on this tour!

Naomi Johnson May 6, 2010 at 3:17 PM  

I'm with LJ - I'd love to win the new book.

librarypat May 6, 2010 at 8:37 PM  

Have read and listened to many of Sandford's Prey books and have enjoyed them all. This will be an interesting tour.

darbyscloset May 6, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

Hey Jen,
You know I am a huge fan of John/Lucas! I have to agree with Christine thou, there is no actor that I know of that could play eyes, tall, nice rear end, smart, coy, ladies man, sharp I have my own image of Lucas. Perhaps a no-named actor, one yet to be discovered would be best...Russell is to violent...Lucas is a lover!
I think you are going to enjoy getting to know Lucas! ;-*
I too would love to win "Prey 20"!!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Jen Forbus May 6, 2010 at 9:48 PM  


Russell Crowe has done violent, there's no doubt about that, but he's FAR more versitile than just violent. My favorite role of all time for him is A BEAUTIFUL MIND. I think he can pull off just about anything. A better description for Russell Crowe is "passionate." Whatever he does, he does well.

It's funny you say Lucas is a lover. Maybe that comes across more in other books. In MIND PREY he doesn't come across that way at all, in my opinion. As a matter of fact, he comes off as almost aloof in relation to Weather. And they mention at the beginning of the book that Lucas is almost a "player" - he's been with many women. It's funny how a snippet of a character from a long-running series can possibly be seen as completely different from the overall character.

Since I haven't read a lot of this series and have not developed that attachment to Lucas, I think it's easy for me to pick an actor to portray him. However, if you asked me to pick someone to portray Dave Robicheaux or Lincoln Perry, Walt Longmire or Elvis Cole, I'd probably fall flat. I have my own ideas of who they would be. Same thing for Ellie Hatcher. So, I know exactly what you're talking about.

Thanks everyone for stopping by and leaving comments today! Good luck to you all on the drawing!

angie May 6, 2010 at 9:48 PM  

Thanks for the giveaway!

Dinah Bee Menil May 7, 2010 at 1:39 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kathy d. May 8, 2010 at 3:28 AM  

Very good review. I have not yet read any books in this series.

However, I would like the t-shirt that says, "So many books, so little time."

How does anyone find time to read as much as one would like? Giving up sleep might do it, or work.

Jen Forbus May 8, 2010 at 7:02 PM  

Kathy, I would love to find a way to give up the day job and just read and blog. If I could get a housekeeper thrown in there, it would be even better! ;-) Oh, the reading I could accomplish!

Christine May 11, 2010 at 10:11 AM  

Darby and Jen-

I think I found an actor who could play Lucas once he's a little older - Chris Pine. We were watching Star Trek over the weekend; he played James Kirk. It occurred to me that once he's a little older, darken the hair and he might be able to pull off Sandford's Davenport character well enough to satisfy fans.

But, I must say that I do agree with you, Jen. There isn't a role that Russell Crowe can't pull off if he sets his mind to it.

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