Top 10 John Sandford Books You Must Read

Top 10 John Sandford Books You Must Read Feature image

Have you ever heard of John Sandford? You might have come across his books at least a few times if you’re a reader. There is no doubt that John Sandford is one of the most well-liked authors of the past 100 years, having achieved both economic success and critical praise. Here’s a list of some fantastic John Sandford books you must know about!

John Sandford, one of the best crime novelists, is known for his humor. It can be found in his books, especially Virgil Flowers. The early Davenport novels, in my opinion, had too many diversionary elements, such as the detective’s favorite rock music and jokes, but Sandford and his fans found them entertaining. Virgil Flowers, Davenport’s sidekick, became a symbol of Sandford’s sense of the absurd as he appeared in his second, avowedly comedic series, which he then began.

Sandford, whose full name is John Roswell Camp, was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on February 23, 1944, in the United States of America. A well-known American novelist and former journalist, Sandford. He has a Pulitzer Prize for his work and has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.

There’s so much to talk about this fantastic author and his books. Keep on reading further to know more!

10 Awesome John Sandford Books You Should Know About

1. The Fool’s Run

The Fool's Run | John Sandford Books

Full Title: The Fool’s Run

Author: John Sandford

Genre: Adventure fiction

Publishing Date: 1989


Kidd is a computer genius, a visual artist, and a career criminal. He loves LuEllen, and she is his favorite criminal accomplice. They are engaged in advanced corporate warfare using cutting-edge technology. This time, a military sector corporation has hired them to conduct computer sabotage on one of its rival companies.

Kidd and LuEllen stand to gain millions if they are successful. It’s a pain you’ll never forget. One wrong move results in a life sentence. As the takedown proceeds, everything goes as expected. But when the ultimate con artists find themselves on the receiving end of the ultimate con, their string of victories becomes a noose.

2. Rules of Prey

Rules of Prey | John Sandford Books

Full Title: Rules of Prey

Author: John Sandford

Genre: Mystery

Publishing Date: 1989


The murderer known as the “maddog” is both insane and very brilliant, terrorizing the Twin Cities. He relishes murdering for its own sake and setting up complex roadblocks to confuse the cops. Each deft move he makes is another source of satisfaction.

However, when the brilliant Lieutenant Davenport—a devoted officer and the worst nightmare of a serial killer—is brought in to take on the investigation, Maddog suddenly has a foe worthy of his brilliance.

3. Winter Prey

Winter Prey | John Sandford Books

Full Title: Winter Prey

Author: John Sandford

Genre: Mystery

Publishing Date: 1993


The Iceman, a serial killer driven to conceal his heinous footprints in blood, is Lucas Davenport’s most tenacious adversary. As we anticipate another attack from the Iceman’s razor-sharp corn knife, Sandford once more manages to make the tension almost intolerable.

The “Winter Prey” events occur in the freezing, snowy north. The wilds of rural Wisconsin are the ideal setting for the terrifying chills inflicted by the Iceman, a killer who knows every move Lucas makes and is an unstoppable, coldly brilliant madman. Listen as Lucas Davenport takes on his most difficult challenge while turning up the heat.

4. Mind Prey

Mind Prey | John Sandford Books

Full Title: Mind Prey

Author: John Sandford

Genre: Suspense

Publishing Date: 1995


When psychiatrist Andi Manette and her two young daughters left the parent-teacher meeting, it was raining. She was preoccupied and failed to notice the red van parked next to her or the door opening as they hurried to their vehicle. However, she did see the voice from the past and the hand reaching out to her. The Manette family left after that.

After several hours had passed, deputy chief Lucas Davenport realized this would be one of the worst cases he had ever worked on as he stood in the parking lot holding a pink-stained shoe. He presses the attack with a sense of urgency brought on by dread, while Andi Manette, who is being held captive by an obsessive person, is doing the same in a remote farmhouse. She is aware of the man who has abducted her and her daughters and that there is a weakness in his defenses.

5. Phantom Prey

Phantom Prey | John Sandford Books

Full Title: Phantom Prey

Author: John Sandford

Genre: Fiction

Publishing Date: 2008


He presses the attack with a sense of urgency brought on by fear, while Andi Manette, who is being held captive by an obsessive person, is doing the same at a remote farmhouse. She is aware of the guy who has abducted her and her girls and that there is a weakness in his defenses.

However, the girl is nowhere to be found, dead or alive, and the widow becomes genuinely alarmed. She asks a doctor she knows by the name of Weather Davenport to ask her famous husband, who is a big deal with the police, to become personally involved.

Lucas enters grudgingly, but after a second, Goth is fatally slashed in Minneapolis, and he begins to push himself. But the hints don’t make sense. The young Goth who keeps resurfacing and vanishes are another.

Who is she? Where is she from, and more importantly, where does she go when she disappears? And why does Lucas keep having the uneasy feeling that something else—something genuinely terrible—is going on?

6. The Empress File

The Empress File | John Sandford Books

Full Title: The Empress File

Author: John Sandford

Genre: Mystery

Publishing Date: 1991


Darrell Clark, then fourteen, was running home from school one hot summer night in Longstreet, Mississippi, thinking about two things. The ice cream he couldn’t wait to eat and an algorithm he was developing to create fractal terrain in real time on his Macintosh computer.

The ice cream was discovered in the paper bag on the ground next to Darrell by the police, who shot him in the back after mistaking him for a purse thief. They would never know computers or the events they had just started. A group of black people under the leadership of Marvel Atkins believe it is time to take action when the expected cover-up occurs.

The municipal government must be disbanded. Marvel, the superhero with amazing liquid eyes, connects with Kidd via Darrell’s computer and accepts missions that may be a little outside the bounds of the law. She lays out the goal, but he comes up with the strategy.

The city attorney, council, and mayor are all corrupt. Drug dealing is centered at the firehouse, and the recreation director steals money like algae from the community pool. Duane Hill is the dogcatcher/enforcer who uses Dobermans to further his agenda. Kidd will merely identify the flaw in the system and exploit it until the city collapses like a house of cards. Kidd appreciates the tarot because it challenges him to think differently and try out novel notions.

Is it LuEllen, his confederate and occasionally bed partner? Alternatively, how about Mayor Chenille Dessusdelit, whose aspirations are as vast as the Mississippi? Or Marvel herself? Kidd is aware that idealism may be extremely, extremely harmful.

7. La Proie de l’instant

La Proie de l'instant

Full Title: La Proie de l’instant

Author: John Sandford

Genre: Mystery

Publishing Date: 1995


Candy, a nasty female bank robber whom Lucas Davenport’s men have been after for months, resists capture when they finally catch up with her. She is killed in the ensuing gun battle, and Davenport’s nightmare begins. Because her friends and husband—a profoundly violent man who promises to exact just retribution—are even worse than she was. To ape what they did to Candy, he will first identify the perpetrators before killing those closest to them.

So it starts. One officer’s husband is shot and killed. At work, a man’s wife is ambushed. When a third attempt is repulsed, Davenport realizes the pattern. He pursues the killers with an urgency fueled by rage and terror, working feverishly to find them before they can strike again or start targeting Davenport’s loved ones. But he might already be too late in this attempt.

8. Dead Watch

Dead Watch

Full Title: Dead Watch

Author: John Sandford

Genre: Political fiction

Publishing Date: 2006


Virginia in the early morning, and a woman is evading capture. Former senator, her husband has been gone for days. Kidnapped? Murdered? She is unsure but believes she understands who is involved and why. She is the next, too. A cell phone call in Washington, D.C., hours later.

The White House chief currently requires Jacob Winter of staff. Winter, his chief investigator and a former Army Intelligence officer is quick and decisive, but he has never encountered a situation like this.

The disappearances are horrible, but Winter realizes there is much worse to come when the blackened body turns barbed-wired to a tree. And there will be soon enough. There are powerful forces at work willing to go to any lengths to accomplish their goals. Inter will need to employ all of his abilities not only to win but also to survive. The country will work as well.

9. Golden Prey

Golden Prey

Full Title: Golden Prey

Author: John Sandford

Genre: Crime Fiction

Publishing Date: 2017


Lucas no longer works for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension but for the U.S. Marshals Service, and with unique scope, as a result of some compelling people whose lives he rescued. He chooses his own cases regardless of what they are or where they take him. This time, though, they have led him into serious difficulties.

A drug cartel counting house in Biloxi, Mississippi, is looted, and five deaths, including a six-year-old girl, are found in the aftermath.

Suitcases full of cash are also missing. As cartel assassins, including one known as the “Queen of home-improvement tools,” fight with Davenport to discover the Dixie Hicks shooters who toppled the counting-house, the case that Davenport accepts swiftly gets out of hand.

Since Davenport is just another big target to them, neither the cartel killers nor the holdup men give a damn about whose lives he may have saved as things get ugly fast.

10. Deep Freeze

Deep Freeze

Full Title: Deep Freeze

Author: John Sandford

Genre: Suspense

Publishing Date: 2017


In this “New York Times” bestselling thriller by John Sandford, class reunions are a time for memories—good, unpleasant, and, as Virgil Flowers is about to discover, occasionally lethal. Trippton, Minnesota, is a place that Virgil is a little unfamiliar with. A woman has been found dead, frozen in a block of ice.

A few years ago, he looked into the corrupt—and it turned out, murderous—local school board, and now the town is back in his sights with more unsettling news.

It could have something to do with a high school class from 25 years ago. There will soon be a midwinter reunion. Virgil tightens his coat and starts digging through years’ worth of traumas, disputes, and hatred.

One thing becomes increasingly clear to him throughout the process. The adage that high school can be murderous is accurate.

Conclusion | Top John Sandford Books You Should Know About

Here is a list of some fantastic works by John Sandford. These books span a range of genres, including science fiction, young adult, and his trademark action thrillers. I hope you enjoyed reading about John Sandford’s books, as I know I indeed did.

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