Book Review of Mind Prey

Kartik Narayanan
2 min readAug 18, 2021

Mind Prey is yet another riveting serial killer story from John Sandford.

There is little to add to Mind Prey that I haven’t covered in earlier books. I will try to keep the specifics short.

The protagonist is creepy and totally nuts. The author provides some background for why he ended up that way. Unfortunately for him, there are plenty of people who enable his psychoses without providing help. He is smart and for some reason, wants to play a cat and mouse game with Lucas Sandford. I didn’t find any of this particularly interesting since the clues were either red herrings or obscure to the point where you stop caring.

Like a previous book ‘Winter Prey’, there is enough disturbing stuff here, especially if you are a woman. There is plenty of rape and violence. Again, while I think the scenes add to the tension, I just felt that there were too graphic, since the point was already communicated. I am starting to think that John Sandford is a bit misogynistic, with his cavalier treatment of women. (he does have pretty strong women characters though)

The sub-plot, involving the family, was totally unnecessary since it fizzled out in the end. It needed more effort and emphasis, if he wanted a more complex plot beyond the kidnapping and raping.

I think I am going to make a list of things that this series has been good at so far and copy/past it wherever needed. I just realised that I am not covering all the great aspects of the book and am instead focusing only on the differences from the others, which means that the book ends up being reviewed in a relative sense and not in an absolute sense. So here goes
- decent detective work as always. There aren’t any gotchas but rather the routine grind of police work that saves the day (with one or two believable intuitive leaps)
- Lucas is becoming less of an ass with each book. I am in two minds about it since this dilution of his character makes him less unique.
- the action is fantastic and there are places in the book where it feels like you are in the Fugitive or any other classic thriller.