John Sandford Books

John Sandford is the best selling author of many novels, ranging in genre from thriller, mystery, young adult, science fiction, and non-fiction. After being a reporter in the Army, he became a reporter for two papers for almost twenty years. He said that after working as a reporter in St. Paul for a short time, he found that there was very little that could happen to report on and got burnt out on it. So he started writing fictional stories to try and start another career. He has not entirely quit journalism, he still writes a few articles for certain things. He was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa. He was born on February 23, 1944. He was married to his wife, Susan Lee Jones from 1966 until her death in May of 2007; she died of breast cancer. Together, they had two kids (Roswell and Emily), who have three kids of their own. He would remarry in 2013 to Michele Cook, who is a screenwriter and journalist. They live together in New Mexico and Wisconsin.

Sandford has spent most of his career writing the “Prey” series. And he has also written the “Kidd” series, the “Virgil Flowers” series, and the “Singular Menace” trilogy (with wife Michele Cook). The “Prey” series, “Kidd” series, and “Virgil Flowers” series all take place in one universe, because the three lead characters detective Lucas Davenport (“Prey” series), computer expert/ artist Kidd (“Kidd” series), and Virgil Flowers (“Virgil Flowers” series) have all appeared in the ‘Prey” series. Virgil Flowers started out as a character in the “Prey” series, and when he became popular, Sandford started writing novels with him as the main character. He has also written some stand alone novels (including one with Ctein) and some non fiction books.

Order of John Sandford Standalone Novels

Order of Kidd & LuEllen Series

# Read Title Published
1 The Fool's Run 1989
2 The Empress File 1991
3 The Devil's Code 2000
4 The Hanged Man's Song 2003

Order of Lucas Davenport Series

# Read Title Published
1 Rules of Prey 1989
2 Shadow Prey 1990
3 Eyes of Prey 1991
4 Silent Prey 1992
5 Winter Prey 1993
6 Night Prey 1994
7 Mind Prey 1995
8 Sudden Prey 1996
9 Secret Prey 1998
10 Certain Prey 1999
11 Easy Prey 2000
12 Chosen Prey 2001
13 Mortal Prey 2002
14 Naked Prey 2003
15 Hidden Prey 2004
16 Broken Prey 2005
17 Invisible Prey 2007
18 Phantom Prey 2008
19 Wicked Prey 2009
20 Storm Prey 2010
21 Buried Prey 2011
22 Stolen Prey 2012
23 Silken Prey 2013
24 Field of Prey 2014
25 Gathering Prey 2015
26 Extreme Prey 2016
27 Golden Prey 2017

Order of Singular Menace Series

# Read Title Published
1 Uncaged 2014
2 Outrage 2015
3 Rampage 2016

Order of Virgil Flowers Series

# Read Title Published
1 Dark of the Moon 2004
2 Heat Lightning 2008
3 Rough Country 2009
4 Bad Blood 2010
5 Shock Wave 2011
6 Mad River 2012
7 Storm Front 2013
8 Deadline 2014
9 Escape Clause 2016
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The chronological order of all John Sandford novels in each series are the same as the publication order of them.


John Sandford is a Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist (he was nominated for another in 1980). He won the prize in 1986 for articles that he wrote about a farming family over the course of a year. Ten years later, he wrote a follow up story on the farming family to talk about what they had been up to since he stopped documenting their life.

He also won the the Distinguished Writing Award of the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1985


There have been two made for TV movies made from his works. The first one was in 1999 called Mind Prey. it featured Eriq La Salle as Lucas Davenport. The other made for TV movie was Certain Prey, which came out in 2011. This one starred Mark Harmon as Davenport.


John Sandford has written some great novels in his time, but some have stood out more for fans. Two of the books that Sandford is most known for are “Certain Prey” and “Eyes of Prey”. Two of his most known villains are found in these two books; and would later get their own sequels to conclude their arcs.

Certain Prey: introduces readers to villain Carmel Rinker. She would later appear in “Mortal Prey”. Readers feel sympathetic (and even like her, in some cases) towards her because she was raped and later took care of the man who raped her. She is a villain because she is a killer. Over the course of the events in “Certain Prey”, she becomes friends with a lawyer. Of the reviews on Amazon, 63% of them were five star reviews.

Eyes of Prey: This one features villain Dr. Bekker (who would return in “Silent Prey”). Unlike Rinker, Dr. Bekker is not someone fans like. He has been compared to Hannibal Lecter for the way that he kills his victims. Davenport, after working some nasty cases, is not quite a hundred percent to solve the case, that starts out with a woman being murdered. The only clue that Lucas can work with at the beginning is that a troll looking man with a scarred face was seen near the crime scene. Of the reviews on Amazon, 66% were five star reviews.