John Sandford Books In Order – Complete List of Novels

The John Sandford books in order include his most popular bestselling Lucas Davenport (Prey) series, with over 30 crime mystery novels. The series started with Rules of Prey, which was first published in 1989.

While Prey is John Sandford’s main series, he has also written additional books in the Virgil Flowers series, the Kidd series, The Singular Menace books, and his latest series featuring Letty Davenport, the adopted daughter of Davenport. All series are well worth reading.

New John Sandford Books

Judgement Prey
Judgement Prey (Prey #33), 2023

Lucas Davenport / Prey Books In Publication Order

The publication order of Prey books by John Sandford is the same as the chronological reading order.

  1. Rules of Prey (#1), 1989
  2. Shadow Prey (#2), 1990
  3. Eyes of Prey (#3), 1991
  4. Silent Prey (#4), 1992
  5. Winter Prey (#5), 1993
  6. Night Prey (#6), 1994
  7. Mind Prey (#7), 1995
  8. Sudden Prey (#8), 1996
  9. Secret Prey (#9), 1998
  10. Certain Prey (#10), 1999
  11. Easy Prey (#11), 2000
  12. Chosen Prey (#12), 2001
  13. Mortal Prey (#13), 2002
  14. Naked Prey (#14), 2003
  15. Hidden Prey (#15), 2004
  16. Broken Prey (#16), 2005
  17. Invisible Prey (#17), 2007
  18. Phantom Prey (#18), 2008
  19. Wicked Prey (#19), 2009
  20. Storm Prey (#20), 2010
  21. Buried Prey (#21), 2011
  22. Stolen Prey (#22), 2012
  23. Silken Prey (#23), 2013
  24. Field of Prey (#24), 2014
  25. Gathering Prey (#25), 2015
  26. Extreme Prey (#26), 2016
  27. Golden Prey (#27), 2017
  28. Twisted Prey (#28), 2018
  29. Neon Prey (#29), 2019
  30. Masked Prey (#30), 2020
  31. Ocean Prey (#31), 2021
  32. Righteous Prey (#32), 2022
  33. Judgement Prey (#33), 2023

Lucas Davenport Short Stories

Letty Davenport Series in Publication Order

  1. The Investigator (#1), 2022
  2. Dark Angel (#2), 2023

Virgil Flowers Series In Reading Order

  1. Dark of the Moon (#1), 2007
  2. Heat Lightning (#2), 2008
  3. Rough Country (#3), 2009
  4. Bad Blood (#4), 2010
  5. Shock Wave (#5), 2011
  6. Mad River (#6), 2012
  7. Storm Front (#7), 2013
  8. Deserves to Be Dead (#7.5), 2018 (with Lisa Jackson)
  9. Deadline (#8), 2014
  10. Escape Clause (#9), 2016
  11. Deep Freeze (#10), 2017
  12. Holy Ghost (#11), 2018
  13. Bloody Genius (#12), 2019
  14. Ocean Prey (#13), 2021
  15. Righteous Prey (#14), 2022
  16. Judgement Prey (#15), 2023

The Singular Menace Books in Publication Order

co-authored with Michele Cook

  1. Uncaged (#1), 2014
  2. Outrage (#2), 2015
  3. Rampage (#3), 2016

Series Edited and Anthologies in Publication Order

Standalone Novels and Short Stories in Publication Order

Books Written as John Camp

Kidd Series In Publication Order

  1. The Fool’s Run (#1), 1989
  2. The Empress File (#2), 1990
  3. The Devil’s Code (#3), 2000
  4. The Hanged Man’s Song (#4), 2003

Non-Fiction Books

  • The Eye and the Heart: The Watercolors of John Stuart Ingle, 1988 (a detailed examination of the life and art of John Stuart Ingle)
  • Plastic Surgery, 1989 (written with Minnesota plastic surgeon Bruce Cunningham)

Prey Books Overviews

Rules of Prey (1989): The first of the Lucas Davenport books by John Sandford introduces readers to the Minneapolis detective as he hunts down a sadistic serial killer who is terrorizing the city.

Shadow Prey (1990): In this second installment, Davenport is tasked with investigating the murder of a Native American woman, which leads him into a dangerous world of gang violence and political corruption.

Eyes of Prey (1991): When a wealthy businessman and his family are brutally murdered in their home, LD is called in to investigate. As he delves deeper into the case, he discovers that the family’s past may hold the key to solving the crime.

Silent Prey (1992): Lucas is up against a cunning killer who is targeting prostitutes in this fourth book of the series. As he races against time to catch the murderer, he must also contend with personal demons and a strained relationship with his girlfriend.

Winter Prey (1993): In this fifth book, Davenport travels to a small town in Wisconsin to hunt down a gruesome killer who has been preying on young women. As he delves deeper into the murder investigation, he realizes that the killer is much closer than he ever could have imagined.

Night Prey (1994): When a wealthy businessman is murdered in his home, Lucas is tasked with finding the killer. As he works the case, he discovers a network of dangerous criminals who will stop at nothing to protect their illicit activities.

Mind Prey (1995): In this seventh book, LD is faced with his toughest case yet when a psychotic killer takes a woman and her two children hostage. As the clock ticks down, Lucas must use all of his wits to outsmart the killer and save the hostages.

Sudden Prey (1996): When a group of professional thieves sets their sights on a wealthy couple’s home, Davenport is called in to check things out. As he races against time to catch the thieves, he must also confront a deadly enemy from his past.

Secret Prey (1998): In this ninth installment, Lucas Davenport is tasked with investigating the murder of a well-respected surgeon. As he delves deeper into the case, he discovers a web of lies and deceit that threaten to destroy everything he holds dear.

Certain Prey (1999): When a high-profile attorney is murdered, LD is called in to cover the case. As he races against time to catch the killer, he must also confront a dangerous adversary who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Easy Prey (2000): In this eleventh book, Lucas investigates the murder of a young girl who was caught up in a dangerous world of drugs and prostitution. As he delves deeper into the case, he discovers that the girl’s death is just the tip of the iceberg.

Chosen Prey (2001): When a series of murders rocks the city, Lucas Davenport is tasked with finding the killer. As he goes on, he discovers that the killer is targeting a group of wealthy businessmen and their families.

Mortal Prey (2002): In Mortal Prey Lucas Davenport is targeted by a deadly assassin who has been hired to kill him. As he races against time to catch the killer, he must also protect himself and his loved ones from harm.

Naked Prey (2003): In this fourteenth book, Lucas investigates the kidnapping of a wealthy businessman’s daughter. As he delves deeper into the case, he discovers a twisted plot involving politics and greed.

Hidden Prey (2004): When a prominent businessman is murdered in his home, Lucas Davenport is called in to work again. As he delves deeper into the case, he discovers a web of secrets and lies that threaten to tear apart the victim’s family and business empire.

Broken Prey (2005): Davenport is hunting for a brutal killer targeting young women in this sixteenth book of the series. As he tries to find clues, he discovers that the killer has a personal vendetta against him.

Invisible Prey (2007): When a prominent businessman’s daughter goes missing, Lucas is once again on the call. As he delves deeper into the case, he discovers a network of corruption and deceit that threatens to destroy everything he holds dear.

Phantom Prey (2008): In this eighteenth book, Davenport examines the murder of a wealthy businessman and his family. As he delves deeper into the case, he discovers a web of lies and deceit that leads him down a dangerous path.

Wicked Prey (2009): When a gang of robbers targets a political fundraiser, Lucas Davenport is called in to see what’s going on. As he delves deeper into the case, he discovers a deadly conspiracy that threatens to undermine the entire political system.

Storm Prey (2010): In Storm Prey Lucas Davenport is targeted by a dangerous criminal who is on the run from the law. As he races against time to catch the fugitive, he must also protect his family from harm.

Buried Prey (2011): Lucas Davenport revisits a cold case from his early days as a detective in this twenty-first book of the series. While investigating the case, he uncovers shocking secrets that threaten to destroy the lives of those involved.

Stolen Prey (2012): When a group of thieves steal a cache of guns from a private collector, Lucas Davenport is called in again. As he delves deeper into the case, he discovers a network of criminals who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Silken Prey (2013): Lucas Davenport checks out a political scandal involving a senator who is caught up in a web of corruption and deceit. As he races against time to uncover the truth, he must also confront a dangerous adversary who will stop at nothing to protect his secrets.

Field of Prey (2014): In Field of Prey Lucas Davenport is put on a case of a string of brutal murders that lead him to a small town in rural Minnesota. As he delves deeper into the case, he discovers a community that is hiding dark secrets.

Gathering Prey (2015): Lucas Davenport hunts down a group of dangerous nomads who are on a killing spree across the country. As he races against time to catch the killers, he must confront his demons and personal struggles.

Extreme Prey (2016): In this twenty-sixth book, Lucas Davenport is tasked to investigate a political assassination plot that threatens to upend the entire presidential race. As he races against time to stop the killer, he must also navigate the dangerous world of politics and power.

Golden Prey (2017): In this twenty-seventh book, Lucas Davenport has left his job at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to become a US Marshal. He is sent to Mississippi to track down a group of thieves who stole millions of dollars from a drug cartel.

Twisted Prey (2018): Lucas Davenport follows the clues to a political conspiracy involving a wealthy senator who is running for president. As he delves deeper into the case, he discovers a twisted web of lies and deceit that threatens to bring down the entire political system.

Neon Prey (2019): In this twenty-ninth book, Lucas Davenport pursues a serial killer who is targeting wealthy residents of Las Vegas. As he races against time to catch the killer, he must also confront a dangerous criminal underworld that will stop at nothing to protect their own.

Masked Prey (2020): Lucas Davenport checks out a group of extremists who are plotting to assassinate a senator’s daughter during a political convention. As he navigates the dangerous world of politics and security, he must also confront his own past mistakes and personal struggles.

Ocean Prey (2021): When suspicious behavior is spotted on a nearby boat, the Guardsmen who are investigating are all killed. When Davenport is called because he’s FBI and it’s on their turf, he has to work together with none other than Virgil Flowers to solve the case.

Righteous Prey (2022): Lucas and Virgil are working once again together to bring down the Five, a vigilante group of killers who target other criminals. But when the group becomes untraceable, it takes the duo investigator all it can to finally hunt them down and bring them to justice.

Judgement Prey (2023): Lucas and Virgil are called in to solve the difficult case of the murder of the federal judge Sand and his sons, when no one else can figure out what exactly went down.

Why Should We Read the Prey Books?

Do you have to read the John Sandford books in chronological order? My opinion is yes. Here are some reasons why you should consider reading the Prey series by John Sandford:

  1. Engaging Protagonist: Lucas Davenport is a complex and compelling protagonist who is easy to root for. He’s intelligent, witty, and has a unique perspective on the world that makes him stand out from other detectives in the genre. He’s not perfect, but his flaws make him relatable and human.
  2. Page-Turning Plots: John Sandford is a master at crafting fast-paced, suspenseful plots that keep readers on the edge of their seats. Each book in the series is a gripping page-turner that keeps you guessing until the end.
  3. Realistic Police Work: Sandford’s background as a journalist gives him a unique insight into police work, and it shows in his writing. The procedural elements of the books feel authentic and well-researched, which adds to the overall realism of the stories.
  4. Character-Driven Stories: While the plots are exciting, the characters drive the Prey series. John Sandford has a talent for creating well-rounded and memorable supporting characters who add depth to the stories and make them feel more realistic.
  5. Continuity Across Books: One of the benefits of reading a long-running series like the Prey series of books is the continuity across the books. As you read through the series, you’ll see characters evolve and grow and gain a deeper understanding of the world that John Sandford has created.
  6. Variety of Settings: While the series is set primarily in Minnesota, Sandford does an excellent job of exploring different parts of the state and using the settings to enhance the stories. From small towns to big cities, each book has a unique sense of place that adds to its overall atmosphere.
  7. Standalone Reads: While the books in the series follow a chronological order, each book in the Prey series is also a standalone story. You can jump into the series anytime and still enjoy the books without feeling lost or confused.

Overall, the popular Prey series by John Sandford is a must-read for fans of crime fiction. With engaging characters, page-turning plots, and a realistic depiction of police work, these books will satisfy anyone looking for a gripping and entertaining read, especially when continuity across a series is prefered.

John Sandford Biography – About the Author

John Sandford

New York Times bestselling author John Sandford is the pen name of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Roswell Camp, aka John Camp. He was born on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Sandford is known for his crime novels, many of which feature his iconic character, Lucas Davenport.

John Sandford was raised in Cedar Rapids and went on to attend the University of Iowa, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies. After graduating, he was a journalist for several newspapers, including The Miami Herald and The Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

In 1986, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for a series of articles about a farm family in Minnesota.

While John Sandford was still working as a journalist, he began writing fiction in his spare time. His first novel, Rules of Prey, was published in 1989 and introduced readers to Lucas Davenport, a tough, smart, and charming detective who works for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The book was an immediate success and was followed by more than 30 sequels featuring Davenport, including Silent Prey, Easy Prey, and Buried Prey.

John Sandford’s other popular series includes the Virgil Flowers series, which features a detective with a reputation as a ladies’ man. The first novel in the series, Dark of the Moon, was published in 2007, and the series has since grown to include over a dozen books.

Sandford’s books are known for their gripping plots, vivid characters, and realistic depictions of police work. He has a talent for creating page-turners that keep readers guessing until the end. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.

John Sandford is the chosen pen name of the author John Camp behind the Prey series, which has gained significant popularity among readers. The idea of using a pseudonym was suggested by his publisher, and after careful consideration, the author agreed. This decision allowed John Camp to keep his personal life separate from his professional writing career and created a distinct brand for his novels.

Initially, the author published the Prey series under his real name. However, as the series gained traction and readership increased, his publisher recommended the use of a pen name to create a stronger and more recognizable brand for his books. After deliberation, the author chose the name John Sandford as his pen name and has published all subsequent novels under this name.

In addition to his writing, John Sandford is a passionate conservationist and spends much of his time at his home in New Mexico, where he works to protect wildlife and the environment. He has been married twice and has two children.

John Sandford is a prolific and talented writer who has significantly impacted the world of crime fiction. His books are beloved by readers around the globe, and he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Like these books


  1. In Buried Prey Marcy Sherril is killed as a single woman. A couple of books earlier Marcy is married with a child. What happened?

    1. Does anyone know where both Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers titles are merged in reading order?

  2. Clive Owen = Lucas Davenport
    Josh Holloway = Virgil Flowers

    Love all Sandford characters including Kidd…but the early versions when they were single and had a titillated sex life 🙂
    Added spice to their characters and to the stories. Getting bored with Davenport’s Finnish midget surgeon wife…and Flowers big busted mini girlfriend expecting twins after 5 kids…really? I am no pervert and as old as Mr. Camp…but we can still remember 🙂 Maybe we can give Davenports oldest college age daughter a book of her own…

  3. I’m sorry but I can’t help it John Sandford is one of my favorite authors and 1 book per year is not good enough 🙂 🙂 🙂 yes he is older now and doesn’t have to work but he chose the life and he has many many many fans who crave a fix of Davenport or Flowers and all of his other anti-hero’s come on John …. you can do it 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. For pity’s sake, politics has been part of the series since the beginning of the BCA in the 1990s.

    I like how he brings lesser known characters back from obscurity. Kidd and LuEllen have been enjoyable in the Prey series. It was nice to see Sloan playing poker with the guys in Neon Prey, after disappearing for most of a decade.

  5. The problem as I see it for Sandford movies is who gets to play the main characters? No-one I presently see on the big screen can fit the bill. Using someone like Woody Harrelson (who’s way too old) would change Virgil forever and destroy his uniqueness. Virgil is not a drug addict or drunk. His character needs to be played by someone who understands what it’s like to actually live in rural MN/Iowa. Davenport? He’s cold, calculating, intelligent, obstinate, horny, fatherly, subtle, mean, lovable, easy to hate yet love. There are no arrogant boys in Hollywood who can play him, period. These are men folks, not left wing nuts who opine on things they think they understand. Virgil and Lucas would never live in Hollywood or even fit in. They’re too real! But maybe, just maybe the Coen Brothers could cast it correctly?

  6. When will the next Virgil Flowers novel be published? I love those books, and I can’t wait to read the next one.


  8. Waiting for Hollywood to make movies from John sanford books.
    I see woody harrelson playing Virgil flowers.
    Thanks for your excellence

  9. My first exposure to John Sanford’s books was “twisted prey”. Someone left this new paperback book I picked up at a generous food pantry in Wareham, Massachusetts
    I have many more I find at a used thrift shop in new Bedford,mass.
    Thank you John for keeping me entertained and learning new words too

  10. I just read my first John Sandford book storm pray. Loved it. I know all the places he’s talking about I grew up in West St. Paul Minnesota. Looking forward to reading more of his books.

  11. Yes, the Prey books should be read in sequence, with the Flowers books folded in. The Kidd books should be read somewhere in the middle, but before Golden Prey. All three series mesh.

  12. I have read all of the prey novels and some of Virgil Flowers loved them all. I am also from New Mexico

  13. I love the prey series and Virgil flowers series… I listen on audiobook do to being a Trucker and have listened to every book at least twice… PS bring Lucas back to the BCA

  14. I love all of the prey books especially the Flowers novels. In twisted prey it got political. I have yo ask “why”? Why alienate loyal readers? It made me sad to think John Sandford has gotten so big that he could live without some loyal fans.

  15. the prey books are outstanding, i live in Wisconsin so it makes it even more fun to read since i’ve been to most of the places he talks about.

    1. I would like to know why Kidd novels stopped? Very strong character story line. Was it because ending of hang mans song was too painful?

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