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|The Prey Series|
When the paperback for Hidden Prey came out, a free sampler was released with it. 70 pages long, it included the following "interview" with Lucas Davenport, written by Jim Poling at Berkley Books. The sampler also included the first three chapters of Hidden Prey, and chapters two and three of Broken Prey.
Jim Poling of the Berkley Enquirer sits down with seasoned Minneapolis cop, Lucas Davenport...
For fifteen years, Minneapolis investigator Lucas Davenport has been on the crime scene in this city, solving some of the most high-profile murders on record. When it was reported recently that a body had been discovered on the shores of Lake Superior, Davenport was called in to solve the murder. A controversial case, it has sparked interest across the globe, and now people are beginning to wonder how far-reaching this crime is, what its implications are, how Davenport plans to solve it, and, for that matter, just who Davenport is after all these years. I sat down with the venerable detective yesterday to get some answers.
Jim Poling: What's your official title?
Lucas Davenport: Chief Investigator for the State's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
JP: Some people call you a troubleshooter.
LD: Some people call me a troublemaker; I guess it depends on what some people are looking for.
JP: Is it true that you're an expert at mind games?
LD: Only if I win them.
JP: It's understood that you have a suspect already in what the media is calling the "Hidden Prey" case.
LD: Yeah, we have someone in custody. Carl Walther. Just a kid.
JP: What can you tell us about him?
LD: Sar far, just his name.
JP: What about the victim?
LD: I can tell you what I know so far. Russian sailor, found him on the shore of Lake Superior. Three holes in his head and heart. Rodion Oleshev. Might have some big connections, could be a spy. We're still investigating.
JP: Connections to...?
LD: Like I said, we're still investigating.
JP: This makes your fifteenth high-profile criminal investigation. Are you becoming jaded?
LD: Not at all. Unfortunately, every crime yields something all new whether it's with the victims, the crimes themselves, the killer. Maybe even me. I look at things differently now. But I don't want to get jaded. Ever. You know, one thing I've learned about this job is that people have a lot of different reasons to kill. And I've encountered them all... profit, jealousy, love, politics, pathology, revenge, you name it. I've followed it.
JP: And this one, the dead Russian on the docks of Duluth?
LD: We're looking into several possibilities: Walther's family, Communist spies... some old men with some very old grudges.
JP: I thought Communism was dead.
LD: That doesn't necessarily mean that all the old spies are dead too... which could lead to some very strange situations.
JP: So do you know something? What's the significance of the bullets?
LD: Kind of strange I guess. The bullets appear to be over half a century old. The significance? Can't tell you yet, and even if I could I'm not sure I would.
JP: You're getting some help from Russia. I spoke to the woman yesterday...
LD: Nadya Kalin.
JP: Close-mouthed, isn't she?
LD: She has reason to be. She doesn't owe you anything. She doesn't know you. She doesn't know if she can trust you. She doesn't even know if she can trust me.
JP: Can you trust her, Officer Davenport?
LD: Next question.
JP: You've tracked serial killers many times before
LD: I have, but this case, the "Hidden Prey" case, is different. We don't know that we're looking at a serial murder here.
JP: Maybe not, but you have a sspecialty in serial crimes.
LD: I suppose I do.
JP: Male and female.
LD: Dealt with them both.
JP: What are the major differences in hunting female killers as opposed to male ones?
JP: How so?
LD: In the caes of the female killers I guess you could say that the motives were more... personal.
JP: Clara Rinker?
LD: She was an assassin. Big difference.
JP: What about the women you worked with?
LD: That question is personal.
JP: You and Nadya Kalin seem to work well together.
LD: We're both just doing our jobs. I've said before that the "Hidden Prey" case is different. The implications are different. We're talking KGB.
JP: Do you have nightmares, Davenport?
LD: Bekker gave me a few, yeah.
JP: One of your first cases.
LD: One of the creepiest too, until that case last year. The man and woman found hanging in the woods.
JP: There are a lot of motives for murder, aren't there?
LD: Too many.
JP: I remember your very first case. The "Rules of Prey" murders.
LD: That was one very sick guy. Brilliant, too. Left the strangest notes with each victim.
JP: That was "Maddog," right?
LD: And he was. Never followed a real pattern. No motives. A real bitch to catch.
JP: Stepen King followed that case, didn't he?
LD: Yeah. Told me he "loved every minute of it."
JP: I was reading about another case coming up...
LD: The "Broken Prey" case.
JP: That's the one.
LD: Hits close to home, that one. Should have something on it for you soon.
JP: Sounds intriguing.
LD: Remember the question you asked me earlier about the mind games? Your readers should be ready to play. That's all I'm saying.
JP: Who's the victim?
LD: That's all I'm saying.
JP: Why are you smiling?
LD: Because I know something you don't.
JP: OK... well, just a couple more things here... I understand that you're running the Office of Regional Research at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Want to explain what that means?
LD: It means I fix shit for the governor?
JP: And your personal life?
LD: Is personal.
JP: Are you happy?
LD: Married and settled down, finally, with a lovely woman named Weather. Have a nine-month-old-son named Sam, and I take care of a young ward you may have read about. Name's Letty. I like to spend quality time on the couch now, drink a few beers, watch golf on television. Yeah, I'm happy. I deserve it. This is what I've risked my life for over the last fifteen years.
JP: Author Robert B. Parker said you're a cop they're going to remember.
LD: Hey, all I can say is that Parker's a man who knows what he's talking about.
27 February 2020
The Prey series, the Virgil Flowers series, the Kidd series, The Singular Menace, The Night Crew, Dead Watch, The Eye and the Heart: The Watercolors of John Stuart Ingle, and Plastic Surgery: The Kindest Cut are copyrighted by John Sandford. All excerpts are used with permission.
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