Winter Prey Summary
by John Sandford

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Winter Prey

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Lucas Davenport had intended to get away from police work whenhe settled in a remote cabin in the Wisconsin woods. In previousadventures, he had been forced to kill; now he makes a livingwriting computer games. Even in his new, isolated home, however,he finds violent crime.

The opening of WINTER PREY is described through the eyes of “theIceman,” who is plotting the deaths of the LaCourt family. Hewants a printed copy of a photograph that he believes they have, aphotograph from an underground sex magazine that shows him nakedwith an adolescent boy named Jim Harper. When the LaCourts do notturn over the photograph, he kills them and burns their house,hoping to destroy the incriminating picture. He had already killedHarper for sending the picture to the magazine.

The police from the small town where the LaCourts lived call inLucas Davenport, formerly of the Minneapolis police department, forassistance. He is soon deputized and given control over theinvestigation. Very quickly, he becomes romantically involved withWeather Karkkinen, the medical examiner. When she is attacked,Lucas fears that his involvement with her has made her a target. As it turns out, the Iceman thinks that she can identify him fromthe photograph and therefore wants her eliminated as a potentialwitness to his crime.

Most of the novel consists of description of the policeinvestigation, with the Iceman’s responses and actionsinterspersed. Those actions include attacks on potential witnessesand informants, which the reader sees through the Iceman’s eyes. The Iceman’s identity is not disclosed until near the climax. Oncehe is discovered, a thrilling chase ensues. Throughout thisadventure, Sandford lives up to his reputation for providing tensedrama and intricate plots.