John Sanford Books: What Reading Order Is Best?

I think the best reading order for John Sanford Books is:

  • The Prey Series (by published date)
  • The Singular Menance trilogy
  • Sanfords “Other Novels”
  • and only then give the Virgil Flowers series a try (by published date)
  • and The Kidd series last

John Sanfords Prey Series

The Prey Series is what John Sanford is most famous for.

The lead character is Lucas Davenport, a detective/investigator.

I propose reading this series first, and in publication order, because it’s interesting to see both the lead character and Sanfords writing style, evolve over time.

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

John Sanfords Virgil Flowers Series

The lead character is Virgil Flowers.

Interestingly, Virgil Flowers appears as a supporting character in some of the Prey Series novels.

  1. Dark of the Moon (2007) [Amazon]
  2. Heat Lightning (2008) [Amazon]
  3. Rough Country (2009) [Amazon]
  4. Bad Blood (2010) [Amazon]
  5. Shock Wave (2011) [Amazon]
  6. Mad River (2012) [Amazon]
  7. Storm Front (2013) [Amazon]
  8. Deadline (2014) [Amazon]
  9. Escape Clause (2016) [Amazon]
  10. Deep Freeze (2017) [Amazon]
  11. Holy Ghost (2018) [Amazon]
  12. Bloody Genius (2019) [Amazon]

John Sanfords The Kidd Series

The lead characters are Kidd, a computer genius and cat burglar, LuEllen.

Kidd appears in a few Prey books.

  1. The Fool’s Run (1989) [Amazon]
  2. The Empress File (1991) [Amazon]
  3. The Devil’s Code (2000) [Amazon]
  4. The Hanged Man’s Song (2003) [Amazon]

John Sanfords The Singular Menace trilogy

Co-authored with Michele Cook.

  1. Uncaged (2014) [Amazon]
  2. Outrage (2015) [Amazon]
  3. Rampage (2016) [Amazon]

John Sanfords Other Novels

  1. The Night Crew (1997) [Amazon]
  2. Dead Watch (2006) [Amazon]
  3. Saturn Run (2015) [Amazon]

John Sanfords Short Stories

  • “Lucy Had a List” (short story in “Murder in the Rough”, 2006)
  • “Rhymes with Prey” (short story in “FaceOff”, 2014, with Jeffery Deaver)
  • “Deserves to be Dead” (Short story in “MatchUp, 2017, with Lisa Jackson)

ALL John Sanfords Novels In Publishing Order

I’m providing this list just because I find it interesting to identify the years where John Sanford published more than 1 book (3 in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018) and to spot if he ever takes a year off (he doesn’t).

ld = Lucas Davenport, vf = Virgil Flowers, ki = Kidd, sm = Singular Menace, ra = random.

  1. Rules of Prey (1989) [Amazon] ld
  2. The Fool’s Run (1989) [Amazon] ki
  3. Shadow Prey (1990) [Amazon] ld
  4. Eyes of Prey (1991) [Amazon] ld
  5. The Empress File (1991) [Amazon] ki
  6. Silent Prey (1992) [Amazon] ld
  7. Winter Prey (1993) [Amazon] ld
  8. Night Prey (1994) [Amazon] ld
  9. Mind Prey (1995) [Amazon] ld
  10. Sudden Prey (1996) [Amazon] ld
  11. The Night Crew (1997) [Amazon] ra
  12. Secret Prey (1998) [Amazon] ld
  13. Certain Prey (1999) [Amazon] ld
  14. Easy Prey (2000) [Amazon] ld
  15. The Devil’s Code (2000) [Amazon] ki
  16. Chosen Prey (2001) [Amazon] ld
  17. Mortal Prey (2002) [Amazon] ld
  18. Naked Prey (2003) [Amazon] ld
  19. The Hanged Man’s Song (2003) [Amazon] ki
  20. Hidden Prey (2004) [Amazon] ld
  21. Broken Prey (2005) [Amazon] ld
  22. Dead Watch (2006) [Amazon] ra
  23. Invisible Prey (2007) [Amazon] ld
  24. Dark of the Moon (2007) [Amazon] vf
  25. Phantom Prey (2008) [Amazon] ld
  26. Heat Lightning (2008) [Amazon] vf
  27. Wicked Prey (2009) [Amazon] ld
  28. Rough Country (2009) [Amazon] vf
  29. Storm Prey (2010) [Amazon] ld
  30. Bad Blood (2010) [Amazon] vf
  31. Buried Prey (2011) [Amazon] ld
  32. Shock Wave (2011) [Amazon] vf
  33. Stolen Prey (2012) [Amazon] ld
  34. Mad River (2012) [Amazon] vf
  35. Silken Prey (2013) [Amazon] ld
  36. Storm Front (2013) [Amazon] vf
  37. Field of Prey (2014) [Amazon] ld
  38. Deadline (2014) [Amazon] vf
  39. Uncaged (2014) [Amazon] sm
  40. Gathering Prey (2015) [Amazon] ld
  41. Outrage (2015) [Amazon] sm
  42. Saturn Run (2015) [Amazon] ra
  43. Extreme Prey (2016) [Amazon] ld
  44. Escape Clause (2016) [Amazon] vf
  45. Rampage (2016) [Amazon] sm
  46. Golden Prey (2017) [Amazon] ld
  47. Deep Freeze (2017) [Amazon] vf
  48. Twisted Prey (2018) [Amazon] ld
  49. Neon Prey (2018) [Amazon] ld
  50. Holy Ghost (2018) [Amazon] vf
  51. Bloody Genius (2019) [Amazon] vf
  52. Masked Prey (2020) [Amazon] ld

Your Thoughts?

Are you a huge fan? Have you just begun reading the books?

Which order is best?

Have your say in the comments below.

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