John Sanford – Night Prey (1994)

John Sanford introduces a thirty one year old, serial, psychotic killer Koop, who is a cat burglar, fond of his Camel cigarettes. He becomes obsessed with a Sara Jenson, to whose house, he goes for burglary. As he could not have her then, he searches for a woman to prey on and he finds one in a bookstore. He takes her home and does her and kills her very cruelly. This time he makes a mistake by craving the letter S J on one of her breast’s.

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Meagan Connell, an investigator with the BCA who is hell bent on finding this killer comes down to the crime scene where they find the dead body. Lucas and Sloan arrive and when they see the body Lucas points out that the killer should be strong enough to lift such a heavy victim and put her in the dumpster. He also points out the letter carved on her. Meagan seems satisfied with the kind of investigation Lucas does and wants him to stay on the case very badly.

The Chief of Police Rose Marie Roux, when she joined the Police Department as the Chief, she immediately recruited Lucas to rejoin in the team as a Deputy Intelligence Officer.

She calls Lucas and tells him to find the killer fast. Somewhere during the investigation, Lucas finds that the killing did not happen in their jurisdiction and when he informs Roux, she calls him off the case which angers Meagan. Meagan tips off the press about this and forces Roux and Lucas to work on the case again.

Bob Greave, an officer who earlier was officer nice moved to homicide and is investigating a suspicious death of an old lady in the appartment opposite to Jenson’s. The old lady dies in her sleep in a closed apartment and the neighbors suspect the owner of the apartment, even though there is no proof. Greave requests help from Lucas, who promises to help him once the current case is solved.

Meanwhile, Koop’s obsession with Sara Jenson, increases and he kills one more girl. He watches Jenson from an apartment opposite to her’s. He kills a resident there to get the keys to access the apartment and he settles on top of the AC on top of that building, convenient enough to watch Jenson without any disturbance.

One day he sees Jenson with her boss romantically involved and he gets angry and stabs the guy in broad daylight. This triggers Jenson to report the robbery in her apartment again and the killing that took place in the apartment opposite to hers.

Lucas sets a trap for Koop and he and Meagan stay hidden in the apartment. Koop is lured into the apartment, however, mid way he realises something is wrong and fights Lucas. Meagan manages to throw herself on him and they both together fall from the top of the building.

How Lucas and Meagan find Koop and how Lucas manages to find the killer of the old lady forms the crux of the novel. You need to read the novel to feel the intensity.

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