Readers interested in mysteries, thrillers and adult fiction are the intended audience for John Sanford's Prey series. The market demographic for the books leans towards affluent, well-educated women.
John Sanford designed Lucas Davenport, the central character of 26 Prey novels as of 2015, to be a wealthy, intelligent, rule-breaking detective. In earlier Prey books, Davenport was an unapologetic ladies man. In recent books, Davenport is moving towards committed relationships as both the character age and the author age.
Sanford is well-known for his calculated construction of powerful villains, always on the crazy side of normalcy. He creates strong female villains, researching gender differences in relation to violence and crime. In his life as the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Camp (Sanford is a pseudonym), he spent over a month in prison interviewing killers.