Articles

Davenport, cop of the 21st century
Vasárnap Reggel
September 12, 2004
Translation by Dohi

American author John Sandford is signing his books in Budapest on Monday. His fictional Minneapolis cop, Davenport is almost as famous as Inspector Maigret or Lieutenant Columbo.
John Sandford, invited by his Hungarian publisher, József Laux (JLX Publishing House), arrives in Hungary on Sunday. He will be signing his books in Mammut and Duna Plaza on Monday and in Árkád and Lurdy Ház on Tuesday.
Sixteen Davenport books have been released so far, the 17th, Titkos préda just hit the streets.
Sandford began writing in the army, and it was the army that sent him to journalist school. He also worked in Korea and thus belonged to the few who managed to avoid Vietnam. Looking back he says he had lived in Florida and been a journalist for too long. "Totally burned out," he quit his full-time job as a journalist and began writing novels in 1996. His books were turned down in the beginning: one of them was found to be too realistic by the editor, another had the problem of being too far from reality. Yet, he did not give up writing, as if he had known that sooner or later publishers would stop rejecting his books. And so it happened. It got underway suddenly, all of his manuscripts were accepted and to this day 22 of his books had been released. Good and evil are easily distinguishable in Sandford's novels: the protagonist in the Davenport books is a cop from Minneapolis, who treats every case as if it was a personal matter and who is obsessed to solve the cases. Sandford says Lucas Davenport is a Clint Eastwood-type cop: "tall, rich, handsome, blue-eyed, drives a Porsche, fights, has a gun and is a playboy. This way it's not hard to work your way into the readers' bookshelves," Sandford supposes. Several plot twists in his books are taken from real life: as a journalist and writer he used to visit crime scenes on a regular basis. Writing is what makes Sandford tick: he sits at his desk from 10 am till dawn.