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Dead Watch (Night Watch)
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About the Author

John Sandford is the pseudonym of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Camp. He is the author of the Prey novels, the Kidd novels, the Virgil Flowers novels, The Night Crew, and Dead Watch. He lives in Minnesota.

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The dark underbelly of Washington bureaucracy, politics, and spin-control is the cynical setting for this political thriller. Jake Winter, a forensic "political fixer" of sorts, is called in to sort out the disappearance and murder of former Senator Lincoln Bowe. Did the Democratic Party's storm troopers send the Senator to his early demise, was it the electioneering of the Republican Party, or perhaps it was instead the Senator's gay lover? Jake must sort through the conspiracy-laced situation while dealing with a romance with the Senator's widow (begun just days after her husband's brutal murder). Everyone Jake uncovers has an agenda and is more than willing to lend a hand in order to have a better opportunity to manipulate the situation. The tale seems to have too many run-of-the-mill villains and political motives, rather than one truly driven and sinister scoundrel. Full of suspense, political intrigue, and violence, the story at times becomes convoluted but is still an enjoyable listen, enhanced by the clear and penetrating voice of narrator Richard Ferrone. Recommended. Denise A. Garofalo, Astor Home for Children, Rhinebeck, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

When Lincoln Bowe, a controversial Republican ex-senator, disappears at the start of this fast-paced thriller from bestseller Sandford (Broken Prey), the White House puts Jacob Winter, a veteran political operative with "an uncanny ability to navigate the world of bureaucracy," on the case. Bowe vanished shortly after making a fiery speech denouncing a rival, Arlo Goodman, the governor of Virginia and a demagogue who heads a volunteer militia group known as the Watchmen. When Bowe's burnt and headless corpse turns up, Winter is under even more pressure to discover those behind his murder. Aided by the dead man's attractive and possibly duplicitous widow, Madison, the fixer follows a trail of corpses and deception that suggests the killing may have been a staged piece of theater intended to derail Goodman's ascent to the presidency. Readers interested in a quick diverting romp without much gravitas will enjoy this, but serious Beltway fiction junkies might prefer their political thrillers to be a little more plausible. 500,000 announced first printing. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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