Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book Review - Dead Watch by John Sandford

John Sandford is mostly known for his popular "Prey" series of books, featuring the main character Lucas Davenport. His book Dead Watch was first published in 2006 and countless reviews have been written about his departure from the Prey - series of books.

From John Sandford's web site the synopsis reads as follows:

Late afternoon, Virginia, and a woman is on the run. Her husband, a former U.S. Senator named Lincoln Bowe, has been missing for days. Kidnapped? Murdered? She doesn't know, but she thinks she knows who's involved, and why. And that she may be next.

Hours later, a phone rings in the pocket of Jacob Winter. An Army Intelligence veteran, Winter specializes in what he thinks of as forensic bureaucracy. Congress, the Pentagon, the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security – when something goes wrong, Winter kicks over rocks until he finds out what really happened. The White House is his main client, and the chief of staff is on the phone now.

If Bowe isn't located soon, he is told, all hell will break loose.

What Winter doesn't realize is – all hell will break loose anyway. And he will be right in the middle of it. Large forces are at work, men determined to do whatever it takes to achieve unprecedented ends. Before the next few days are out, Winter will discover he has to use every one of his resources not only to prevail... but just to survive.

And so will the nation....

This is a gripping suspense novel, which engages the reader from the first paragraph, forcing the reader to 'live' with the characters. Sandford portrays Jacob Winter as a man with strength, but also weaknesses, making it easy for the writer to identify with his character. Avid readers of the Prey-series of books by John Sandford will not be disappointed. He once again succeeds in writing gripping fiction to satisfy any taste.

Dead Watch will also provide novice writers with excellent examples of how to handle the shift in point of view from one character to the next, how to build suspense and mystery and how to use words with maximum effect. Sandford manages to describe a character in one paragraph, wasting no words and painting a clear picture of the description of the character, the emotions the character feels and setting the character is in.

An excellent read for entertainment and educational purposes.

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