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Publisher's Summary

Through 21 novels featuring Lucas Davenport, Kidd, or the razor-edge world of the Night Crew, John Sandford has been writing brilliantly suspenseful, consistently surprising thrillers filled with rich characters and exceptional drama.

But Dead Watch sets a whole new level.

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

Hours later in Washington, D.C., a cell phone rings. The White House chief of staff needs Jacob Winter now. His chief investigator and an Army Intelligence veteran, Winter knows how to move quickly and decisively, but he's never faced a problem like this. The disappearances are bad, but when the blackened body shows up barbed-wired to a tree, Winter knows there is much worse to come. And soon enough, there is. Large forces are at work, determined to do whatever it takes to achieve their ends. Winter will have to use all his resources not only to prevail but also to survive. And so will the nation.

©2006 John Sandford; (P)2006 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., and Recorded Books, LLC. All rights reserved. Penguin Audio is a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Sandford...displays an insider's knowledge of political infighting and couples it with his skill at creating memorable characters working through the maze of a diabolical plot." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Political Thriller

This isn't your usual John Sandford "Prey" mystery. You might think it was written by a different man -- and it's great! Unlike many political thrillers, this one is easy to follow -- there are conspiracies and surprises -- but you never feel as though you got lost in a maze. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good whodunit.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jackie
  • San Antonio, TX, United States
  • 05-29-06

Great paced

All I can say is I hope this is not the last we see of Jake Winter. This character has the makings of another Lucas Davenport. The story is fast paced and draws you in from the beginning. I was never dissapointed except at the end when it was over. I wanted more.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • PismoPat
  • Central Coast of California
  • 06-23-06


One of Sandford's best. A great departure from the Prey books. Well written, easy to follow, likable hero, enough twists, but not too many, and good insight to Washington insider strategy. Excellent plot line. You don't have to be a Sandford fan to enjoy this book.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Scott
  • Lafayette, CA, United States
  • 06-07-06

another Riveting Sanford book

Every book of John Sanfords Ive listened to have been execellent, great Narration, Story and enough twists and turns to keep you entertained.

This book is no different. I think the book took a little longer than his others to get interesting but since this is a new character he needed to spend more time developing the characters.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Ed
  • Saint Augustine, FL, United States
  • 03-10-17

Nearly as good as the Prey series

Listened to the Night Crew by Sandford and was somewhat disappointed. So I didn't start this listen with great expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. Jacob Winter is a character I wouldn't mind in a series. The late senator's wife was very unlikeable and Sanford could drop her if he'd prefer. Given what we're learning about the swamp in D.C. (and government in general), this storyline was very believable. Bring Jake back.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Nina
  • Arlington, VA, USA
  • 06-27-06

Not yet Lucas Davenport

I'm spoiled by the early Lucas Davenport stories. And they certainly began to deteriorate in later years, so it's probably good that he's starting a new character.

Maybe it was the harsh Minnesota winters, but Davenport seemed a much more dramatic and compelling character to me. This is a very good story, but lacks the darkness of the Davenport character which made him both good at his job and a fascinating mind to listen to.

Hope this gets better...........Sandford's early "Prey" series are some of the best thrillers ever.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura
  • EVERETT, WA, United States
  • 02-10-14

Look forward to the next book

I listened to the Audible audio version of this book. I was hesitant based on some less favorable books, but I'm glad I gave it a chance. I liked it. This isn't a detective story, not really, as unlike Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowrs, Jake Winter is not a detective, but it is a murder mystery. What makes Dead Watch different is that the hero of our tale is an investigator/fixer in Washington DC with connections to the President's office. I thought it made for an interesting setting. I found the politics and intrigue facinating. I look foreard to more books in this series.

I did find Jake Winters himself a little lacking. He seemed very similar to Sandfords other characters. While I find Sandfords characters pretty much cut from the same cloth, I like the basic wireframe he bases them all on. And, Jake is no exception except he comes without the nuances and intricacies that make Sandfords other characters into real, well rounded, flawed people. I hope Jake develops more in subsequent books. With a little more oersonality and a good flaw or two, his story would be 5 stars.

I also thought the narrator did a great job!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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John Sanford is truly gifted! Plot and characters keep you entertained till the very end.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Boring, boring, boring

How did this book get 3 1/2 stars? Let me set the picture for you, the main character is a "forensic bureaucrat". Yes, seriously! The characters are not engaging, there is all kinds of behind the scenes "plotting" there are tons of characters that you meet for 2 minutes then who are referenced throughout the rest of the book and you can barely remember who they are and the plans that the protagonist comes up with are far fetched and kind of silly but they still work perfectly. This book is 90% boring dialogue and 10% boring "action". Read some of the Prey books by John Sandford but save yourself agonizing hours with this one.

14 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I am a fan of John Sanford's novels but this one was boring and predictable. The story line was easy to figure out where it was going and the characters just plain boring. The political intrigue was a nice new idea but for me at least, it was nothing shocking or unknown. Can't recommend this one.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful