Night Dogs Mass Market Paperback – Apr 6 1999
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"Every June 15th out at North Precinct, 'A' relief and graveyard shift started killing dogs. The police brass and local politicians only smiled if they were asked about it, shook their heads, and said it was just another one of those old myths about the precinct. The cops at North Precinct called them 'Night Dogs,' feral dogs, wild and half-wild, who roamed the districts after dark. Their ancestors had been pets, beaten and abandoned by their owners to breed and give birth on the streets." That's the stately, carefully weighted language and metaphor that begins what James Crumley (The Last Good Kiss) calls "the best cop novel I have ever read." Of course, the "night dogs" are not only the roaming canines but also the people from the rougher neighborhoods of Portland, Oregon--most particularly the police who work out of North Precinct. Seen through the eyes of a patrolman named Hanson, a Vietnam vet who thought he had seen the worst the world had to offer over there but is proved wrong every day, the story at first seems episodic, unconnected. But gradually all the threads of anger and pain come together to create an unforgettable picture of urban angst. Author Kent Anderson, who was a Vietnam vet and a Portland policeman in the 1970s, says that some readers might find his book disturbing or offensive: "The truth sometimes affects people that way." Then he adds a chilling footnote: "Things are much worse now than they were in 1975." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
It is 1975, and Vietnam veteran Hanson, the hero of Anderson's first novel, Sympathy for the Devil (1987), is a street cop in Portland, Oregon. Through a series of increasingly disorienting episodes, he dispenses rough justice and doubtful order in the toughest and most degraded parts of the city. The stresses in post-Vietnam American society and Hanson's difficulty in resolving his experiences in combat lead him through some disturbing rites, as for instance the annual North Precinct feral dog hunt, in which officers compete to run over strays with their patrol cars. Drugs, guns, sex, and all the usual attractions of youth call to Hanson; eventually, the death of a close friend and mentor impels him to make his peace with life. Anderson's vision is undeniably powerful, but the relentless violence and dark atmosphere will put off the squeamish. Recommended for large public libraries. [First published in 1996 in a limited edition by Dennis McMillan Publications, this novel is being given a full national distribution by Bantam.?Ed.]?Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
-?Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
But this is not your typical cop-story or your run of the mill thriller. The language is brutal, the characters peculiar, the overall tone is murky, dark. This book is not for the timid. Hanson's motivations are disturbing, and the whole story has an abrasiveness to it that is not often found in suspense novels, where that final confrontation between good and evil is what keeps you turning the pages. The reader of NIGHT DOGS is not necessarily motivated by that imminent conflict with the antagonist, but the nagging wonder of whether or not Hanson will ultimately destroy himself. The showdown between good and evil is nullified because the line between the two has been erased and they have melded into one gruesome blur.
As an exclusive reader of thriller novels, this is the first that I have felt strongly enough about to write a review. The characters, not just Hanson but his supporting cast as well, will likely stick in your memory for some time. I have read a half dozen novels since finishing NIGHT DOGS, but Anderson's images remain as strong as ever. This is an important book. I recommend it highly to readers of all genres.
Most recent customer reviews
ok let me start by saying crime/mystery books are not my usual reading material. but all the rave reviews for this book along with the interesting subject matter led me to give it... Read morePublished on April 16 2004 by Karin S. Chenowith
Night Dogs takes you into the 70's where a lot of police where corrupt into the world of Hanson a vietnam war veteran whose thoughts are dark, disturbing, and ever more real. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2004
This continuation of Sympathy for the devil is a stand-alone novel that packs quite a punch in and of itself. Read morePublished on March 21 2003 by Kindle Customer
I'm ex-Army and now a police officer. I spent many years in the Army and at best found it okay. I like police work in all it's glory. Read morePublished on Nov. 1 2000 by Jeff Cordell
As an ex Army Ranger and current police officer I can see myself and my co-workers in this book. It does not get anymore real than this.Published on April 6 2000
Night Dogs caught me totally by surprise. I bought the book not knowing what to expect, and after I read the first 3 pages I knew I had found something unique. Read morePublished on March 27 2000 by Dan
It's okay, but nothing special. Michael Connelly hits very similar territory with more craft. Simply put, Connelly is more of a pro. Read morePublished on Dec 25 1999
I worked with Kent Anderson in North Precinct in 1975. Although the book is fiction, many of the stories have a ring of truth and the gut feelings he describes so well are real. Read morePublished on Dec 4 1999 by James Bellah
Great characters, gritty action, and the low life of the streets. Hanson, an ex-special forces Vietnam veteran is a cop on the streets in Portland Oregon in the mid 70s. Read morePublished on Nov. 9 1999 by Kenneth S. Smith