The Night Crew

( 29 )

Overview

Bestselling author John Sandford takes all the action and suspense of his acclaimed Prey novels and heads west to the dark gleam of L.A.?where the Night Crew works. A mobile unit of video freelancers, they prowl the midnight streets to sell to the highest network bidder. Murders. Robberies. High-speed chases. For them, it is an exhilerating life.

But tonight, two deaths will change everything.

A remarkable new character--and an ...

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The Night Crew

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Overview

Bestselling author John Sandford takes all the action and suspense of his acclaimed Prey novels and heads west to the dark gleam of L.A.—where the Night Crew works. A mobile unit of video freelancers, they prowl the midnight streets to sell to the highest network bidder. Murders. Robberies. High-speed chases. For them, it is an exhilerating life.

But tonight, two deaths will change everything.

A remarkable new character--and an extraordinary new thriller--by the author of the 'Prey' series. Anna Hatory runs the night crew. A Wisconsin farm girl on the streets of L.A., she and her small band of video freelancers roam the city in their truck from ten to dawn, looking for news: accidents, robberies, murders, anything they can sell to the local stations or networks. It's an exhilarating life . . . until the day two deaths shake their world. BOMC Main Selection.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
May 1997

Since John Sandford first captured the attention of millions of readers with his 1989 debut, Rules of Prey, he has written eight books in the bestselling Prey series, featuring Minneapolis cop Lucas Davenport. With each novel in the series, Sandford has proven himself a master of suspense, and his ability to combine rich human drama with edge-of-the-seat suspense has earned him widespread critical acclaim and an ever-growing audience.

Now Sandford presents his fans with a remarkable new heroine in an extraordinary new thriller, The Night Crew. A departure from the Prey series, The Night Crew boasts a whole new cast of characters — and a brand-new level of suspense.

Anna Batory runs the night crew. Small, dark-haired, shy but tough, a Wisconsin farm girl on the streets of Los Angeles, she roams the city with her small band of video freelancers in their truck from ten to dawn, looking for news — accidents, robberies, murders, demonstrations — anything they can shoot and sell to the local stations or the networks. It's an exhilarating life...until two deaths hit Anna close to home.

One night, when Anna's crew is filming a suicide jumper who falls five stories to his death, Jason, her fill-in cameraman, is strangely affected. The next morning, Jason is found murdered on a beach. At first the police think that the deaths are unrelated, but too many coincidences and clues keep linking the deaths and leading back to Anna, revealing the dark truth of an obsessed madman. Through a series of bizarre and harrowing events, ghostsofAnna's past are stirred up and revealed to be intrinsically linked to the lives of Jason and the suicide jumper. Anna's world becomes as cold and dangerous as the night itself.

John Sandford has written thrilling stories before, but nothing to top the extraordinary suspense and tension of The Night Crew. It is an intense ride, and it is Sandford's most chilling novel yet.

bncom

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Anna Batory, thin and "rail-hard" with "pale blue killer eyes," runs a small, independent TV-news night crew that peddles clips of crime scenes, fires, car crashes and other mayhem to local TV stations for a tidy profit. As always with Sandford ("Sudden Prey"), the novel opens on action, in this case the crew's taping of a lab break-in by animal-rights activists and of a drug-crazed teenager's jump from a hotel window. The crew moves from voyeurs of the action to unwilling participants when Anna's part-time cameraman is shot dead and mutilated and a friend of his is murdered in an equally grisly manner. It becomes increasingly clear that a psycho is stalking Anna and her crew. To nail him, she teams up with the divorced father of the jumper, lawyer and ex-cop Jake Harper. Anna, Jake and another crew member and his new girlfriend are all attacked by the psycho before the gory finale. The shift from his usual Minneapolis setting to L.A. brings out the noir in Sandford ("the real dawn, a great, unhappy light, like an old piece of newspaper being pushed over the mountains"), and the action and suspense are up to his usual high standard. But Anna is neither as appealing nor as complex as his customary hero, Lucas Davenport, and other characters also seem grey at times, their movements perfunctory. One can't blame Sandford for wanting to try something new after eight "Prey" novels since 1989 ("Sudden Prey", etc.), plus two thrillers under his real name, John Camp, but let's hope we haven't seen the last of Lucas. BOMC main selection
Library Journal
Sandford takes a break from his popular "Prey" series (e.g., Sudden Prey, LJ 4/1/96) with this tale about a freelance video crew that cruises the Los Angeles night in search of newsworthy mayhem.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425163382
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/1998
  • Series: Night Crew Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 171,764
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

John Sandford is the author of twenty-two Prey novels, most recently Stolen Prey; the Virgil Flowers novels, most recently Shock Wave; and six other books. He lives in Minnesota.

Biography

John Camp (better known to readers as thrillmeister John Sandford) began his career as a journalist -- first as a crime reporter for The Miami Herald, then as a general reporter, columnist, and features writer for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch. In 1986, he won the Pulitzer Prize for "Life on the Land: An American Farm Family," a five-part series examining the farm crisis in southwest Minnesota.

Camp's interests turned to fiction in the mid-1980s, and he took time off to write two novels which were ultimately accepted for publication: The Fool's Run, a techno-thriller featuring a complex con man known as Kidd, and Rules of Prey, a police procedural starring maverick Minneapolis detective Lucas Davenport. When both books were scheduled (by different publishers) to be released three months apart in 1989, Camp was persuaded to adopt a pseudonym for one. He chose his paternal grandmother's maiden name, "Sandford" for Rules of Prey, and the nom de plume has remained attached to all the books in the series.

Less Dick Tracy than Dirty Harry, hard-boiled, iconoclastic Lucas Davenport is a composite of the cops Camp met while working the crime beat as a reporter. Intelligent and street smart, Davenport is also manipulative and not above bending the rules to get results. And although he has mellowed over time (something of a skirt chaser in his youth, he is now married with children), he remains one of the edgiest and most popular protagonists in detective fiction. Fans keep returning to the Prey books for their intelligently hatched plots, high-octane pacing, and deft, fully human characterizations.

From time to time, Camp strays from his bestselling series for standalone thrillers (The Night Crew, Dead Watch), and in 2007 he introduced a new series hero, Virgil Flowers of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, who debuted in Dark of the Moon. Although he is no longer a full-time journalist, Camp contributes occasional articles and book reviews to various publications. He is also a passionate archaeologist and has worked at a number of digs, mainly in Israel.

Good To Know

Don't confuse John Sandford with John Sanford -- it's one of Sandford's pet peeves. Sanford (without the "d") is a Christian philosophy writer.

The Sandford pseudonym has caused a few problems for Camp in the past. At an airport once, his ticket was reserved under Sandford, while all of his identification, of course, had the name Camp. Luckily, he had one of his novels with him, and thanks to the book jacket photo, he was able to convince airport security to let him on the plane.

The books in Camp's less successful Kidd series (The Fool's Run, The Empress File, The Devil's Code, and The Hanged Man's Song) have been re-released under the Sandford pseudonym.

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    1. Also Known As:
      John Roswell Camp
    2. Hometown:
      St. Paul, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 23, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    1. Education:
      State University of Iowa, Iowa City: B.A., American History; M.A., Journalism
    2. Website:

Interviews & Essays

Before the live bn.com chat, John Sandford agreed to answer some of our questions.

Q:  What are the first lines of literature or poetry that come to mind?

A:  To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would fardels bear, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane,
But that the fear of something after death
Murders the innocent sleep,
Great nature's second course
And makes us rather sling the arrows of outrageous fortune
Than to fly to others that we know not of.

Q:  Describe one thing in life that you have done but are glad you never have to do again.

A:  Almost everything -- but I once solo paddled a canoe down the Mississippi from the source in northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Sixty-nine days of mostly misery, which I remember fondly, and would never, ever do again....

Q:  Can you recall the most sensuously indulgent meal you've ever had? What was it, and can you share the recipe?

A:  Nope. Not into food. Probably a candy bar someplace ugly. I have a deep-seated affection for Almond Joy -- despite their habit of being half-melted when you get them -- but I don't know why. Maybe therapy would bring it out.

Q:  How does journalism and writing novels compare? Are you still involved in journalism?

A:  The key difference -- and I mean this seriously, as it is the one problem that most journalists can't deal with -- is length. Most journalists are unable (for lots of different reasons, including boredom) to create a unified whole story that stretches out 100,000 words or more and takes months of actual writing time. I still do occasional journalism and would like to do more. I consider myself a newspaper guy on a long coffee break.

Q:  We have heard you are involved with an archaeological dig. How did you get started?

A:  Ah, my favorite subject. For the Internet-enabled, which I guess everybody here would be, check www.rehov.org for an extended rundown, with pictures, of the dig. I've had a lifelong reading interest in history and archaeology (most recent work read: the three-volume Byzantium by John Julius Norwich), and in fact majored in history and lit in college. I got serious about archaeology a few years back, went around looking at digs and sites, last year spent some hard time on a dig at Beth Shean in Israel, and now I'm involved in a heavy way with a new dig at a place called Tel Rehov, which is a half an hour by car south of the Sea of Galilee.

Q:  What is it like?

A:  It's very hot, dusty, butt-kicking work, and totally fascinating. Last year we cleared the iron age walls of Beth Shean, which are the very walls (well, okay, maybe) where the Philistines hung the bodies of King Saul and his sons after they killed them in a battle near Mt. Gilboa.... This year we've got a bit of a mystery on our hands: a very large, untouched tel, obviously the remains of a city, but a city we know hardly anything about. We surveyed it this spring, found pottery from the bronze through the Ottoman eras, which covers the better part of 3,000 years...great stuff. And we're looking for volunteers -- see the web site.

Q:  The Night Crew is clearly not a Prey novel. Why? Are you currently writing a Prey novel, or do you plan to do something else for a while?

A:  I am currently writing a Prey novel. The Night Crew was meant as a break after eight years of Lucas Davenport, but now I'm back, and this one feels pretty good. I don't know if I'll go back to the Night Crew again, but it is a possibility. I liked the Anna Batory character, and Creek, and I'm not sure I'm done with them.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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(11)

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(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2006

    Sandford....okay leisure reading

    Anna Batory is a witty, tough, ambitious video freelanceer who roams around the streets of L.A. looking for shots she could sell to stations offering the highest bid. One suspenseful night that involves 2 deaths and an animal-rights activists. After a drug over-dosed teen jumps off a balcony, it hits one of anna's cameramen hard and takes off early. He turns up dead on a beach the morning and there is no real leads. She meets up with former L.A. cop Jake Harper, who is the high school kid's dad. He and Anna find mysterious connections between Jake's son's death and the death of Anna's crewmen. They continue to find clues that bring them closer to the psychotic killer. The book was a decent read, the story was slow to start though. The complex plot is also kind of difficult to follow. The story uses the 'damsel in distress' style also, that is used in tv and books everywhere. The book seems like anyother, nothing unique about it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    Highly recommended

    While this book did grab my attention and hold it, I felt that it was not as gripping or as well paced and written as the books in the Virgil Flowers series or those in the Lucas Davenport series. Sandford is an extremely good writer, one of the best in his genre, but his female leading characters don't ring as true as his male lead characters. That said, an average John Sanford Novel is still better than most of the ones on the best selling lists.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    Not his best...even for early work.

    I love Sanford and I know this was an early one but I found too many mistakes in the plot. Too many unbelievable actions.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Hot 8 @ 8:00p.m. TOP THREE

    3)Lego House by:Ed Sheeran
    2)Mirrors by:Justin Timberlake
    1)Heart Attack by:Demi Lavato

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2012

    Amanda

    Name-Amanda LaEngle Age-16 Description-Tall, long blonde hair, stormy grey eyes that change color slightly depending on my mood, pale-ish skin with a sprinkling of freckles on my nose. Relationship Status-Single Extra-Is a demigod child of Athena and can turn into an owl at will. (An owl is Athena's animal/symbol)

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Dani

    Name: Danielle Connors. Age: 16. Apperence: tall, slim, pale, with dark green eyes and honey colored hair with black streaks and bangs covering her left eye. Random things: can do hand to hand combat, Goddess of Life and Death, and a vampire.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    Harley

    Name- Harley Quinnzel. Call me Harley. Age- 16 Appearance: Hair- Blonde and wavy. Reaches my elbows. Eyes- Turqoise. Height- 5"5 Relationship- Single. Hobbies- Anything romantic or with dark humor xD Yep. Group Status- Leader.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    Saph

    Name: Saph Jonas. Age: 16. Gender: Male. Hair color: Black. Eye color: Gold. Weight: 100 LBs. Hobbies: Fighting, Music, T or D, Sports, Partying. Relationship status: Single. Other info: My dads Hades, im god of souls, my wepons are a demon swotd Jolt and a demon scythe Pyro.
    ~Saph~

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    Really good

    Interesting premise & fast pace

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2002

    Follow Up?

    Does anyone know if there is a follow up to "Night Crew"?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 4, 2012

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