Pecially considering that the story
doesn t really hit its stride until 150 pages in Night Dogs is a crime t really hit its stride until 150 pages in Night Dogs is a crime written over 20 years ago set in a period 20 years before that yet it doesn t really seem dated Yes lots of forensic advances have taken place over the last 40 years that shape how police work is now performed but the personalities and uirks of the law enforcement personnel
and everyday folks are what really drive the action There are many uniue aspects of Kent Anderson s 2nd book in his series that make it such a great one The main character Hanson is a guy who doesn t undergo a typical character development seuence in the novel You learn who he is by what he does what he s thinking about before after and during what he s doing and though a few flashbacks to his previous life as a Special Forces soldier during the war in Vietnam The book is almost entirely episodic and follows Hanson in his role as a cop in the Portland ghetto after his return from the war He has a tough beat and a great partner One theme involves a detective on the force who doesn t like Hanson and is trying to his best to get him out of the Department Although this is a book without a traditional plot that s one thread that follows through to the endThe 70s were definitely a different era No DNA no video no social media lots of paper paperwork fewer lawyers lots of drugs and guns on the streets maybe not so different Street justice is dispensed when the police think it s appropriate based on a lack of confidence in the legal system Hanson s character is a truly complex one He s a badass as all Special Forces guys were yet he doesn t push that side of himself to the front at all and tends to downplay his war experiences Getting inside his mind as he and his partner are making insignificant as well as life and death decisions at times in the course of their daily routine is a real trip They re balancing paperwork reuirements overtime restrictions precinct boundaries past experiences with the folks they re dealing with compassion for the ghetto population vs disgust at some of its inhabitants it s a truly fascinating insight into how cops or at least one cop at that point in time think Hanson has lots of problems and Night Dogs succeeds in not only exposing them but also showing how they ve shaped and will continue to affect who he has become He s definitely a flawed cop but a very human oneAnderson s writing is very sharp and his dialogue is excellent As you might expect there s a significant amount of violence and action as well a some sex involved Night Dogs is a bit long but it moves uickly with each relatively short chapter representing another day in the life Much of Hanson s character is determined by his war years which I understand are covered in the initial book in this series Can t wait to get to it This hardcover is signed by author Kent Anderson and publisher Dennis McMillanIn Night Dogs the protagonist from Andersons previous novel Sympathy for the Devil becomes a crazy ind of cop in this continuation of his lifeThe Place Portland Oregon The Time The 1970 sI love Mr Anderson s comp. Rvivor of his Special Forces unit comes back into his life Doc Dawson is a drug dealer and a illerbut he's the one man Hanson can trustNight Dogs is an extraordinary work from a powerful and authentic voice in American fiction Recoiling from the violence that Hanson deals with every day the violence that is in Hanson readers will also understand the compassion that drives him A novel remarkable for its razor sharp characterizations and dialogue its freshness of observation Night Dogs and Hanson will remain etched in the memory for a long time to com.criminals and everyday
Kent Anderson É 9 READAs James Crumley put it in the Forward and I
surely can put no better there has never been a police novel like this The writing is as strong ascan put no better there has never been a police novel like this The writing is as strong as materialthe dialogue as solid a This is so far afield from what I generally read that I have little to compare it with I don t read "cop lit ever This was recommended to me by someone a "lit ever This was recommended to me by someone a time ago and so I picked it up on bookmoochcom and put it on the shelf I have no idea why I threw it in my bag for a long flight When flying I generally opt for things so light they float Wow This is not your average police procedural It is gritty and raw and so painfully honest Really it is about reintegrating into American life after Vietnam or maybe not reintegrating than about police It is about racism and alpha male BS it is about unimaginable lonliness even in a roomful of people and taking control of the wrong things just so you have control of something By book s end the way I look at the world had been altered It brought to mind one of my very favorite late 20th
Century Books The Things Theybooks The Things they though it is very different other than the Vietnam theme I recommend this unreservedly but it is not for those moments you are looking for something comforting or something with a true sense of resolution Gritty cop novel set in 1975 post Vietnam America Portland OR Long treatment looks at the dark forces at work in the protagonist s work and life James Crumley called ND the best cop novel he ever read Excellent fare Kent Anderson s Sympathy for the Devil which was published in 1987 remains I think one of the best if not the best of the novels to come out of the Vietnam War It was a searing account of the war as seen through the eyes of one soldier a young man named Hanson who very closely resembles the authorAnderson s second novel Night Dogs appeared in 1996 and certainly ranks among the best police procedurals I ve ever read The book is set in the middle Seventies shortly after the end of the war The protgonist is again Hanson now home from Vietnam and working as a patrol officer for the Portland Ore Kent Anderson s Night Dogs has popped up in my Goodreads recommendations a few times and was also on a list of the ten best novels about Portland that my elder son sent to me However I think I may have previously read this novel some 20 years ago when it was first published mainly because it combines the two main topics that I used to read about and still do the Vietnam War and American police officers Hanson our main protagonist is an ex Green Beret and Vietnam veteran who is now a Police Officer in 1970 s Portland He is a patrol officer who works the notorious North Division of Portland along with his partner Dana The novel comprises of many stories and anecdotes of the type of crimes and incidents and people that Hanson has to deal with on a daily basis A lot of these people are not criminals but are victims of the society in which they live and they are alcoholics drug addicts other Vietnam veterans and the mentally ill The novel also plots the deterioration of Hanson s mental state while he deals with these people and also fights with his own demons. Former police officer Kent Anderson author of the memorable Vietnam War novel Sympathy for the Devil returns with a powerful new novel about a Vietnam vet cop who still carries the war inside himself Searing and brutally honest Night Dogs plunges us into the free fire zones of our cities where the legendary thin blue line is breaking downThe North Precinct of Portland Oregon is home to two inds of cops sergeants and lieutenants who've screwed up somewhere else and patrolmen who thrive on the action on the Avenue Officer Hanson is the second ind a vete. He is a violent man and a lot of the situations he deals with can be resolved by using violence but he also has to eep himself in check while around normal civilians as he sometimes has an urge to lash out at these people too However at other times on
the other hand hanson is also capable ofother hand Hanson is also capable of great empathy and compassion towards some of the damaged individuals that he has to deal withAs with all Police procedural type novels it deals with the relationships both good and bad between the various officers and has some great dialogue and there is also a lot of humour albeit very dark present throughout the novelKent Anderson himself was a Green Beret during the Vietnam War and was also a Portland Police Officer and possibly the novel is part autobiographical or at the very least he has delved into his own experiences which makes the book all the realistic and credibleHanson is also the main protagonist in Kent Anderson s Vietnam "War novel Sympathy for the Devil which I also think I " novel Sympathy for the Devil which I also think I have read but regardless I m going to read it again once I manage to get a copy Bitter Truth There are a lot of reasons not to read Kent Anderson s Night Dogs Aging Viet Nam War protestors dusting off old placards and tired slogans to recycle for the War in Ira will be infuriated with Anderson s laser focused skewering of the liberal mindset Those wishing to maintain a romantic view of an idyllic northwest paradise will risk having these illusions shattered by Anderson s Portland s mean streets of depravity and violence If you prefer neat little stories ending with the bad guys rightfully dispatched you ll find little redemption here And anyone with the slightest affection for dogs or Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire - The Sunday Times Bestseller kids will cringe in the raw reality of this unvarnished tale of a street cop s nightly grind in post Viet Nam America So while there are lots of reasons not to read Night Dogs you d be missing a powerful example of American fiction at its best a gut wrenching and emotionally dra I first wrote a review of this novel over thirteen years ago on com I was a brand new police officer I had problems with the book Didn t like the protaganist or the portrayal of police work But then what did Inow about police work Well that answer is simple nothing Skip ahead to the present I recently re read it out of curiosity I discovered that this book is truthful than I realized Though he was only a cop for a few years I believe it was three years in the early seventies Anderson manages to capture the essence or truth that s an overused wordof police work I haven t been involved with any uestionable shootings and I don t carry a throw away piece but the c Dark and gripping character study While the story is mostly episodic there is still a strong sense of momentum pushing the story to its endExcellent atmosphere and sense of place Too often genre novels choose convention over realism This book maintains its gritty reality while maintaining a strong sense of drama Reminded me of Joseph Wambaugh with just a touch of the surreal darkness of DAY OF THE LOCUSTThe only fault it may have my opinion is that it s a little longer than it needs to be Es. Ran who has traded his Bronze Star for a badge War is what Hanson The Perfect Child knows and in this battle for Portland's meanest streets he's fighting not so much for the law as for his own code of justiceHanson is a man who seems to fear nothing except his own memories And it is his past that could destroy him now An enemy in the department is determined to bring him down by digging into his war record and resurrecting the darkest agonies of that nightmare time And Hanson himself risks everything his career his euilibrium even his life when the only other su.