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The Dawn Patrol by Don Winslow
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The Dawn Patrol

by Don Winslow

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Another good read from Don Winslow! This one has a surfer/detective Boone Daniels dealing with the temptation of huge waves on the horizon, and a missing witness for the court. Along with his friends, Sunny Day, Hang Twelve, High Tide, Dave the Love God, Johnny Banzai, Cheerful, Red Eddie, and Petra (Pete) Hall, the action is fast, and the swells furious! I loved all the characters and their bios, and I really enjoyed all the surfing history and info. The whole time I was reading this, I just wanted to cruise down to the Sundowner for a burger and fries. Winslow has become a favorite of mine, and this story did not disappoint! Totally agro! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | May 11, 2014 |
I envy Boone Daniels, the hero in Don Winslow’s novel The Dawn Patrol. And why the hell not? His life is totally enviable. He surfs. He eats fish tacos. He hangs out in Pacific Beach with his surfer friends, one of which just happens to be a gorgeous blonde who’s also a world class surfer. Even better? When Daniels isn’t living the California fantasy life, he works as a PI, which ranks near the very top of my All-Time Dream Jobs List.

The Dawn Patrol starts off simply: a beautiful and ambitious lawyer named Petra persuades Daniels to locate a witness in an arson case. From there, the case gets complicated, and midway in, Daniels realizes he’s dealing with much more than an arson case, namely, a sexually-abused girl, a murder masquerading as a suicide, a child prostitute operation doubling as a drug smuggling ring, and, of course, a missing witness. Throw in the back story of Daniels being thrown off the San Diego PD years before for failing to locate a little girl named Rain, and you’ve got more than enough meat on the bone for readers to chew on. These elements kept me turning pages, but it was the memorable characters that really hooked me, starting with Daniels himself. Laid-back, capable, soulful, and completely void of ambition or pretension, Daniels is a good guy, a flawed hero a reader can root for. For those reasons I put him in the same class as some of my other favorite modern day PIs like Conway Sax, Elvis Cole, and Spenser.

The Dawn Patrol is a fairly stunning literary achievement in that it is both character-driven and plot-driven. The casual reader will find it a fun (and quick) read, while the more serious reader will surely notice the many interesting literary devices. For example, the chapter-lengths, which are sometimes short and chock full of action and other times long and slowly-developing, are surely meant to resemble waves in the ocean. As the narrative builds to a climax, the chapters get shorter and shorter, while the tension is turned up to eleven. (Think: waves crashing on the shore.) Another cool element for the literary crowd is the shifting narration. Winslow does a near-flawless job of shifting from one character’s head to another, all the while managing to keep up the quick pace of the narrative.

Bottom line, I read the last page of this novel and immediately felt envy…for Daniels’s fictional life and for Winslow’s immense skill as a novelist. ( )
  Max.Everhart | Jan 25, 2014 |
I've got to figure out a better way to write reviews as I read. It used to be easier when I wrote them on paper. Such is life. Anyway, now that I have finished the book, a couple of comments. I still liked it, but the plot took some turns at the end that made it much more dark. The whole ***SPOILER ALERT**** pedophile thing, I thought, wasn't necessary and seemed a little contrived as an attempt to tie everything together. Still, the book held my interest and I enjoyed the surfing culture

It's a light read. Lots of humor, oddball characters, and some laugh-out-loud scenes. I have no idea what the surfer culture is like, but Winslow would appear to know what he is talking about and that's good enough for me. The clash between the guys is live for the perfect wave and the pressures of the rich wanting to live near the beach provide a nice cultural milieu for this unusual detective novel.

There's a short section where Winslow describes the founding of the Sand Diego Lifeguard service. He invented a name for the following Hawaiian. I thought I would steal the information from http://faculty.deanza.edu/donahuemary/Historyoflifesaving for the quote from the real hero:

1918 from the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control:

"In 1918, 13 people drowned in rip currents in a single day at San Diego’s Ocean Beach, garnering local and national news attention. Beach attendance that day was estimated at 5,000. City officials cited inadequate lifeguard protection as a cause of the tragedy, and as a result, initiated a municipal lifeguard service. The ocean conditions have changed little since then. San Diego’s local leaders view the 17 miles of oceanfront shoreline, which include Ocean Beach, as a safely managed tourist attraction due to the presence of lifeguards. Despite an average estimated annual attendance of 15 million people and over 7,000 rescues at the major lifeguarded beaches, the average number of drownings in areas under lifeguard protection is between zero and one annually."

Six cardiologists founded the American Heart Association in 1924.

When Duke Paoa Kahanamoku of Hawaii (1890 - 1968), the father of surfing, inventor of the rescue board, six time Olympic gold medalist and winner of the Olympic 100 meter race in 1912 and 1920, using a six-beat kick, with his size 13 feet, was asked who taught him the crawl stroke, he said "no one." He had been swimming a stroke he saw older natives of his island swim. He kept his records until he was 34, when 20 year old Johnny Weissmuller (who eventually set 51 world records and became Tarzan of the movies) beat him in the 1924 Paris Olympics.

Kahanamoku became the first person inducted into both the swimming and surfing halls of fame. In 1925 he rescued eight people from a overturned fishing boat, using only a surfboard. Of the 29 people on board the Thelma when it overturned in very rough seas, only 12 were rescued.

Later he said:

"In that instant my knees went to tallow, for a mountain of solid green water curled down upon the vessel. Spume geysered up in all directions, and everything was exploding water for longer than you would believe. Then, before the next mammoth breaker could blot out the view again, it was obvious that the Thelma had capsized and thrown her passengers into the boiling sea. Neither I nor my pals were thinking heroics; we were simply running -- me with a board, and the others to get their boards -- and hoping we could save lives... I hit the water hard and flat with all the forward thrust I could generate, for those bobbing heads in the water could not remain long above the surface of that churning surge. Fully clothed persons have little chance in a wild sea like that, and even the several who were clinging to the slick hull of the overturned boat could not last long under the pounding... It was some surf to try and push through! But I gave it all I had, paddling until my arms begged for mercy. I fought each towering breaker that threatened to heave me clear back onto the beach, and some of the combers almost creamed me for good... Don't ask me how I made it, for it was just one long nightmare of trying to shove through what looked like a low Niagara Falls. The prospects for picking up victims looked impossible. Arm-weary, I got into that area of screaming, gagging victims, and began grabbing at frantic hands, thrashing legs."

( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
As far as pulp crime thrillers go, this is relatively great. Though far from brilliant literature and not nearly as superb as the author's masterpiece "Savages," this book is still a solid summertime read involving a surfing detective and his sojourn through the Souther California underworld. While the book's main flaw is that it often feels like a well-polished television show with its familiar hardboiled tropes like spunky nicknamed characters and ubiquitous wisecracking patter, the book does delve into deeper ambitions during its frequent intermissions that narrate the secret history of the San Diego region. A fun and fast read, the book is hard to fault for being anything less than a cool California caper. ( )
  mikemillertime | Sep 22, 2012 |
My first Winslow-novel and in the end a highly entertaining read... once I got used to his narrative style (e.g. the short, but numerous chapters).
On the surface, this detective story seems to be a simple, almost ordinary crime novel set in the Californian surfer scene... but if you follow Winslows slightly twisted way of storytelling you'll discover much more in this first book about surf legend and guilt-ridden private investigator Boon Daniels and his friends from the "Dawn Patrol". Almost nothing is what it seems, though at first the story of a missing stripper unfolds like a classic modern hard-boiled story. At the end of a long and wild chase along the Pacific Highway - a chase filled with false clues, the usual border crime and merciless gangs - it's true friendship and stamina that proves to be the key for P.I. Daniels and his unsual and bothersome side-kick, lawyer Petra Hall, to solve the mystery.
With his long reflections on the local history of the Pacific Beach area and the intertwined chapters on big waves reaching the West Coast to Daniels and his surfer friends' delight, Don Winslow combines his fast paced crime tale with very classical storytelling, e.g. in the tradition of John Steinbeck. Occasionaly, I felt reminded of Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath", though Steinbeck was even more bitter in his social anger and no surfers at all). At times, those background details tend to slow down the reading fluency and one watershed less wouldn't have harmed Winslow's literary ambitions either... still I thoroughly enjoyed his focused and unpretentious style and the characters' solidity which makes this novel a gripping read, even for people (like me) who are and will never be no surf bums at all...

To varify a quote of Jon Stewart about Springsteen (during the Kennedy Award ceremony in 2009): If John Steinbeck and Raymond Chandler had a baby... they'd name it Don Winslow! ( )
  David_Cappel | Aug 13, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307266206, Hardcover)

The author of The Winter of Frankie Machine (“another instant classic”—Lee Child) is back with a razor-sharp novel as cool and unbridled as its California surfer heroes, as heart-stopping as a wave none of them sees coming.

Boone Daniels lives to surf. Every morning he’s out in the break off Pacific Beach with the other members of The Dawn Patrol: four men and one woman as single-minded about surfing as he is. Or nearly. They have “real j-o-b-s”; Boone works as a PI just enough to keep himself in fish tacos and wet suits—and in the water whenever the waves are “epic macking crunchy.”

But Boone is also obsessed with the unsolved case of a young girl named Rain who was abducted back when he was on the San Diego police force. He blames himself—just as almost everyone in the department does—for not being able to save her. Now, when he can’t say no to a gorgeous, bossy lawyer who wants his help investigating an insurance scam, he’s unexpectedly staring at a chance to make some amends—and take some revenge—for Rain’s disappearance. It might mean missing the most colossal waves he’s liable to encounter (not to mention putting The Dawn Patrol in serious harm’s way as he tangles with the local thuggery), but this investigation is about to give him a wilder ride than any he’s ever imagined.

Harrowing and funny, righteous and outrageous, The Dawn Patrol is epic macking crunchy from start to finish.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:11 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Working as a P.I. to earn just enough money to support his passion for surfing, Boone Daniels is obsessed with the unsolved abduction of a young girl named Rain during his career with the San Diego police, until he is given the chance to make amends.

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