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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 14 (next | show all)
Good mystery/adventure with a love story thrown in. My only quibble is the rather lengthy historical excursions which don't seem to have much to do with the plot. Interesting stuff but it would have worked well to have blended it in rather than put it in separate chapters that could stand alone. ( )
  mckall08 | Jul 27, 2015 |
surfer/detective - set in Southern CA. First Winslow novel I'd read and I liked it. Clever writing, good plotting. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
The Dawn Patrol is a solid group of friends built around surfing. It’s also the informal name of a much more nefarious gathering in the nearby strawberry fields in the mornings. The two groups know nothing of each other. A lot of greed and ugliness is uncovered by the time they clash, near the end of the novel.

Boone Daniels, former cop and current private investigator, is the heart of the surfing Dawn Patrol. His life is pretty good, at least on the surface, until an insurance scam he’s investigating dredges up a child in bad trouble, circumstances similar to what caused him to leave the force. And the biggest waves seen in his surfing lifetime are approaching the California coast while his priorities are elsewhere.

Don Winslow creates a beautiful sense of place within the Southern California surf culture, populates his story with carefully drawn characters, and orchestrates the plot masterfully. A different writer would attempt to turn this into a series, but the story is almost perfect as it is.

P.S.: I just saw where Winslow did bring Boone Daniels back in a second book, The Gentleman's Hour. Well, who can blame him? ( )
  Hagelstein | May 20, 2015 |
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. ( )
1 vote Max.Everhart | Jan 25, 2014 |
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Let me take you down, cos' I'm going to,
Strawberry Fields...
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:40 -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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