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He lived and breathed fire, gaining a solid rep as one of the best arson investigators around. And then, while looking into a carpet warehouse blaze that left a night watchman dead, Jack committed the cardinal sin of police work: he took it personally. He let his anger get the better of him, and he lost it when the obviously guilty perpetrator looked like he was about to slip through the fingers of justice, unscathed.
Brought up on criminal charges of falsifying evidence, perjury, and intimidating a witness, Jack was hung out to dry by his inept and possibly corrupt superior, Brian "Accidentally" Bentley. The incident cost Jack his career, his reputation, and the love of his life. He ultimately pled out to lesser charges, but for Jack, it was all over. After all, there just aren't too many career opportunities that come knocking for a former cop convicted of perjury and suspected of worse.
Crawling into a bottle seemed to be a reasonable career alternative. He figured all of Jack's experience and training shouldn't go to waste, and that he'd be a hell of an asset to his company. So he took a chance -- a big chance -- and hired Jack to do what he does best: investigate arson. So now, 12 years later, Jack ekes out his time surfing and adjusting claims for California Fire and Life, and he doesn't get involved. He's not getting any younger, but he's doing okay. He's conscientious and methodical. Jack Wade's a great hero, smart and stubborn, although a few hundred pages too slow to realize one crucial fact; but when you think you've got everything figured out, the story twists hard, then twists again.
KWoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago Definitely a book that I thought would not be interesting, but it proved me wrong throughout. An extremely exciting, edge of your chair read!!! Stevejm51 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago Excellent whodunit that explores the California insurance industry, especially where it involves arson. Great read.
Story with an attitude. Anonymous More than 1 year ago Couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago Entertaining and authoritative. In addition to believable characters and a brisk plot, you learn fascinating things about the work of fire investigators. Anonymous More than 1 year ago Very good read. In it, Winslow shows the growth curve that eventually landed him with Savages , which is the good news here. Jack Wade isn't quite the archetypical Winslow surfer-slacker semi-hero; he's actually fully employed as a fire claims adjuster with the titular insurance company, and is even good at it, something Winslow usually reserves for his criminals.
Wade's assigned to investigate a fire in the mansion of megarich property developer Nicky Vale. The fire not only caused seven figures in damage, but it killed Vale's uber-hot wife. This turns out to be one of those cases that everyone tells Our Hero to not investigate, but he does anyway, and finds out that -- shock horror!
Don Winslow Novel 'California Fire And Life' Heads For Big Screen
The things Winslow did well in the other books, he does well here, too. He nails the vibe of lateth-Century Dana Point and Laguna. The dialog is naturalistic and sounds much like what you'd expect coming from characters such as these. The prose is loose-limbed, opinionated, profane, and bursting with color, while not quite as out-there as was Savages. Some of the supporting cast including Wade's boss and his lost love are fully-realized characters, something Bobby Z had a problem accomplishing, and the author left out a few of his stock character types, which is also commendable.
The bad guys are, as usual, very, very bad, but this time there's a reason for it, unlike in The Dawn Patrol, where they were bad because that's what they were.
California Fire and Life by Don Winslow, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
Even though he's now a working stiff, Wade has the requisite painful, soiled past, complete with lost love. He's not quite as personable as Boone Daniels or Tim Kearney; he's more about competence than charm, which is refreshing. It's interesting to watch him do his very technical thing and use science to tease out the clues to the crime. Fans of forensic procedurals might actually dig this novel. Winslow gives us a fair amount of background in arson investigation possibly more than strictly necessary disguised as the saga of Wade going through the academy in his past life.
When something breaks right for Wade, it's usually because he earns it, another nice change from Bobby Z. Where'd the fifth star go?
When Winslow gives you backstory, he doesn't sprinkle it out with a teaspoon -- you get chapters of backstory, and while it's relatively entertaining to read, it stops the story cold. Wade has a couple of genre-required pointless confrontations with Vale that just make Our Hero look like a dolt. The ending turns into a near-literal Gotterdammerung and a few too many of the plot problems become, shall we say, self-correcting.
The arson angle makes for a different sort of crime story, and the words go down like a fresh margarita. If you've read later Winslow and haven't picked up this earlier book yet, get to it. Anonymous More than 1 year ago Liked the book, interesting plot.
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At first I liked all the fire science but it bogged down at times, still very interesting. Anonymous More than 1 year ago. MexicoDan More than 1 year ago Winslow is a first-rate writer. I am reading my way through all of his books. No disappointments. This one is funny, tragic, well-plotted. Guest More than 1 year ago Outstanding story, plot twists abound but don't muddle the story,intriguing characters superbly written. Can't say enough great things about this book!!! Guest More than 1 year ago Alomost didn't read this book as the title and cover were not interesting but was I in for a delighful suprise!
Twists and turns and just a great read. Passed it on to friends and they were delighted and anxious to see what else he had written. Related Searches. Abide with Me Invisible Life Series 3. In this hotly anticipated conclusion to his popular Invisible Life trilogy, E. Lynn Harris delivers Lynn Harris delivers a masterful tale that traces the evolving lives of his beloved characters Nicole Springer and Raymond Tyler, Jr.
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