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Dawn Patrol (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – June 16, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Veteran actor Porter excellently reads Winslow’s latest thriller. The story opens with San Diego private investigator and consummate surfer Boone Daniels looking into the mysterious disappearance of a stripper slated to testify in a high-profile insurance case. Daniels would rather spend time with his surfer pals, but after the stripper’s best friend is found dead, he puts down his board—albeit temporarily—to get to the truth. Porter’s rendering of the eclectic cast of characters showcases his vocal versatility, as he reflects the clipped speech of a comely British lawyer as easily as the deep, deliberate tones of dudes who spend their days riding the waves. Among the best of the surf set is endlessly mellow-fellow Hang Twelve, whose voice is reminiscent of the Jeff Spicoli character in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. --Allison Block --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Might be the best summertime crime novel ever.” —San Francisco Chronicle“Heartbreaking. . . . Could be a breakthrough for Winslow.”—Los Angeles Times“One of the most entertaining beach books of this-or any other-summer . . . [A] rocketing thriller.”—The Times-Picayune“Colossally cool. . . . Captures the essence of Southern California itself: forecast sunny and clear, with an undertow of darkness.”—San Antonio Express-News

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Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard; Reprint edition (June 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307278913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307278913
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Don Winslow (b. 1953) is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen crime and mystery novels as well as short stories and film screenplays. A Cool Breeze on the Underground, Winslow's debut and the first novel in his popular Neal Carey series, was nominated for an Edgar Award. Before becoming a fulltime writer, Winslow worked as a private detective in New York and California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Richard B. Schwartz TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In a jacket blurb, Lee Child says that no one does this kind of thing better than Don Winslow. He's right. Winslow's skills are, to say the least, very impressive. The Power of the Dog was epic in its scope; The Winter of Frankie Machine was smaller and more focused but absolutely pitch-perfect, a tale of an aging mobster that may well turn into a DeNiro movie. The Dawn Patrol is very different, but equally successful and equally impressive.

Here, Winslow recreates a world--the world of the surfer, the San Diego variety, complete with its names, language, food, attitudes, dress and culture. The almost-lost world of the idealized past has, however, been altered by the strip clubs and other sleazoid operations that follow the navy. When these worlds collide (a former SDPD officer-turned-surfer investigates the murder of a supposed witness in a major civil case) the results (in Don Winslow's hands) are stunning. As we move toward the solution of the crime(s) we move toward the arrival of a massive oceanic event and in the final chapters Winslow quick-cuts between the hunt for the bad guys, the saving of the innocent and the search for the perfect Pacific wave.

I particularly like the historical reflections on San Diego, on the world of surfing and on such important cultural elements as the PCH--how it began and what it's become. It is a truism in novel writing that the effective novelist 'creates a world'; Don Winslow certainly has here, though 'recreates' is the more appropriate term. I only have one regret. Winslow has been writing standalones. I love the members of the 'dawn patrol' and would very much like to see them become part of a series. Winslow began as a series writer and here he has created an exceptional ensemble cast.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Gary Griffiths VINE VOICE on June 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Break out your Surfbonics-to-English Dictionary and chill with Don Winslow in "Dawn Patrol", a slick novel of SoCal's surf culture cleverly wrapped in an engaging mystery.

Boone Daniels is the ultimate California surfer stereotype: lean and athletic, laid back, unflappable, and not ready to let trivial "civilian" interests like job, family, or typical responsibilities associated with adulthood interfere with mother ocean and the perfect wave. With his colorful "dawn patrol" posse of Dave "the God to Women", kid "Hang Twelve", the massive Samoan "High Tide", San Diego cop Johnny Banzai, and his female alter ego and sometimes sex partner Sunny Day, Boone and the crew are in the surf each morning at daybreak passing time - like compiling lists of the best things in life - while waiting for the next big ride. Boone is a former SDPD cop himself with some demons of his own lurking beneath his chill exterior - now a private investigator of sorts, content with working enough to only keep him in adequately stocked in fish tacos and board wax. When the foxy but uptight aspiring lawyer Petra shows up with an insurance company gig, Boone is conflicted: he could use the "jangle", but an underwater disturbance in the Aleutians is sending a freight train of monster waves to the Southern Cal coast unlike anything that's been seen in decades, and certainly not an event that a hardcore surfer like Boone would even consider missing. But Petra is persistent, not to mention alluring in an annoyingly buttoned down way, and Boone agrees to find the stripper pivotal in catching San Diego's sex sleaze king in an insurance scam.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mel Odom VINE VOICE on August 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a former private eye himself, author Don Winslow knows how to walk the walk and talk the talk. Apparently from the surfer lingo and expertise scattered throughout THE DAWN PATROL, Winslow also knows how to ride the waves, brah.

I loved his last book, THE WINTER OF FRANKIE MACHINE, and am looking forward to the movie. So I picked up THE DAWN PATROL with a lot of enthusiasm and high expectation regarding character development. Winslow didn't let me down. He hit his marks from the first line and had me frantically turning pages thereafter. Not only was the character development constantly in motion, so was the plot and all the emotional complications - as well as the twisty mystery/crime angle.

Boone Daniels (and yep, that name sparked a lot of commentary throughout the novel, `cause it's like Daniel Boone only backward) is a slacker private investigator in San Diego. But slacker though he is, he's also the guy a lot of lawyers go to when they need to turn up a lowlife or get information from the more dangerous neighborhoods in the city. But although Boone can be a tough guy, being a hardnosed private eye isn't really his way. Usually he nabs the person he's after or the information he's looking for because everyone likes him and because he's brutally clever.

Boone only works when he has to, and since his landlord will let him slide on the rent (Boone once did him a good turn and the old man really likes living on the fringes of Boone's detecting), Boone really doesn't have to work all that often. Mostly he's out on the waves. Generally the cases he does accept don't take him that long. He's connected to all the lowlifes and moves through them like a shark blazing through a calm lagoon.
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