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California Fire And Life [Kindle Edition]

Don Winslow
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

The woman on the bed had died in the fire. Pamela Vale, aged 34. She had been beautiful, and had been heavily insured. Her husband showed little grief. Her children seemed terrified. Insurance investigator Jack Wade is sure he knows what happened. All he has to do is to gather the evidence to prove it. And Wade is the best there is: fires talk to him, tell him exactly what happened, and how. But not everyone shares Wade's belief that the woman was murdered. California Fire and Life is ready to pay out Nicky Vale's claim on his wife's accidental death and the destruction of their house. As Wade fights the decision, as he gathers more evidence, he begins to uncover a world of corruption where nothing is quite what it seems, a world where it's not fire that talks, but money. . .

Product Description


"A smoking, smoldering threat of a book that flickers and flames and inevitably goes inferno . . . Cover to cover, it is hot, hot, hot" (Austin Chronicle)

"The best crime thriller of the year . . . Mixes two parts of Elmore Leonard with an equal portion of Carl Hiaasen to form an irreverent, ribald hybrid of a thriller that's pure fun" (The Providence Journal)

"[Winslow finds] a dark, sinister lyricism in the forensics of fire" (The New York Times Book Review)

"A jazzy California thriller . . . Think Philip Marlowe if he were still sleuthing - and had taken up surfing" (Entertainment Weekly)

About the Author

Don Winslow has worked as a movie theatre manager, a production assistant, and as a private investigator. In addition to being a novelist he now works as an independent consultant in issues involving litigation arising from criminal behaviour. His novels include The Kings of Cool, Savages, The Death and Life of Bobby Z, California Fire and Life, The Power of the Dog, The Winter of Frankie Machine and The Dawn Patrol. In 2012 Savages was released as a blockbuster film.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1636 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital; New Ed edition (28 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #153,286 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flaming good! 5 July 1999
By A Customer
There are three things about this book that make it one of the most outstanding modern crime novels that I have read. Firstly, it's the rythmn of the writing: words and sentances that almost cry out to be read aloud and that have power whether written or spoken. Secondly, it's the plot: a convoluted, twisting tale of deceit and deception, betrayal and integrity. Finally, it's the characters: not a single cardboard cut-out in the whole thing. If nothing else, read this book for the description of the main character's time at fire school: a masterpiece.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a string of superlatives... 17 Aug. 2010
By Livia
make up this review.
What's excellent? The style, the characterisations, the plot, the motives, the construction and the sheer energy of the whole thing. I won't go into details because other reviewers have covered plot/setting will only say:Read this book. I guarantee you won't regret it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent novel 29 Oct. 2010
By Cybi
I think everything has been said in the previous reviews. Having read 'The Power of the Dog' The Power Of The Dog my expectations were high, and this book exceeded them. Some authors are rather formulaic - Don Winslow is not. I'm looking forward to the next one I can get hold of.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire, life and genius! 5 Feb. 2011
WOW! What a tour de force! I cannot believe this man has been writing novels for decades, and this is the first of his works I've ever read. How come I never heard of him? This book is Elmore Leonard on speed; The prose is tight and the dialogue snappy. The multi-layered plot keeps hitting the reader with new twists, and I read it at a sitting, unable to tear myself away.
Meet Jack Wade, insurance investigator for the eponymous company; a man with a troubled past who refuses to back down from proving a fire was arson and murder, despite being ordered by his bosses to pay the claim. The descriptions of a fire inspector's job show that Winslow has done an amazing amount of research to make his book authentic.
Jack and his sweetheart, a lady cop whose sister was the victim, are threatened and survive murder attempts to bring the killers to justice, but even that justice has a surprise twist. If you only read one thriller this year, make it this one.
I'll definitely be reading more of Winslow's books.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don Winslow ROCKS 18 Sept. 2009
What can I say. This writer is fairly new to me and right now my favourite. It's the third book of his I have read. Obviously he has spent a substantial amount of time and energy researching his subject theme and it shows. Fire may not be the sexiest of subjects, but his knowledge and attention to detail makes his books a captivating read. Don draws you in with well rounded, convincing and interesting characters, making you want to know more about them. What I like about Dons books is the ending. Some books I read, and I read about 3 a month, leave you feeling let down by a poor, wishy washy, flimsy and rushed ending - as if the writer had run out of ideas and couldnt be bothered. Don grips you and keeps you reading right to the end. Its the sort of book you make an effort not to read, just to make it last longer. You need a quiet place to read Dons books, because you become so engrossed you dont want any distractions. Do I like his books? What do you think? Try Power of the Dog. Powerful, commanding and compelling stuff.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent edge of the seat thriller 25 May 2008
This is the first Don Winslow novel that I've read. Early in the book I was a little cynical, but it gathers depth and pace, and ultimately achieved the accolade of 'unputdownable'. Winslow seems to have the intelligence of Ellroy and the cutting edge of McCarthy,and a nice sprinkling of his own sense of noir. I'll read them all!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic modern crime novel. 17 Sept. 1999
By A Customer
A classic modern crime novel, that is impossible to put down once you have started reading.
Murder, Organised crime, Russian Mafia, Asian Gangs, Corruption, back stabbing and the good guy(s). This book has everything you could want and more, with the authors in depth knowledge of FIRE and fire investigation it makes it a very authentic and interesting read.
A true classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fire, brought to life 3 May 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was my first encounter with Don Winslow (originally purchased as a large format paperback, about 10 years ago, subsequently purchased on Kindle, just in case). At first I found the staccato style of sentence and chapter construction disconcerting and distracting but, once you let yourself go with the flow, you find yourself enjoying being taken for the ride. The style so easily lends itself to the most basic page-turner. The plot isn't that unusual if you've experienced other noirish-thrillers set in the heat of the California sun, but I soon felt myself fascinated by the forensic detail of the fire investigation and even the subtleties of the insurance business. The author creates a most unusual character, fire itself, in all its varieties and the research that must have been required gives a fulfilling background to on which to hang the whole plot. You can't help but empathise with Jack and his predicaments and this led me to seek out everything else by Don Winslow. I've yet to be disappointed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific writing - believable characters great plot -
terrific writing - believable characters great plot - MINT
Published 25 days ago by Quester
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful
something truly awful in the realm of slick, mass produced industrialised writing at the level of the hyper-nerdish, information packed, researched, everything here turns negative. Read more
Published 1 month ago by gaisavoir
4.0 out of 5 stars Good plot and interesting technical detail
Don Winslow's novels are always worth reading and this is no exception. Good plot and interesting technical detail.
Published 1 month ago by Terry Goulding
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by kathleen
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifically good
The first book I've read by Don Winslow, and what a find! Superb noir with hints of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen, but a unique style nonetheless. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Peter Mountford
5.0 out of 5 stars The Day The Writing Died (by Don McClean).
This is my second favourite novel of all time, after "Time to hunt" and before my two joint-third's- "Heartbreaker" and "The Concrete Blonde", 'n... Read more
Published 15 months ago by xyz
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story with incredibly engaging technical detail
A major factor in this book's success is the detail on how fire investigators distinguish between accidental fires and arson. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Doug
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
takes a while to get into but is worth the wait, lots of twists by the end of the book.
Published 15 months ago by Ben Breslin
5.0 out of 5 stars more masterful writing
What doesn't this writer know about writing fast VERY detailed clever thrillers? Nothing. He does his homework on whatever subject is integral to the story. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Annie fitzy
4.0 out of 5 stars very good
Very good read, very likeable character, just love anything Don Winslow.
Great after the dawn Patrol and the Gentelmen's Hour
Published 20 months ago by D.X. DE PALACIO SAINZ
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