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21 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a string of superlatives...
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 etc.so will only say:Read this book. I guarantee you won't regret it.
Published on 17 Aug 2010 by Livia

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly trivial
I bought this book, hooked by the "science of arson", which was supposed to give an extra thrill to the crime story. And yes, some thorough research in this field does shine through. Unfortunately the author pools almost all of it in one chapter, where his hero, too, is taught how to "read" a fire scene. Which is all very fascinating, but it doesn't reach out to most of...
Published 22 months ago by S. Drude-Koeth


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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
This review is from: California Fire And Life (Paperback)
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 etc.so will only say:Read this book. I guarantee you won't regret it.
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13 of 14 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent novel, 29 Oct 2010
By 
R. Llewellyn (Anglesey. Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: California Fire And Life (Paperback)
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don Winslow ROCKS, 18 Sep 2009
By 
avidgamer (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: California Fire And Life (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire, life and genius!, 5 Feb 2011
By 
James N. Beatson "Jim Beatson" (Basingstoke, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: California Fire And Life (Paperback)
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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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
By 
Mr. Dermott Gale "dermottgale" (co. kidare ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: California Fire And Life (Paperback)
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 Sep 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most enjoyable crime novels, 30 Aug 2011
By 
This review is from: California Fire And Life (Paperback)
Here fire takes on a life of its own - a beutifully constructed crime novel based around a language of fire that is stunning. A clever, witty and engaging book. Has to be one of the best crime novels I have read and I have read hundreds
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Day The Writing Died (by Don McClean)., 25 Feb 2014
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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 "Certain Prey" being an historical fourth.
Knopf is the publisher- not that I know anything about publishing- and in fifteen short years, publishing has perished, and so with it...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story with incredibly engaging technical detail, 13 Feb 2014
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This review is from: California Fire And Life (Paperback)
A major factor in this book's success is the detail on how fire investigators distinguish between accidental fires and arson. Don Winslow demonstrates his usual skill in combining plot, characterisation and technical detail.
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California Fire And Life
California Fire And Life by Don Winslow (Paperback - 6 April 2000)
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