Tuesday, May 17, 2016

DON WINSLOW: MODERN CALIFORNIA NOIR



Writer Don Winslow won the 2016 The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for best Thriller/Mystery with The Cartel, his 17th novel. Find his books on the shelves at the Monrovia Public Library.
Winslow’s background, which could come right out of a Raymond Chandler novel, includes work in Downtown Los Angeles as an arson investigator, a degree in military history and the ability to speak multiple African languages.  He is originally from Rhode Island, spent time in Orange County and now lives in the small town of Julian, near San Diego. One source of his desire to become a storyteller was his librarian mother.

Most of Don Winslow’s novels are set in the Golden State. In California Fire and Life Winslow uses his expert knowledge to tell the story of an insurance investigator who tries to discover the legitimacy of a claim while sifting through the ashes of a burned out house. This is a hard-charging mystery that dips into the arcane and fascinating area of arson investigation.

Pacific Beach is the location of The Gentlemen’s Hour about a tight knit group of surfers who meet every morning to enjoy the water until one of them is murdered.  When one of their own, private detective Boone Daniels, starts to pursue clues to the mystery he discovers more than he could have imagined in a small town. This excellent thriller is a bit of California surfer noir.

Winslow explores the dope wars and drug lords in Mexico with his prize-winning The Cartel, his latest book. With meticulous research the author studied the drug trade, its practitioners on both sides of the border, and its endless violence. Master storyteller Michael Connelly said thrillers educate and entertain.


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