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California Fire and Life (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

I’ve just (almost) finished reading my first Don Winslow. OKAY, if you haven’t read him, you have to stop what you are doing and get with it! I am reading California Fire and Life and am told that the rest are just as amazing. Jack Wade is a claims investigator and former arson investigator for the Orange County Sheriff department. He is called in to examine a suspicious fire in millionaire Nicky Vale’s house. Discovers the dead wife and the suspicions begin. Nicky Vale used to be Daziatnik Valeshin in Leningrad – his story adds to the mix… Great details about all the properties of fire and arson investigation. Witty, hilarious, sharp, spot-on writing. Absolutely amazing. Too bad I have other things to do with my life.

— Special Guest



When Jack Wade is called in to examine a suspicious arson claim, he follows the evidence into the crime infested inferno of the California underworld.
Jack Wade was the rising star of the Orange County Sheriffs Department's arson unit, but a minor scandal cost him everything, except his encyclopedic knowledge of fire. Now working as an insurance claims investigator, Jack is called in to examine a suspicious claim: within hours of a disastrous blaze tearing through a wing of real estate mogul Nicky Vale's house-- causing the horrific death of his young wife--he filed a 3 million-dollar insurance claim. The tracks of the fire tell Jack that something's wrong, and as he follows the evidence the case grows to involve the Russian mob, Vietnamese gangs, real estate scams, counterfeiting and corporate corruption.
Things get so hot and deadly that Jack might not make it out alive . . . that is until he decides to fight fire with fire.

About the Author

Bestselling author Don Winslow has written nineteen books and numerous short stories, as well as writing for television and film. He has received the Raymond Chandler Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award. A former private investigator and trial consultant, Winslow lives in Southern California.

Praise For…

“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 (Editor's Choice)

Product Details
ISBN: 9780307279859
ISBN-10: 0307279855
Publisher: Vintage Books USA
Publication Date: September 4th, 2007
Pages: 337
Language: English
Series: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard