From the back of the book:
Carey is not your usual private eye. A graduate student at Columbia University, he grew up on the streets of New York, usually on the wrong side of the law. Then he met Joe Graham, a one-armed PI who introduced him to the Bank, an exclusive New England institution with a sideline in keeping its wealthy clients happy and out of trouble. The Bank wants Neal to put his skills to work in finding Allie Chase, the rebellious teenage daughter of a prominent senator, an assignment that takes Neal to London's underground punk scene, a violent netherworld where drugs run rampant and rage is the name of the game.
Despite being written by Don Winslow (SAVAGES, POWER OF THE DOG etc.) the first book in the Neal Carey PI series doesn't read like a Don Winslow book. At least not initially.
I think too much emphasis was placed on developing Neal Carey's origin; the finer points to honing his craft as a deft private detective who could easily turn cat burglar or stalker extraordinaire. His relationship with Joe Graham, a one-armed PI who recruited Carey into the secret association, understandably added context to the present day setting, yet, this combined with extensive skills training did have a tendency to detract from what was really an entertaining and page-turning plot.
As a side note of interest, I love books that bring books in general into context within the main story and Winslow does just that here by using a rare book worth 20k to a collector as a means of introducing one of his character's into the world of drug running - where crime and fiction collide.
I got the feeling Winslow was just developing his voice in crime fiction yet A COOL BREEZE ON THE UNDERGROUND is no amateur feat. The dialogue is sharp, the characters have a voice of their own, and the plot is pretty damn good. With a couple nice twists to keep things interesting, A COOL BREEZE ON THE UNDERGROUND has me wanting to rush out and grab a copy of the follow-up in THE TRAIL TO BUDDHA'S WINDOW, the second book to feature Neal Carey.
- Friday Finds (15 Aug 2014)
- Review: THE POWER OF THE DOG by Don Winslow