Editor’s note: The following is part of an ongoing series of blogs throughout the month of December in which The Book Nook reviewers list a few of their favorite books published in 2008.
The best novel I read in 2008 also includes the best new author (at least new to me) that I discovered through a friend’s recommendation.
The author is Don Winslow, who has been writing since the late 1990s.
The novel is "The Dawn Patrol," but I should also mention that his "California Fire and Life" and "The Winter of Frankie Machine" were truly excellent books, too.
“The Dawn Patrol” refers to Boone Daniels and the small group of people who meet him every morning to surf the waves of Pacific Beach in San Diego. It also refers to the men who pick up little girls every morning further up the coast so that they can sexually abuse them for the day.
Daniels, who is now a private investigator after having served on the San Diego police department for three years, gets hired for a case that has him tracking down a female witness who saw members of the mob burning down a warehouse. The men who instigated the arson want the woman killed and end up murdering the wrong person by mistake. Daniels therefore has to find the real witness before the killers do, and this inadvertently leads him to child sex ring operation and the evil people behind it.
When Daniels was a police officer, he lost his job by doing the right thing and it led to a missing child never being found again. Daniels blames himself for that and still searches for the little girl during his spare time. Because of that, he won’t allow any child to be abused if it’s within his power to do something about it. The people behind the sex ring are going to have their hands full when Daniels starts hunting them with extreme prejudice, sensing that this is one way he can atone for his past mistake, even if it means his own death in the process.
Winslow is a fabulous author who I highly recommend to anyone who loves mystery/suspense/action, and as they say, edge-of-your-seat thrills.
I have two other novels by Winslow that I’m anxious to read in the immediate future.