After revisiting Don Winslow’s The Power Of The Dog I thought it was time to read the Neal Carey series. My first Don Winslow experience was A Cool Breeze On The Underground. I really enjoyed and managed to pick up most of the rest of the series before they went out of print. However I was then given The Power Of The Dog which sent me on a mass Don Winslow binge which sadly never saw me go back to Neal Carey.
I thought I restart at the beginning. This is probably Don Winslow’s most traditional crime novel. It is the classic PI story with only a slight twist. Neal Carey is a master pickpocket by the age of twelve when he finally nicks the wrong wallet. However his skills are instantly recognized and he’s talents are quickly put to better, more profitable, uses. Carey is trained to become a PI for a discreet firm servicing the East Coast elite. They not only train him in the dark arts of private investigation but also put him through school and college. He quickly becomes one of the firm’s best assets.
When an US Senator, who is hoping to become VP, needs his daughter found Neal is given the case. But not all is as it seems. The Senator’s relationship with his daughter is good enough reason she stays gone and the leads Neal follows lead him to London but don’t quite add up. But what is clear is that the Senator’s daughter is in big trouble on both sides of The Atlantic and Neal is the only one to get her out.
Winslow shows that even with his debut he is a master storyteller. While his signature style is only beginning his precise plotting and eye for details makes this a great page-turner especially when trouble is never too far away. Throw in 1970s London and you couldn’t get any further removed from the Mexican borderlands. I can’t wait to finally get to the other Neal Carey mysteries.
Open Road, December 2010
Imprint: Open Road