While Drowning in the Desert (Neal Carey Series #5)

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Overview

Edgar and Shamus Award-nominee Don Winslow combines breathless suspense, zany wit, and whiplash action in his latest novel featuring grad student/private eye Neal Carey. Now Neal's assigned to escort monkeyish octogenarian Natty Silver home from Las Vegas to Palm Springs. Natty, once a burlesque top banana, has a nonstop barrage of corny jokes, an eye for an aging cocktail waitress, and a chronic disappearing act.

When Neal catches up with him, he can see why Natty doesn't want ...

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While Drowning in the Desert (Neal Carey Series #5)

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Overview

Edgar and Shamus Award-nominee Don Winslow combines breathless suspense, zany wit, and whiplash action in his latest novel featuring grad student/private eye Neal Carey. Now Neal's assigned to escort monkeyish octogenarian Natty Silver home from Las Vegas to Palm Springs. Natty, once a burlesque top banana, has a nonstop barrage of corny jokes, an eye for an aging cocktail waitress, and a chronic disappearing act.

When Neal catches up with him, he can see why Natty doesn't want to go home. Sole witness to a crime, he's now the quarry of hard-faced suits, a fascist con artist, and a career-track assassin. And bodyguard Neal-scorching through the trackless desert at 80 mph, brooding on his inner child by freezing starlight, and looking down the barrel of one gun too many-is soon dodging vultures and on the brink of a surprise watery grave.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'Splendid...there is something irresistible about the good-natured efforts of this city-slicker...Neal has a healthy sense of humor, making him frisky company." --The New York Times Book Review on Way Down on the High Lonely

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In yet another slapstick mystery, Neal Carey (A Long Walk Up the Waterslide, 1995) is driving across the Nevada desert with the aging, legendary comedian Natty Silver yakking his vaudeville shtick nonstop. Neal is taking Natty home to California from Vegas, but a couple of no-goodniks are after Natty, and the old man won't say why. Chaperoning Natty is hardhe won't shut up, except when he tries to get away and get laid. The bad guys are Heinz, a German money-launderer, and his Lebanese sidekick, Sami, who's dumber than wood. Meanwhile, Neal's girl, Karen, is in a raging hurry for marriage and motherhood; and Hope White (billed as "The Great Hope White"), a Vegas performer no longer as young as she once was, is rekindling an old torch for Natty. The principal players take turns hogging the narrative, and soon everyone converges for the big dramatic showdown, with the damsels predictably imperiled by Heinz. Okay. Maybe it's not that dramatic. Winslow's style isn't flashy, and his notion of suspense is downright laughable. Yet he has a way with crisp dialogue (or, in Natty's case, monologue), and the laughs keep coming. Neal isn't a tough guy, but he's pretty lucky. Lucky enough to find water in the sand and ferry the irascible Natty, who claims to have taught a young Lou Costello "Who's on First," to safety. (June)
Emily Melton
You gotta love vaudeville, right? As annoying as those unbelievably corny jokes and rheumy-eyed comedians might be, there's something endearing about them. Well, Winslow's latest mystery is a lot like vaudeville, corny but endearing and guaranteed to provoke a laugh. Neal Carey "does favors" for an organization called Friends of the Family (read, Mob). His latest mission sounds simple: pick up octogenarian Natty Silver in Vegas and return him to his Palm Springs condo. But Natty is determined not to go home. It seems he has witnessed an arson and knows the arsonist is waiting for him. So Natty pulls every shenanigan imaginable to stay in Vegas, from shacking up with a luscious lounge singer to stealing Neal's car and disappearing into the desert. Neal is ready to let Natty fend for himself, but the old vaudevillian has a few last tricks up his sleeve. A thoroughly enjoyable comic mystery.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312961183
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1998
  • Series: Neal Carey Series , #5
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.74 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Don Winslow is the author of the Edgar-nominated A Cool Breeze on the Underground, The Trail to Buddha's Mirror, Way Down on the High Lonely, While Drowning in the Desert, and The Death and Life of Bobby Z. He lives in California.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Don Winslow

    I am on a tear reading Don Winslow novels. I started with Savages, then Sartori, followed by The Winter of Frankie Machine, Dawn Patrol, and now Drowning. It's a cute story but not like the other novels I have read by Winslow. I guess I came in on the tale end of the Neal Carey series. I've heard the others in the series are better than this one, but this one is enjoyable.

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    Posted July 18, 2011

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    Posted September 1, 2011

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