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The Dawn Patrol

The Dawn Patrol

4.2 21
by Don Winslow

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From the bestselling author of Savages (now an Oliver Stone film).

As cool as its California surfer heroes, Don Winslow delivers a high velocity, darkly comic, and totally righteous crime novel.

Every morning Boone Daniels catches waves with the other members of The Dawn Patrol: four men and one woman as single-minded about surfing as he


From the bestselling author of Savages (now an Oliver Stone film).

As cool as its California surfer heroes, Don Winslow delivers a high velocity, darkly comic, and totally righteous crime novel.

Every morning Boone Daniels catches waves with the other members of The Dawn Patrol: four men and one woman as single-minded about surfing as he is. Or nearly. They have "real j-o-b-s"; Boone, however, works as a PI just enough to keep himself afloat. But Boone's most recent gig-investigating an insurance scam—has unexpectedly led him to a ghost from his past. And while he may have to miss the biggest swell of his surfing career, this job is about to give him a wilder ride than anything he's ever encountered. Filled with killer waves and a coast line to break your heart, The Dawn Patrol will leave you gasping for air.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Ex-cop turned PI Boone Daniels lives to surf, as do the rest of the Dawn Patrol, who gather every morning on the beach just north of San Diego, Calif.—Hang Twelve, Dave the Love God, Johnny Banzai, High Tide and Sunny Day—in this terrific thriller from Winslow (The Power of the Dog). Boone works his PI job just enough to keep his near idyllic life afloat, but before Winslow's done with him and he's back on his board, he'll have weathered some heavy seas and taken some perilous falls. Dan Silver, owner of Silver Dan's strip club, may have burned down his own warehouse to collect on the insurance money. When the insurance company hires beautiful lady lawyer Petra Hall to sue Silver, she turns to Boone to do the detective work. If all this sounds mildly comic, it is, but it's also dark, violent and plenty serious as Winslow keeps raising the stakes, as well as the waves, for all involved. Author tour. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Winslow (California Fire & Life; The Power of the Dog) often takes a segment of fringe society-an area most readers will know very little about-and so thoroughly steeps his story in it that we come away feeling like experts. This new novel is no exception. San Diego PI Boone Daniels takes on only enough work to pay the bills so he can indulge his passion for surfing. His pals, which make up the "Dawn Patrol," are an offbeat group of characters from all walks of life who share the same passion for serious surfing. When an arson witness goes missing, an attractive insurance company lawyer enlists Boone's help in finding her. Against his better judgment, Boone signs on and finds himself in the middle of much bigger things than arson. With his short chapters and gritty dialog, former private investigator Winslow knows how to keep the pace fast and the interest high. Several subplots make the main story line even more compelling; the whole narrative plays out against a coming "swell"-the big waves that surfers dream about. Recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ2/1/08.]
—Caroline Mann

From the Publisher
“Might be the best summertime crime novel ever.” —San Francisco Chronicle“Heartbreaking. . . . Could be a breakthrough for Winslow.”—Los Angeles Times“One of the most entertaining beach books of this-or any other-summer . . . [A] rocketing thriller.”—The Times-Picayune“Colossally cool. . . . Captures the essence of Southern California itself: forecast sunny and clear, with an undertow of darkness.”—San Antonio Express-News

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Boone Daniels Series , #1
Product dimensions:
9.52(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.15(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Dawn Patrol
By Don Winslow
Knopf Copyright © 2008 Don Winslow
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780307266200

The marine layer wraps a soft silver blanket over the coast.

The sun is just coming over the hills to the east, and Pacific Beach is still asleep.

The ocean is a color that is not quite blue, not quite green, not quite black, but something somewhere between all three.

Out on the line, Boone Daniels straddles his old longboard like a cowboy on his pony.

He’s on The Dawn Patrol.

The girls look like ghosts.

Coming out of the early-morning mist, their silver forms emerge from a thin line of trees as the girls pad through the wet grass that edges the field. The dampness muffles their footsteps, so they approach silently, and the mist that wraps around their legs makes them look as if they’re floating.

Like spirits who died as children.

There are eight of them and they are children; the oldest is fourteen, the youngest ten. They walk toward the waiting men in unconscious lockstep.

The men bend over the mist like giants over clouds, peering down into their universe. But the men aren’t giants; they’re workers, and their universe is the seemingly endless strawberry field that they do not rule, but that rules them. They’re glad for the cool mist—it will burn off soon enough and leave them to the sun’s indifferent mercy.

The men are stoop laborers, bent at the waist for hours at a time, tending to the plants. They’ve made the dangerous odyssey up fromMexico to work in these fields, to send money back to their families south of the border.

They live in primitive camps of corrugated tin shacks, jerry-rigged tents, and lean-tos hidden deep in the narrow canyons above the fields. There are no women in the camps, and the men are lonely. Now they look up to sneak guilty glances at the wraithlike girls coming out of the mist. Glances of need, even though many of these men are fathers, with daughters the ages of these girls.

Between the edge of the field and the banks of the river stands a thick bed of reeds, into which the men have hacked little dugouts, almost caves. Now some of the men go into the reeds and pray that the dawn will not come too soon or burn too brightly and expose their shame to the eyes of God.

It’s dawn at the Crest Motel, too.

Sunrise isn’t a sight that a lot of the residents see, unless it’s from the other side—unless they’re just going to bed instead of just getting up.

Only two people are awake now, and neither of them is the desk clerk, who’s catching forty in the office, his butt settled into the chair, his feet propped on the counter. Doesn’t matter. Even if he were awake, he couldn’t see the little balcony of room 342, where the woman is going over the railing.

Her nightgown flutters above her.

An inadequate parachute.

She misses the pool by a couple of feet and her body lands on the concrete with a dull thump.

Not loud enough to wake anyone up.

The guy who tossed her looks down just long enough to make sure she’s dead. He sees her neck at the funny angle, like a broken doll. Watches her blood, black in the faint light, spread toward the pool.

Water seeking water.


Excerpted from The Dawn Patrol by Don Winslow Copyright © 2008 by Don Winslow. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Don Winslow is a former private investigator and consultant. He lives in California. www.donwinslow.com

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Dawn Patrol 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Once Boone Daniels was a police officer for the SDPD, but when a young girl disappeared he refused to let his partner torture the suspect to learn if she still lived. His fellow officers turned their backs on him eventually forcing him to resign. Now he lives to ride the next wave while working as a private investigator to earn money to surf. He looks forward to the big waves expected to shortly arrive due to a storm, but lawyer Petra Hall needs him to work a paying case.------------- She hires him to find stripper Tammy Roddick who works for Dan Silver who torched one of his establishments. She gave a deposition before vanishing. Boone discovers she was staying in a hotel with another stripper who was thrown off the terrace to her death. There is no sign of Tammy, but Boone notices a child¿s toothbrush in the hotel room. Boone and Petra track her down and bring her to his apartment where she asks permission to make a phone call. Boone has a bad feeling that there is more than just an insurance scam and a dead stripper involved in this case and soon his life is on the line affirming his hypothesis.------------- This is a great thriller filled with eccentric characters who make up the DAWN PATROL, a group of fanatical surfers riding the waves before work. It is hard to determine who the villains are as they hide their transgressions behind nice personalities. There is also a lot of historical information pertaining to San Diego interwoven into the plot while the surfing scenes are vivid so mush readers will think there are at the Pacific. Still the bottom line is Don Winslow writes an engaging mystery that focuses on depravity.---------------- Harriet Klausner
Drewano More than 1 year ago
Oh man I really enjoyed ‘Dawn Patrol’. It has a great plot along with some great character. The author does a wonderful job of building the relationships between the dawn patrol and giving the reader enough background on both the characters and the culture to make them invested in both. He also does a wonderful job with the descriptions of the scenery and action which really makes you feel as if you’re in the middle of pacific beach. Now reading all of this you would think that its lacking for action but no, it does a great job with balancing the narrative and giving the reader a lot of action making it feel like it’s always moving forward. The only thing that was a bit strange was the author seems to slip in an out of taking the story from Boone’s point of view to a third person point of view while in the same scene a couple of times. I’m actually surprised I picked up on it and it didn’t take away from the story at all but I could see it driving an english teacher mad. Any ways I can’t say enough about how great I thought this book was and I highly recommend this to anyone who loves the beach and thrillers.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my first book by this author and even though I'm not familiar with the surfer's lingo, I am enjoying this book tremendously. It is very humorous, exciting and suspenseful and I am looking forward to finishing it so I can start another by Mr. Winslow.
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KenCady More than 1 year ago
After loving Savages, I took up the newest Satori, Then it was The Winter of Frankie Machine. Now I have read Dawn Patrol which didn't quite match up to his later books, but was still quite enjoyable. The sex slave trade of children, while a reality, did not ring so true as depicted here. Also, Boone Daniels seems to be just a little too much of a hero to retain credibility. But that's the world of fiction. I've got 3 more Winslow books waiting to be read.
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Daruth More than 1 year ago
Excellent book! Excellent writing. I look forward to reading all of Don Winslow's books. He brings out the best in his characters, making them feel like we know them... even the worst ones we would not want to befriend.
edofarrell More than 1 year ago
You've the professional reviews to give you the gist of the novel, I'll just say that I've read all of Winslow's books and this, not one of his best, is a fine novel that is entertaining and interesting. The characters are solid, the plot a bit ho-hum and the dialog is crisp. Well worth the money and the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
realsurfer More than 1 year ago
If you're a real surfer, this will frustrate you!

Winslow did not research surfing well enough to write a good book involving the lives of surfers. He merely writes about them in the stereotypical way that everyone before him has. The terms and words he uses are out dated, and no surfer actually speaks the way he claims they do in this novel. He foolishly uses the term 'riptide' over and over again, when he really means 'rip current.' Where was the editor?

His knowledge of San Diego is ok, but again, his research falls short. The San Diego Surf Museum is in Oceanside, not Carlsbad. Mira Mesa is not in North County. You cannot launch a zodiac from Batiquitos Lagoon! Yikes.

The supposed sponsorship that Sunny is seeking is also a joke. Surfers do not receive sponsorships by riding only one huge wave and getting their picture taken. They get it by entering loads of contests (which he incorrectly calls tournaments!) and winning them.

This book is very misleading, but it is entertaining. Don't think this is how real surfers live and act though.
ringo111 More than 1 year ago
This book is for a younger person to read, I didn't even finish the book, because it was just too boring. I can imagine the younger set of surfers would enjoy it though. Thank you. I like my mystery stories that I read and will continue ordering that type.