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5.0 out of 5 stars great pleasure to read
Once again a great story from the Neal Carey adventures-author.
Not as funny ,but surely more thrilling and mature.
Hope to get the audio soon,so I can- again-enjoy this fine mystery novel.And easy reading for those not born and raised in English.
Published on Nov. 27 2001 by Amazon Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Author Stumbles A Bit...
I have discovered Winslow and have fallen deeply in love with his writing style...but this book failed to grab me. WAY too much detail and an odd, detached feeling to the work. If you want to take a ride, read his 'Death and Life of Bobby Z.' It is TOTALLY awesome! And I read 2/3 mystery/thrillers a week.
Published on July 18 2003 by Michael Bryan


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3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Author Stumbles A Bit..., July 18 2003
By 
Michael Bryan (Forest Hills, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have discovered Winslow and have fallen deeply in love with his writing style...but this book failed to grab me. WAY too much detail and an odd, detached feeling to the work. If you want to take a ride, read his 'Death and Life of Bobby Z.' It is TOTALLY awesome! And I read 2/3 mystery/thrillers a week.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great read, Feb. 25 2003
By 
S. Hawkins "SMH" (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I was introduced to Don Winslow 4 years ago when he gave a lecture I attended. I found him to be an incredible speaker with an extensive knowledge base (he was speaking on the American Revolution). I assumed (rather, hoped) that his writing style would follow suit - interesting and informative, yet also direct and captivating.
I was not disappointed. This book is not only a well-written piece of fiction, with a well thought out plot and nicely developed characters, it is also assisted by spectacular research on Winslow's part. This book, which deals with a fire investigation, does not merely provide a shallow and quick look into the details of an investigation; it goes all out (in, rather).
For some people, this might be too much (it's a lot of info on how fires are started and how different fires spread and burn). However, for anyone who likes their reading to have some substance, this is a great find.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great pleasure to read, Nov. 27 2001
By 
Amazon Customer (3590 diepenbeek, BELGIUM Belgium) - See all my reviews
Once again a great story from the Neal Carey adventures-author.
Not as funny ,but surely more thrilling and mature.
Hope to get the audio soon,so I can- again-enjoy this fine mystery novel.And easy reading for those not born and raised in English.
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5.0 out of 5 stars HOT! HOT! HOT!, Aug. 9 2001
Okay, so maybe my title for this review isn't all that interesting and original, but (and trust me on this one) CALIFORNIA FIRE & LIFE is. Jack Wade, a down-on-his-luck fire insurance investigator, becomes the novel's unlikely hero in this technically-filled thriller (think Crichton meets Ellroy) that combines the science of fire and arson with a slick writing style that often felt like was being read aloud to me. Never was I let down by any of the surprises, flashbacks or characters while reading CA FIRE & LIFE and found myself nearly begging for more. The dialogue was quick and often very witty. The depth of deceit was very believable and never confusing (despite what other reviewers may say). Honestly, I can't say enough good things about this book. Just read it. In CALIFORNIA FIRE & LIFE, Don Winslow has proven himself a great mystery writer.
Now, how about bringing Jack back?
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment, July 31 2001
What a disappointment! It sure looks like there's a good mystery in this book somewhere but digging through all the detail and ploding style is just too much. A great read if you're looking to become an insurance claims adjuster.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, July 23 2001
By A Customer
A totally excellent read. Don Winslow's style is fresh, forthright and very readable. The plot for this novel is fascinatingly local to the California coast, yet reaches out to effortlessly call on international intrigue also. Don Winslow's detail on the mechanics of fire and arson are as good as anything the (early) efforts of Patricia Cornwell and Thomas Harris brought us in the world of forensics.
Jack wade is a likable main character with just enough flaws to get you on his side for the whole ride, and what a ride. This plot twists and turns constantly, believably and enthrallingly. This book will take you to the last page quicker than you think and definitely quicker than you want. Don Winslow knows his stuff and can write.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Involving and clever, July 18 2001
By A Customer
One of the better mysteries I've read in a while - sicko villains, very involving fascinating details about arson investigations, fast pace.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hot stuff, July 9 2001
By 
Steven Witte (Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.) - See all my reviews
Part murder mystery and part text book on arson, this compelling book pulls you in and holds you. Some people may find the exhaustive research a little bit much to get through, but for true mystery fans, this book should not be missed. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hot stuff, July 9 2001
By 
Steven Witte (Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.) - See all my reviews
Part murder mystery and part text book on arson, this compelling book pulls you in and holds you. Some people may find the exhaustive research a little bit much to get through, but for true mystery fans, this book should not be missed. Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't melt me, June 23 2001
By 
Bridget Hockney (Jacksonville, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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I have mixed feelings about this book. I look forward to reading more of his works in hopes of improvement in conciseness. The author truly knows his stuff when it comes to investigating fires. Just don't think he needed as much of the detail and regurgitating of same facts to convince us. It no longer became entertaining, nor a lesson. The story was interesting in its premise but had to suspend belief in some instances. All in all worth further watching.
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California Fire and Life
California Fire and Life by Don Winslow (Paperback - Sept. 4 2007)
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