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A Cool Breeze on the Underground (Neal Carey #1)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,051 ratings  ·  89 reviews
The popular mystery from New York Times bestselling author Don Winslow—now available as an ebook
Book one of the Neal Carey mystery series: Streetwise and book-smart PI Neal Carey pursues a dangerous teenage runaway through London in Don Winslow’s debut novel

Neal Carey is a humble graduate student who dreams of becoming a literature professor. But he’s also the employee o
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ebook, 250 pages
Published December 14th 2010 by Open Road Media (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,868)
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Stephen
Life is unfair, Mr. Winslow**, and I'm sorry. Chalk it up to bad timing, but them's the breaks. Your huffing and whining about my fickleness isn't going to change my mind, so just give it a rest and
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I admit it...when I finished this last week, I was fully intent on giving this story a solid four stars. And deservedly so, as this is an interesting, well-written detective novel, with a unique set up and some truly excellent characters. Regarding the latter, I especially liked Joe Graham, the craft
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Harry
Don Windlow's "A Cool Breeze on the Underground" is the first in the Neal Carey series. I'll say it right upfront, this series acts as filler for me, something to read in-between books I'm pining for, or books I'm waiting to get published.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the book...especially the character development for Neal as he learns his craft. The premise is fairly original...a thief being trained by a bank to help its customers without resorting to overtly covert activities. The plot moves al
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Robert
Discovering a new author you can’t live without is like finding first love: sure you know it’s out there somewhere; you’ll know it when you find it; it’ll be an experience that’ll take your breath away and leave you begging for more; you can’t really stop to look for it; and when you find it, it’ll probably change your life. I know it sounds inane, but books really can change your life, or help you make some new discovery about yourself.

A COOL BREEZE ON THE UNDERGROUND almost stole my heart. Sur
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Josh
Despite being written by Don Winslow (SAVAGES, POWER OF THE DOG etc.) the first book in the Neal Carey PI series doesn't read like a Don Winslow book. At least not initially.

I think too much emphasis was placed on developing Neal Carey's origin; the finer points to honing his craft as a deft private detective who could easily turn cat burglar or stalker extraordinaire. His relationship with Joe Graham, a one-armed PI who recruited Carey into the secret association, understandably added context
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Linda
I looked forward to reading this book! 23 year old grad student/NYC private eye Neal Carey, is hired to find the teenage, drug-addicted daughter of a U.S. senator and presidential hopeful. She is somewhere in London and must be returned to her parents before the Democratic Convention nine weeks away. Neal finds Allie, who is deep into the 1976 London punk scene. I expected the novel to be more raw, and was grossly disappointed. Neal turns out to be so lame- completely unconvincing. He grew up on ...more
Peter
Not a bad read if you're looking for a action filled, fast paced mystery, and pace is the key here. I've not read any of his other novels, but if this one is indicative, Don Winslow really knows how to move a story forward. A young pickpocket, Neal Carey, picks the wrong pocket, but instead of retribution, the victim sees Neal's potential and trains the youngster to become a detective and problem solver for The Bank, an exclusive institution that keeps it's wealthy clients out of trouble. The fi ...more
Ron
Because of the cover art, I thought this earlier series was cozy, unlike his more recent work. Definitely not and a nice surprise. Unusual in that i features a college-age protagonist as does Duane Swierczynski's recent CANARY. Can't wait to read more of the Neal Carey series.
Elizabeth Bingham
This was my first exposure to Don Winslow and I gotta say - I rather liked it. The story is fairly unique, the plot moved along fairly well, and the main characters were both endearing and interesting. It may not be a masterpiece but it's a very good read. Good urban mystery and intrigue :) I will read the rest of this series.
Susan
Somehow Don Winslow's early books escaped me. But, I've got 'em now and A Cool Breeze is the first. It introduces Neal Carey, a detective from the other side. Neal was a nearly abandoned street kid who was 'adopted' by an agent for a kind of underground fraternity. My explanation makes not sense, I know… You really have to read it to get it. But, reading it is what I recommend anyway. Winslow has a fabulously witty voice and his plots and his characters make his books a treat. I have four more o ...more
Matt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erdmannlibob
Das Erstlingswerk von Don Winslow ist ein kurzweiliger Krimi mit einer sympathischen Hauptfigur, dessen Ausbildung zum Privatdetektiv durch seinen Mentor genauso unterhaltsam ist, wie die gesamte temporeiche Story; und interessante und schräge Nebenfiguren gibt's gleich noch dazu. Mein Dank an den Suhrkamp-Verlag für die Neuauflage. Ich freue mich schon auf den zweiten Fall von Neal Carey.
R. Andrew Lamonica
This is not the best written book I have read. The author couldn't decide if it should be written in the limited third-person or just the third-person. There also seemed to have been some internal conflict about if the book should be gritty noir or lighthearted crime drama. But, the story was fun in a Oceans 11 kind of way.

Actually, the book shares a lot with the George Clooney movies. Both stories feature competent criminals with wicked tongues pulling off overly complicated schemes. The comra
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Nancy
There's a reason Don Winslow was selected to carry on in Trevanian's footsteps: He's a heck of a writer. In this private-eye novel, he does a great job of developing character and makes his unlikely protagonist quite likable. More impresively, he manages to make some pretty unpleasant people seem human and even sympathetic. The plot here is not particularly original; in other hands it could have been downright hackneyed, but Winslow handles it well and never lets it get boring. The bits that are ...more
Damana

Book twelve of 2015 is A Cool Breeze on the Underground by Don Winslow.

I think this book would appeal to Americans and their view of the English rather than British people and Australians alike.

The story is simple and exciting but nothing new. Sometimes, that is ok. It is a quick read and written in a digestible way.

3.5 con men out of 5.

Should I read this? Yeah, it's ok. Maybe if you don't have anything else you really want to read and want something light and easy.
What did I learn? From reading
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Janet
There were times when I liked this book and times when I was just bored. Nothing that I can put a finger on, except that the characters just frustrated me on occasion. What attracted my attention about this book originally was the "Underground" in the title. Well, the Underground did not play any huge role except that yes, he did just ride it a lot during one part of the story and the characters also used it (as any Londoner would). This was an audio book and the reader did a very good job with ...more
Mhd
This is an accidental re-read of a book from many years ago: I remember reading it, enjoying it, and have been trying to find it (forgot the title/author…my memory still works for impact but not details!). Great main characters and extremely interesting trade craft explanations and development. On the other hand, I do not remember it having so much drug-talk/usage and would have downgraded it for that except that I gave the fifth star back for the good parts having stuck with me so long. Now, th ...more
Cen
Es un libro "Okay"

Trata de un detective privado llamado Neal Carey que es huérfano, y es patrocinado por un banco/asociación que se dedica a hacer "trabajos" para sus clientes. No hay misterios sino casos concretos comunes para los Detectives privados, búsqueda de personas extraviadas, recuperación de documentos, cubrir escándalos, etc.

Comienza muy bien, de hecho el inicio fue la parte que más me agradó. El protagonista es agradable y el caso que le encomiendan tiene potencial. Pero, después de
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Betty
Others might complain, but I liked the long exposition of the back story for Neil Carey and Joe Graham. It allowed me to get invested in them as characters. The evil bad guy was too stereotyped for me (especially in the era of House of Cards), but otherwise the novel had all the requisites of a genre novel plus a hero who is into 18th century literature. Note to self: peruse a bit of Smollett and find out what could be so interesting about him. Suspect it is an acquired taste that I will never a ...more
Eric_W
The Kitteridge Bank, owned by a small Rhode Island family, has thrived over the years, in part, thanks to a small, off the books, department known as Friends of the Family. It specializes in helping out the bank's richer customers by providing services that they would like hidden. Joe Graham, one of their detectives "adopted" Neal, a street urchin, taught him some of the less savory aspects of the business, but also sent him to college and grad school where he now wants nothing better than to te ...more
Kathleen Hagen
A Cool Breeze on the Underground, by Don Winslow, B-plus, narrated by Joe Barrett, produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from audible.com.

Neal Carey is not your usual private eye. A graduate student at Columbia University, he grew up on the streets of New York, basically a neglected child with an alcoholic mother whom he had to take care of. Then he met a P.I. who introduced him to the Bank, an exclusive institution with a sideline in keeping its wealthy clients happy and out of trouble. They
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Jen
Neal Carey is a graduate student who simply wants to be left alone to finish up his Masters in literature. But, Neal also happens to be a P.I. A P.I. who works for "The Family." They took him in as a "friend" of the "Family" when his drug addict mother failed to follow through on her duties. Then the "Family" paid for Neal to go to college. So, when the "Family" comes knocking on Neal's door to put his P.I. skills to work finding Allie Chase, the missing daughter of Senator Chase, Neal doesn't h ...more
Diego González
Primera novela de Don Winslow, publicada a principios de los 90, y traducida al español por primera vez. Un detective privado con una historia personal un tanto turbia recibe el encargo de encontrar a la pija hijita de un senador demócrata, vista por última vez en Londres.

La novela alterna la acción presente (la búsqueda de la chica) con el proceso de aprendizaje del protagonista, y su historia hasta la fecha, desde que tenía once años y fue apadrinado por un tipo de los bajos fondos neoyorquino
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Regine Bacherle
Toller Auftakt einer neuen Serie! Ich vermute, dass der Autor wieder sehr viel autobiographische Erfahrung hinsichtlich privater Ermittlung preisgab, jedenfalls ist der Einblick hinter die Kulissen sehr interessant. Dazu eine humorvolle, spannende und sensible Geschichte, vermengt mit einem Drogenproblem - wer hätte dies vermutet! Ich fühlte mich sehr gut unterhalten!
Alice Lindsay
I likes so much about this book - the characters - the back story - the interesting settings. It was well paced and humorous in a witty way. I would say the only thing that slowed it down was that there were no real surprises - no building curiosity. I think it's a detective type story more character driven but that is cool too. No complaints, really - the author can write. I'll keep reading the series.
Katja
Don Winslows Erstlingswerk in einer Neuauflage. Ein Winslow ist einfach ein Winslow. Spannend, wenngleich nicht ganz so provokant und sprachlich radikal wie z.B. "Kings of cool", aber mit einem unglaublich sympathischen Protagonisten, einer großartig entwickelten Biographie. Am Schluss kribbelt es überall, weil man die Auflösung nicht erwarten kann. (April 2015)
Janet
Really liked this book. I'm already a Don Winslow fan but never had read any in his Neal Carey series. What a great character! The story of Neal's childhood and his relationship with his "father" is at least as good as the plot itself. Looking forward to reading/listening to Neal Carey #2.
Doris A.
A smashing debut novel from an author who then goes on to just get better. "A Cool Breeze" introduces 23-year-old Neal Carey, a graduate student of 18th-century literature. Neal is "related" to an unconventional set of characters known as "Friends of the Family," who play a pivotal role in all the Neal Carey books to follow. In "Cool Breeze," Neal is dispatched to find Allie Chase, the teenage, drug-addicted daughter of a U.S. senator and presidential hopeful. Great fun if you enjoy the trashing ...more
Brandon Nagel
Winslow is definitely one of my favorite authors writing today. I have read all of his new stuff and POWER OF THE DOG is a masterpiece, so I had to jump on some of his earlier stuff. It did not disappoint. Neal Carey is a great character and I am going to seek out the rest if this series. If you are a fan of mysteries, this is a must read.
henrys-axe
I've had this novel for a very long time and finally got around to reading it. An excellent book, excellent characters and an nicely balanced plot.
Looking forward to read a few more by Don Winslow.
Thelma
Don Winslow has created an interesting character in Neal Carey and one I would like to get to know a bit better. The book grabbed me in the first few lines and just wouldn't let go. The backstory is told in flashback snippets; while I am not usually a fan of this style, it works very well in this novel. I like that the "hero" is not your usual private eye and his employer/sponsor and his mentor (separate people) are not the usual fare -- no cops, alphabet-agencies, super secret spys -- just a ve ...more
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Don Winslow was born in New York City but raised in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. At various times an actor, director, movie theater manager, safari guide and private investigator, Don has done many things on his way to being a novelist.

His first novel, A Cool Breeze On The Underground, was nominated for an Edgar, and a later book, California Fire and Life, received the Shamus Award. The Death An
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More about Don Winslow...

Other Books in the Series

Neal Carey (5 books)
  • The Trail to Buddha's Mirror (Neal Carey, #2)
  • Way Down on the High Lonely (Neal Carey, #3)
  • A Long Walk Up the Water Slide (Neal Carey #4)
  • While Drowning in the Desert (Neal Carey, #5)
Savages The Power of the Dog The Kings of Cool The Winter of Frankie Machine The Dawn Patrol (Boone Daniels #1)

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“Simon drove as if he knew something about physics that Einstein hadn’t thought of and God never intended. If nature abhorred a vacuum, Simon positively loathed one, and rushed to fill in the tiniest gap in the heavy flow of speeding traffic. He passed on the right, left, center, and all variations in between, and the Keble responded as if involved in some kind of blood compact with its human master.” 2 likes
“I’m sorry to pull you out of your classes, but your adviser understands,” Kitteredge said. “He’s a friend of the family.”

So that’s it, Neal thought. You bought me; you own me.”
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