Tim Niland's Reviews > California Fire and Life

California Fire and Life by Don Winslow
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's review
Sep 09, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010-reads
Read in September, 2010

Jack Wade is a "claims dog," a fire investigator for the California Fire and Life insurance company. Called to a fire where a young woman was killed, Jack suspects arson while all of the people around him are trying to convince him otherwise. This was a pretty wild tale filled with fraud, murder, extortion and greed. One of the mistakes of Jack's past have come back to bite him and he's being set up as the patsy for the scam of a lifetime. He will need all of his training as an investigator along with wit and luck to survive. Winslow was himself a private eye and arson investigator, so he writes from a wealth of experience. The narrative is snarky and very fast paced, things get a little bogged down in over-detail at times (he loves writing about the the dynamics of fir and fire investigation) but overall this was a well done thriller featuring an intriguing, if flawed, everyman hero.
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