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The Dawn Patrol (Boone Daniels #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  4,100 Ratings  ·  342 Reviews
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
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 18th 2011 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2008)
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Maybe it’s my landlocked Kansas nature, but I don’t get surfing. Paddling out into the ocean on a board seems like a lot of work just to get drowned or beaten to death on rocks or eaten by some kind of huge sea creature. Plus, fish pee and poop in the ocean so the whole thing is really just a big toilet. But to each their own, and one of my favorite crime writers, Don Winslow, has had several of his characters surf so I’m more than willing to read about it when he’s telling the tale.

Boone Daniel
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh yeah. Don Winslow has so many great things going on in this novel it is difficult to pick the best thing to tell you about. It is light and dark at the same time. At one point, one of the good guys goes to do something bad, but it turns out good anyway! That was a very cool twist of fate the pen.

Winslow manages to make the writing sound like a five-piece band…instead of a mystery with two threads and a protagonist, I felt like I just watched a great concert. Part of the reason has to do with
Sep 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
Classic PI story updated to the San Diego surfing scene, a fun and predictable read that offers up a raft of characters whose skills misdemeanour's improbably all interconnect at the denouement in a way that is only possible in a cliched detective novel.

It suffers from not being dark enough, original enough, from not being a Kem Nunn novel or even one of Winslow's own stellar efforts, but it excels with Winslow's conversational writing style and the inclusion of passages on the history of San Di
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
"Onto the beach, into the fog"
Don Winslow, The Dawn Patrol


Clearly, I'm a Don Winslow fan. One danger with grading any author is the scale gets warped by their most amazing books. When I judge 'The Dawn Patrol' next to The Power of the Dog or The Cartel, etc., I tend to be really hard on the book I just read. However, if I try to evaluate DP for itself and for what it is, I find I really enjoyed it.

'Dawn Patrol' is escape candy, beach noir, hard-boiled surfer pulp. It has a narrative drive that
Lance Charnes
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of SoCal Noir and/or authorial attitude
The Dawn Patrol is Winslow’s fifth book set in Southern California and comes one book back from Savages , which, you may recall, I liked a bit. It’s less experimental than Savages, which by definition makes it more accessible, but the sensibility and style is much the same.

This one actually has a hero of sorts, though ex-cop Boone Daniels is an unrepentant surf bum in every way someone can be a surf bum. He ekes out a living in San Diego-adjacent Pacific Beach by being a sort-of PI, guest-bounc
Jun 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, slick, slightly cartoonish ... sorta reminds me of watching Riptide starring Perry King and Joe Penny back in the 80s (before Joe Penny went on to that great boob-tube masterpiece Jake and the Fat Man with William Conrad, who was indeed THE fat man). In other words, The Dawn Patrol is thoroughly entertaining but not really real or scary or particularly original. Winslow is first and foremost a stylist, and he's found a nice voice with the short chapters and telegraphic sentences. If I rewro ...more
May 15, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
naw, man... the new winslow ain't nearly as great as his last two... but, shit. after the demented masterpiece that is Power of the Dog and the wildly enjoyable The Winter of Frankie Machine... well, you've earned a misstep. at least.

but, check it: neil young's solo in cinnamon girl. it's one motherfucking note. one note! played over and over. because it's over a changing background, because the rhythm guitar and bass are changing it up, young sounds like he's doing more than playing one note.
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review An ex-cop surfer turned P.I. surfer provides listeners genuine characters, a plausible plot, heart-rending moments of truth and terror on and off the waves. I enjoy Don Winslows gritty Characters and how he can keep my attention. Another one of his that I liked was "The Winter of Frankie the Machine". Ray Porter, (one of the best), has an easy way of adjusting my emotions with subtle shifts in his timber.
The Dawn Patrol is an interesting combination of history/surfer culture/crime/murder mystery/weak love story. I listened to the audio book and narrator Ray Porter does a fantastic job bringing the story and characters to life. I would rate the story as 3.5 stars. Ray Porter's performance makes the audio book a good way to read this book to round it to an overall 4 stars.

The Dawn Patrol references a group of surfer friends who sit on their surf boards at dawn watching the waves for a ride. They a
Michelle Curie
There are about as many private investigator stories out there as there are grains of sand on beaches. When those private investigators roam around those beaches though, things get different. The Dawn Patrol is the story of Boone Daniels, a passionate surfer, who keeps himself afloat (just about) by solving a case every now and then. It is just when the biggest swell of his surfing career is about to hit Californian shores that a new case gives him the ride of a lifetime.

I have read many crime
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are few things more potent in literature than accurately described physical endurances. As Sunny Day, the female surfer in Don Winslow’s evocative mystery The Dawn Patrol, trains for catching Big Waves off the San Diego coast we get a description of what it’s like to be held under water after a wipeout. I’ve spent enough time bounced along the ocean floor disoriented in which way is up and wondering if my breath will last longer than the waves holding me down to know how that feels. Winslo ...more
Feb 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Winslow can't seem to make up his mind whether he wants to write a taut, suspenseful mystery/thriller or a colorful, casual guide to the San Diego surfing scene. Ostensibly a detective novel about a part-time private investigator/part-time surfer hired by a local law firm to find and protect a missing witness in an insurance matter, for most of the book the plot advances only in brief,sporadic bursts. The author spends most of his energy describing the main character and his group of surfer budd ...more
Will Johnson
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gumshoes, don-winslow
What starts out as a pseudo-comedic caper book (in the vein of, maybe, Elmore Leonard) becomes a rather moving, and unsuspectingly dark, crime drama that analyzes life itself.

The first half of the book fleshes out the characters and explains the world they live in (perhaps too much so) ... and remains generally light. The humor is present in both the prose (fluid, not showy) and the dialogue (more forced) and the characters are, for the most part, approaching three dimensions. This first half is
Take the perfect climate in San Diego, add a former police officer turned PI, give him a love to surf addiction, and put in an attractive woman who wants to hire him to find and protect a star witness and you have the ingredients of this dandy mystery.

Boone Daniels is the central character. He is so good that he is, in effect, almost a characture of goodness. His heroic deeds go from saving a prisoner fro a beating by another cop, saving a young boy caught up in the surf, to persuading a money
Jun 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember the first time I read Dennis Lehane (A Drink Before the War), Robert B. Parker (WALKING SHADOW), and Ross MacDonald (The Drowning Pool). All of those books just sucked me in with voice and character.

It's all about character, isn't it?

People say that everything's been done in the PI novel already, and ultimately, that's probably true. But in Don Winslow's latest novel, THE DAWN PATROL, he gave me the same feeling I got when reading the author's listed above. I was sucked in. Dragged in
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is a cracker of a tale. Boone Daniels is the archetypal laid back surfer cum PI, a former San Diego police officer who has chosen to spend his days with his group of close knit friends collectively known as the Dawn Patrol.

The story takes off when a stripper witnesses some shady goings on involving her boss and pimp. Boone gets involved in investigating the wrongful murder of another stripper that leads to busting a ring of pedophiles all while the local surfing community is gearing up for
Jim Crocker
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WINSLOW HITS ANOTHER ONE OUTTA THE PARK!! Chapter 102 is probably the best chapter I've ever read.

"You get a gun pointed at your head, it changes you." Don Winslow, The Dawn Patrol

After listening to a recent interview with Don Winslow, I am pleased and excited to hear that another adventure with Boone and the gang will be in the works.
Heidi Pedersen
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow - I have a completely new perspective of San Diego, surfing, connections to friendships and what they really mean....!
Feb 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've got to figure out a better way to write reviews as I read. It used to be easier when I wrote them on paper. Such is life. Anyway, now that I have finished the book, a couple of comments. I still liked it, but the plot took some turns at the end that made it much more dark. The whole ***SPOILER ALERT**** pedophile thing, I thought, wasn't necessary and seemed a little contrived as an attempt to tie everything together. Still, the book held my interest and I enjoyed the surfing culture

It's a
Il surf, sia come sport che come filosofia di vita, è lontanissimo da noi: non abbiamo l’oceano, non abbiamo quelle onde - e neppure quelle spiagge (epperò, a Roma, in una piccola traversa a senso unico della circonvallazione Gianicolense c’è un negozietto dentro un garage che vende assi da surf!)
Eppure, lo conosciamo bene, ci è familiare, come tutto quello che riguarda gli US: gli yankees hanno sempre usato il cinema per colonizzare il mondo, esportando e rendendo vincente il l
Filippo Bossolino
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La pattuglia dell'alba è composta di sei amici, quanto più diversi l'uno dall'altro, ma con una passione assoluta che li accomuna, quella del surf e che fa sì che ogni mattina, all'alba, prima dei rispettivi lavori, i sei si ritrovino a pagaiare e surfare a Pacific Beach. In questi giorni è imminente l'arrivo di una mareggiata incredibile che porterà le onde più alte degli ultimi venti anni. Boone Daniels, uno dei sei della Pattuglia, ex poliziotto e ora detective privato, accetta a malincuore - ...more
I have read two other books by this author. I started with The Cartel, which totally captivated me. so I picked up Power Of The Dog, and although it had some long, somewhat dreary moments, I still thought it was very good.

So I got hooked on Don Winslow, and decided to pick up two more of his, The Dawn Patrol and Savages.

What can I say about The Dawn Patrol? Ah well, it was a huge letdown for me. The pace is slow, the story never really goes anywhere, and I never "felt" anything for any of the
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pacifický noir, který klame tělem. Dlouho se zdá, že na Winslowovy poměry je to nezvykle přímočaré a šestákové, byť samozřejmě napsané "vysoce i nad ty nejvyšší žánrové poměry". Ovšem postupně se to zašmodrchá až do ellroyovských rozměrů.

Co tomu nasazuje korunu kvality je punc rozměru "jak se žije v San Diegu", který by jeden čekal spíše ve velkém americkém románu než noirovce o soukromém očku. Je z toho cítit silné genius loci posthippie Kalifornie, kde se mísí hispánské vlivy, vlivy japonsk
Ashley Lauren
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun read. Coming from a place where waves don't exist (Wisconsin) it was nice to read about a completely different life. The premise was overall interesting and although I never got that heart-pounding mystery-thriller kind of feeling I thought the plot line and events were pretty well done.

The characters were interesting and THOROUGHLY well described - almost too much at times. Also, it seemed that people were either angels or devils in this book - with few flaws in between. But the
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written. It was amazing how the characters, who make up the west coast communities; the tourists, the surfers, Hawaiians, Samoans, Japs, Mexicans, the rich, the poor, the desperate, the law enforcers, the criminals.. plus the place, and its history - were all nicely knit.

The story's transition from CHILL to DARK was abrupt but effective. And like a perfect tuberide, the dawn patrol were able to find their light at the end of the barrel and rode off, but not without the unforgiving p
Another winner from this author. Loved the San Diego surf setting, really liked the main character, a former cop turned PI who lives to surf, and was impressed with how the author unraveled the plot which, at first, seemed like it might be a bit lightweight but turned rather dark. Listened to the audio version narrated by Ray Porter who did a great job with all the surfer slang and kept the pace brisk.
Apr 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don Winslow has made surfer noir, drug cartels and police dramas great again. In fact this piece made me ponder my purpose. I am focused now on being fully present with everyone and to increase their quality of life. But shaking the 70's as a white, male, Mormon has been tough. I was taught things like we were the only truth and above animals who we were given dominion over along with the land. I believe this (along with the entirety of their faith) they got wrong. I think we are the servants of ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, mystery
Hardboiled San Diego, I enjoyed it. It reminded me quite a bit of a Travis Mcgee book, with the author throwing in political outlook and critiques of history which don't come from any character. I was disappointed that the big reveal didn't have more clues leading into it and was not very cleverly exposed to the reader.

This is my first Winslow book. He receives shout outs from other authors I like and the WSJ loves him. It's certain I'll read/listen to some of his other books.

The narrator is abo
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Way different than I thought this was going to be. Cool to have this story set on the beaches I surf with regularity. Crazy story though. Thought it was going to be a surfing book, but ended up being a murder solving police thriller with human trafficking and a side story about friendship and how life is constantly changing. Really enjoyed this book.
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Dawn Patrol 1 37 Jun 30, 2008 05:53AM  
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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
More about Don Winslow...

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