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

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,652 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
The popular mystery from New York Times bestselling author Don Winslow

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 of the Kitteredges, a secreti
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ebook, 250 pages
Published December 14th 2010 by Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller (first published 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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 cra
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Susan
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, mystery, mob
A young man who is left to his own devises after the death of his mother, is recruited by a wise guy who helps him develop his natural skills as a pick pocket etc. As his skills and potential exceed that of his teacher he is noticed by the boss who in turn puts him in a very expensive, private school and then eventually college.

There is of course an unspoken agreement that he will take care of situations that require his skill set. Unfortunately he soon becomes aware of corruption within this c
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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
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-deals
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
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Juan Araizaga
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4 días y 384 paginas despues.

Al parecer cada libro de Don Winslow es mejor que el anterior. Sí, estamos de acuerdo que la Fortaleza (previamente exhibida) de Winslow es su narrativa que te "jala" practicamente hacia delante, pero en este caso los personajes se llevan la historia, mejor dicho el principal. O bueno eso al menos a mí me lo parecía, sentí un fuerte sentimiento de empatía con el protagonista por eso lo devoré. Hace ya unos libros no sentía la ferrea necesidad de concluir un libro taa
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Linda
Jul 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime_fiction
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.
LauraT
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
MY LONDON!!!
"Dinner was a beefsteack thougher than a jockey's butt, vegetables with the taste boiled out of them, potatoes, tinned fruit, a red wine you could walk on, and a conversation devoted entirely to book"
What else!!!
"He would walk down St. Martin's Lane, past the perpetual demonstration outside the South Africa Embassy, over to Trafalgar Square"
"Wimpy's have better service"!!!
Esagui
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es una excelente ejemplo de lo que es y debe ser la novela negra, pese a que es una de sus primeras novelas.

Tiene personajes entrañables que no decaen en la lectura, al contrario, al ser la primera nos vemos involucrados en un pasado de lo más interesante. Lo que me hace pensar lo complicado que será repetir la fórmula, pues los flashbacks son geniales pero ¿qué pasará ahora que prácticamente todo su pasado quedo cubierto? ¿Será momento de regresar a la primera novela, y en la tercera entrega re
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Matt
May 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
LindaJ^
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, audio, series
This was an enjoyable read. I liked it better than Winslow's Savages because it was, well, far less savage. Neal Carey is a pretty original detective. A child of the streets who steals the wrong wallet, or maybe the right wallet.

When we meet Neal, he is working on his doctorate in English literature. But soon he is off to do a job for "the family." This is not the crime family, but a bank that does detective work for customers who would prefer that their business stays out of the public eye. Ne
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Leftbanker
I plowed through this novel on pure Don Winslow inertia as this was the sixth of his books that I have read in the past six weeks and this was my least favorite of the bunch although I enjoyed it more than Savages which I read a few years ago. There is little to recommend this novel that tells the story of the education of a street urchin as he toils under the tutelage of a one-armed midget detective Yoda. I suppose the simple fact that I finished the book should say something about the quality ...more
Susan
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Cornapecha
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una buena novela negra, escrita por Winslow al comienzo de su carrera. Tal vez le falte la contundencia de sus obras más conocidas, pero a cambio tenemos la frescura y el ingenio de un escritor primerizo. Y la brevedad, que también es algo a destacar. Comenzaba a perfilarse la especialización de Winslow en el tema de la droga, su tráfico y su consumo y el terrible y opaco mundo que se crea a su alrededor.
Fresca, dinámica y fácil de leer, con unos personajes atractivos y una historia típica (es
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Diahna
Feb 19, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sagas, detectives, 2016
Un personaje tan inteligente y astuto como Neal Carey merece algo más que 300 páginas llenas de lenguaje vulgar, flashbacks sin sentido y una vida en la que no puede fiarse ni del perro del vecino. Una decepción de principio a fin, por guión, por narración y por la falta de carisma de la mitad de los personajes.
Erdmannlibob
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: krimi
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.
GONZA
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Come si fa a non amare un detective privato che viene dalla strada e vuole laurearsi in letteratura medioevale? Per me é stato amore a prima vista e sapere che ci sono giá altri libri in questa serie mi riempie di gioia assoluta. Ormai devo rassegnarmi al fatto di essere un serial reader e per ogni libro che leggo c'é una serie che comincio....
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.
Giuseppe Lombardo
Una partita scorretta dove alla fine prevale l'esperienza. No, non è una sintesi sulle abilità investigative di Neal Carey, protagonista del romanzo. Questo attacco è una riflessione sul talento di Winslow, che emerge maestosamente anche a fronte di una trama tutto sommato inconsistente. In questo libro i personaggi seguono stereotipi tradizionali e anche il registro usato nelle conversazioni non appare esaltante. Tuttavia l'autore, pur essendo a mille migliaia di distanza dai fasti de "Il carte ...more
Vanezuky
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En realidad la puntuación final es de 4.5/5 .

Debo admitir que se me hizo raro leer esta historia, primero porque la trama es totalmente diferente a lo que nos tiene ya acostumbrados este autor, segundo porque aunque si es una lectura ágil, entretenida y atrapante, en ocasiones me sentí confusa, no todo estaba narrado tan claro, los giros argumentales, que normalmente suelen sorprenderme increíblemente, lo que hacían era confundirme, no siempre claro, y es por ello que decidí quitarle media estre
...more
Baldurian
London Underground, l'esordio letterario di Don Winslow, è un giallo senza particolari pregi né difetti. La trama è abbastanza scontata e non particolarmente ispirata, il romanzo si regge su un protagonista diverso dal solito (un ex ladruncolo investigatore e studente universitario a tempo perso) e, più in generale, sulla cura nei personaggi.
Jaybee
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had the feel of an old-fashioned mystery, even though it was written in the late 1990s, which I enjoyed. This was just an easy summer read, nothing more, nothing less.
Silvia Marcaurelio
Inizio col dire che io adoro Don Winslow. Anzi, diciamo che lo venero proprio. E’ in assoluto uno dei miei scrittori preferiti, e si contende il primo posto con altri due o tre. Per me potrebbe rendere interessante anche un elenco del telefono o una lista della spesa, se fosse lui a compilarli, quindi, forse, mi troverete un po’ di parte. Einaudi mi ha fatto un gran regalo, sull’onda del successo del suo ultimo capolavoro, Il Cartello, sta ripubblicando i primi scritti di Winslow. London Undergr ...more
Damiano Battaglia
“London underground”, Don Winslow. Storia di un investigatore diverso.
Leggi questo ed altri commenti su The Amity Examiner.

A volte l’editoria italiana ha bisogno di un po’ di tempo per mettere a fuoco un autore. A Don Winslow è andata particolarmente male. I suoi primi romanzi escono da noi solo nel 2016, grazie ad Einaudi, a “soli” 25 anni dalla loro pubblicazione in patria. Meglio tardi che mai. Ecco quindi “London underground”, opera prima di un autore che solo da qualche anno a questa parte
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Vittoria Dalton
Il grande pregio di questo libro è il personaggio che dà il nome alla serie ed è l'indiscusso protagonista della storia: Neal Carey, uno studente di letteratura che lavora per gli “Amici di Famiglia”, una misteriosa agenzia che risolve i problemi inconfessabili dei facoltosi clienti di una banca. Neal è un Oliver Twist moderno, indimenticabile personaggio della letteratura inglese citato astutamente dall'autore. Con un infanzia difficile alle spalle, viene riscattato dall'investigatore privato G ...more
Dave
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"A Cool Breeze on the Underground" is the first novel of five in Winslow's Neal Carey series. This is a unique and rather hard to categorize mystery/crime series. Carey is not your typical hardboiled fedora-wearing PI. And this is not your typical crime novel. It's not a cover to cover action-packed bloodbath, although in the latter part of the book, the action does get a little hot and heavy.
The story is filled with history and backstories and all kinds of minutiae. I found it to be a terrific
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Jen
Oct 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Eric_W
Jul 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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)
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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.” 3 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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