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The Dawn Patrol    by Don Winslow Amazon.com order for
Dawn Patrol
by Don Winslow
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Don Winslow, author of The Winter of Frankie Machine, which I enjoyed tremendously, brings his fans another offering to read, enjoy, talk about. They will cheer protagonist Boone Daniels on as he watches over his group of surfers who make up the Dawn Patrol.

The Dawn Patrol is an awesome book based mostly on the beaches of San Diego area. Boone and his surfing friends gather each morning to catch the waves before they start their days earning their livings. Of course, nothing is ever perfect. Crime intrudes on this peaceful scene and Boone seems to be the one who can clean it up. At a great personal price.

Winslow digresses occasionally to explain something in detail maybe just how the waves grow and how they can be predicted to be colossal by a certain day. Or possibly how the strawberry fields he uses in this novel came into being, and the people who made them happen. Never once did I feel that it was a break in the storyline just an explanation that clarified things for me and added to the ambience of a really good book.

I have added new words to my vocabulary actually almost a whole new language - that of the surfer. Probably never get a chance to use my new found knowledge, but fun to know it, nonetheless. And it made the characters with their wonderful nicknames more real and even more colorful. Repugnant crimes take place and we, as readers are witness to them. We also are witness to Boone's extraordinary efforts to clean up his beach and its environs. The Dawn Patrol is a must read.

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