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Real estate mogul Nicky Vale's house is one of the most valuable properties on this stretch of the Southern California gold coast - large, luxurious, crammed with antiques, set on a nice piece of land with a perfect ocean view. After a disastrous blaze tears through a wing of the house, it's only normal that Vale would file an insurance claim. But a $3 million claim is rarely normal, especially not when it's filed within hours of the horrific death of the owner's young and beautiful wife. The County Sheriff's Department investigator, Brian "Accidentally" Bentley, has declared the fire, well, accidental - caused by Mrs. Vale's passing out in bed with a bottle of vodka and a lit cigarette - although a careful look at the evidence points to something more sinister.
When Jack begins his investigation, he draws on his skill, experience and sheer stubbornness to uncover the truth of what's going on, but each step leads him further into a situation that's becoming increasingly dangerous. Soon arson is the least of Jack's worries, as the case grows to involve the Russian mob, Vietnamese gangs, real estate scams, counterfeiting and corporate corruption. In addition, Jack's forced to confront his own ghosts, including a fatal professional error, and to cope with the sudden reentry into his life of the best thing that ever happened to him: Letitia del Rio, a Sheriff's deputy whose bombshell looks are exceeded only by her smarts and guts.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By John S on 04-18-15
A book about an insurance adjuster, oh yea.
If you read the synopsis of this book you might want to say, that looks uninteresting. Actually it is one of my favorite books in the last few months. Both the narration and writing are superb. The author has an "ear" for dialogue. so you will find yourself laughing at some times. The plot twists and turns so it is often suspenseful. . But the major good point of the book is that main character is just a regular guy who will not compromise his morals. No Jack Reacher kind of character bent on killing about every third person he meets, but someone just dedicated to his job as a fire claims adjuster who will not tolerate fraud and an underlying murder.
So good I think I listened to entire 13 hours straight.
26 of 28 people found this review helpful
By L. O. Pardue on 06-14-15
Who Knew? Insurance Investigations are Fascinating
I knew that Don Winslow was an excellent author, but it took me a long time to convince myself that insurance investigations, particularly arson, could be so interesting. What finally pushed me were two listeners I follow. I trusted their good reviews and was rewarded.
Winslow can make the study of fire so interesting that I actually enjoyed the details required to understand the story. To be honest, I don't recall a time during the listen where my interest started to lag. I found the ending to be dramatic and satisfying. To Mr. Winslow -- well done and thank you for a great experience.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mr Valentine 'Bunny' Prendergast on 06-07-15
Really enjoyed this one. A mix of hard boiled private dick and noir with a touch of the mob and everything you ever wanted to know about combustion. Very well narrated. Recommended.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By A. O. Dea on 11-19-17
Don Winslow is a phenomenal writer and storyteller. And the narrator was flawless. Hated to finish..