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A Cool Breeze on the Underground | [Don Winslow]

A Cool Breeze on the Underground

Neal Carey is not your usual private eye. A graduate student at Columbia University, he grew up on the streets of New York, usually on the wrong side of the law. Then he met a P.I. who introduced him to the Bank, an exclusive institution with a sideline in keeping its wealthy clients happy and out of trouble. They pay Neal's college tuition, and Neal gets an education that can't be found in any textbook, from learning how to trail a suspect to mastering the proper way to search a room. Now it's payback time.
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Publisher's Summary

Neal Carey is not your usual private eye. A graduate student at Columbia University, he grew up on the streets of New York, usually on the wrong side of the law. Then he met a P.I. who introduced him to the Bank, an exclusive institution with a sideline in keeping its wealthy clients happy and out of trouble. They pay Neal's college tuition, and Neal gets an education that can't be found in any textbook, from learning how to trail a suspect to mastering the proper way to search a room.

Now it's payback time. The Bank wants Neal to put his skills to work in finding Allie Chase, the rebellious teenage daughter of a prominent senator. The problem is that she's gone underground in the London punk scene. To get her back, Neal has to follow her into a violent netherworld where drugs run rampant and rage is the name of the game.

©1991 Don Winslow; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A fresh voice, immensely likeable....Winslow shows he's got what it takes to hook a reader....Where he goes next with Neal is anyone's guess, but it's bound to be a great ride." (Mystery Scene)
"A flair for language, quick wit, and detail complete a winning first novel." (Library Journal)
"Winslow keeps his plot moving quickly despite many twists and turns." (Pittsburgh Press)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1048 )
5 star
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3.9 (852 )
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4.3 (858 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 06-26-15
    Richard Delman San Francisco 06-26-15 Member Since 2013

    I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Much better than that dog book."
    Where does A Cool Breeze on the Underground rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top third. Not to be boastful, but my library contains about 1000 audiobooks, so it is hard for me to make judgments like this. It's hard for me to even think of all the audiobooks I've listened to.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Neal, the protagonist, is clearly the man whom Mr. Winslow wants you to root for. And you do. He takes on the global mess that is Ally and her twisted family, complete with her heroin addiction, as just a teenager, and her scuzzy lifestyle (read: prostitution) and her scuzzier friends. Colin, the bad guy, is a truly nauseating bad guy. You just want him to get his comeuppance, as they used to say, and you are glad when he does, although this requires a couple of plot tricks that strain credulity a bit.


    What does Joe Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I love Joe Barrett. It is far beyond just his gravelly voice, which is always pleasing. All the British accents he does! He separates the Cockney from the House of Lords and everything in between. I've never been a Brit-o-phile. Winslow's description of the heat in the "tube" makes you claustrophobic, just antsy to get out of there.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I can't do that. I am happy to let a long book take some time. This one in particular has an unusual surprise: I liked the second half much more than the first half, which is not usually the case. I believe that this is because of the extremely sweet love scenes that take place during Ally's rugged rehab. Unrequited, which makes it all the more tender, and such a contrast to the disgusting, gory pile of violence that is that dog book. If it were just that one, I would never read another book by Winslow. Now, I definitely will give it another go, old chap. With a brandy snifter in my leather chair in my cozy wood-lined personal library, with my trusty corn cob pipe at hand.


    Any additional comments?

    No. This was a pleasure. Thanks. I hope all your readers who might be skeptical of Mr. Winslow will give this one a shot (so to speak).

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mindusq san francisco 05-31-11
    mindusq san francisco 05-31-11 Member Since 2008

    Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Joe Barrett reading Don Winslow = joy squared"

    Mr. Winslow creates such interesting characters and lets them speak in that snarky, witty prose that makes me wish I could meet them in person. Well, some of them. Some of them are scary creeps. Definitely worth listening to.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 05-19-15
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 05-19-15 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

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    "This thing's fun!"

    Don Winslow's a talented craftsman. The story's about a backward Pygmalion. This time the waif's a male,but the Professor's every bit the taskmaster. It's a caper tale that kept me happy from the start on. Of course Joe Barrett's a vocal master. I cannot imagine how he manages to age his characters as the plot develops. Yep, A Cool Breeze blew 15 stars out of my hard-to-please wallet.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pattio 04-08-15
    Pattio 04-08-15 Member Since 2015

    Book lover

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    "Funny, suspenseful, good characters"

    I was introduced to Don Winslow by reading "The Power of the Dog" which is a tour de force in a genre I would call reality fiction. That book was obviously well researched and I learned a lot about the history, and hypocrisy of the "war on drugs.” "A Cool Breeze on the Underground" is the first in a series that I found hugely enjoyable although not as hard hitting as "The Power of the Dog" or even Winslow's more recent fiction that is set in southern California.
    Hard hitting or not, I recommend "A Cool Breeze on the Underground" and for that matter, I recommend all of Don Winslow's fiction.I wish he was still writing the Neal Carey series in addition to his other excellent fiction. The story grabs your attention and keeps it to the end and along the way you will find humor as well as some thought provoking subject matter.
    Joe Barrett does an excellent job portraying the somewhat quirky characters.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 12-23-14
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 12-23-14

    I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Joe Barrett and Don Winslow.what a pair of winners"

    My second Don Winslow novel but first narrated by Joe Barrett is a truly compulsive listening experience.

    Though I very much enjoyed the plot with it's plot of Neil and all the back story with the senator, Alli, and the other various characters from a Senator hoping to be Vice President to the pimp that push Alli into the streets, I really connected with Joe Barrets narration. He's great!

    I loved this book and am looking forward to other Neil Carry stories in this series. and I'll be also looking for more narrated by Joe Barrett!

    Well wrath a credit...but only if you want to purchase the other novels in this series..they are addicting!

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W Perry Hall 06-29-14 Member Since 2015

    Atty/CPA, The South

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    "Clever PIcaresque novel, harkening back to Dickens"

    This is an excellent starter novel, a creative PI/picaresque story; cool, clever and sexy. I'm pleased to have happened upon this series. I have already bought the 2d, THE TRAIL TO BUDDHA'S MIRROR; and am hopeful it doesn't lose the rhythm like some other series I've dropped after reading the second.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james c. lee 10-18-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Excellent listen"
    Would you listen to A Cool Breeze on the Underground again? Why?

    Yes, would listen and read the book also


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, trying to figure out how Neal is going to make his next move.


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Enjoyed all of his performances


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but unfortunatly it was not so


    Any additional comments?

    Going through fiction titles and picked and picked Don Winslow by accident. How have I not
    listened to him or read his books.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    patricia 06-15-15
    patricia 06-15-15
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    "Pure delight"

    Initially saddened by the end ( hopefully temporary) of Mr Winslow's surfer series, I am now completely entranced by the Neal Carey series- treat yourself!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cody 05-18-15
    Cody 05-18-15
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    "A Great Read"

    I have to say, I was expecting more mystery when I decided to get this but even though the detective story isn't really that much about detection, I loved it. Great plot with interesting characters, exciting action, some real touching moments, some very funny one liners. I bought this because it was on sale but I will definitely be using my Audible credits on the next books in the series. I'm hooked on the characters and the idea and can't wait to read more.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry L. Wright Flower Mound, TX United States 04-11-15
    Sherry L. Wright Flower Mound, TX United States 04-11-15 Member Since 2014
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    "pretty good"

    This author has a good premise for a great book, unfortunatly I'm afraid too much was left unsaid. The finished story left entirely too much undone, too many unanswered questions. Also, trying to cram so much in left me too confused on some of the who's who whole listening; I'm a seasoned listener for years now and can usually follow along, not so much on this one.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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  • Tom
    West Wickham, United Kingdom
    8/6/10
    Overall
    "a quirky and very enjoyable thriller"

    If you are looking for a thriller off the beaten track, then I urge you to try this book. Very well written and plotted with a lot of well drawn and likeable characters, a good mix of thrills and humour, the book hooks you from the off, and it is difficult to break away from from listening so well does the narrative bowl along.

    The narration is pretty good too, though there is some unintended hilarity with the many British accents the narrator tries to put across; never has an East-end Londoner or a Yorkshireman sounded quite like this! Oddly enough though, the narrator stills gets the characters well and this doesn't detract from the overall narration or the story.

    Strongly recommended. I shall certainly be exploring other works by Don Winslow - one to look out for to be sure.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mr William Dewar
    7/20/15
    Overall
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    Story
    "Should have stayed Stateside"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Although the plot was good, the ridiculous attempts at English accents by the narrator and the weird narrative describing various aspects of English life and colloquial language spoilt it for me, so if the novel had stayed in the USA it would have been much better!


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending was a bit rushed and to be honest I was just relieved to have got rid of the silly accents.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Joe Barrett?

    Maybe Humphrey Bower.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The story was quite good.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this after listening to California Fire and Life which was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Earl of Duntrune
    3/31/15
    Overall
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    "You could not put it down if it were in print!"

    Reminded us why we used to read detective stories. Shall be searching for other works by Don Winslow. This one was certainly worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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