Don Winslow’s A Cool Breeze on the Underground was a fun book to read. Neal Carey is a graduate student who works for a RI bank and fixes the wealthy clients’ problems. When a vice-presidential hopeful’s daughter runs away, Neal is brought it to find her, clean her up, and bring her back in time for the Democratic convention.
Neal heads to London, Allie’s last known whereabouts, to search the city for her. The charm of this novel is not just in the mystery that Neal is trying to solve, but how he got into this business in the first place. Neal’s upbringing was less than ideal and Joe Graham, who works for the bank, helped raise him into the cunning and great fixer that he is. The flashbacks show how Joe trained Neal in the art of detection, in creative and unorthodox ways. Neal uses his training to track down Allie and trap her all the while battling with the ethics of returning a runaway to the family she ran from.
This was a quick, fun read. Neal’s interactions with those around him are part of what makes this book a good read. He usually says what people want to say, versus what they should, and yet manages to stay in almost everyone’s good charms. He’s a fun character and gets himself into and out of very unusual circumstances.
Read November 2014.