California Fire and Life: A Suspense Thriller (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

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9780307279859: California Fire and Life: A Suspense Thriller (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
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FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE CARTEL.

When Jack Wade is called in to examine a suspicious arson claim, he follows the evidence into the crime infested inferno of the California underworld.
 
Jack Wade was the rising star of the Orange County Sheriffs Department’s arson unit, but a minor scandal cost him everything, except his encyclopedic knowledge of fire. Now working as an insurance claims investigator, Jack is called in to examine a suspicious claim: within hours of a disastrous blaze tearing through a wing of real estate mogul Nicky Vale’s house— causing the horrific death of his young wife—he filed a 3 million-dollar insurance claim. The tracks of the fire tell Jack that something's wrong, and as he follows the evidence the case grows to involve the Russian mob, Vietnamese gangs, real estate scams, counterfeiting and corporate corruption.
 
Things get so hot and deadly that Jack might not make it out alive . . . that is until he decides to fight fire with fire.

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Review:

Before he became a bestselling novelist with The Death and Life of Bobby Z, Don Winslow spent 15 years as an arson investigator. His expert knowledge pays off in California Fire and Life, a giant fireball of a thriller about ace arson investigator Jack Wade. Want to know why thick, oily soot on glass might be a sign of arson? Or why arsonists never burn their dogs? Or what the presence of "alligator char" means? You'll learn about this and much more, as Jack sifts through the ashes of a mansion in Orange County on behalf of the insurance company that he works for. A young wife and mother named Pamela Vale burned to death in the fire. Bentley, the sloppy and possibly corrupt sheriff's department fire investigator, claims that it was a case of drinking too much vodka and dropping a cigarette. Jack has his doubts--especially when he meets the woman's ex-husband, Nicky Vale, a slick Russian entrepreneur (read mafia chief) born Daziatnik Valeshin.

Before signing off on the multimillion-dollar insurance policy on Mrs. Vale's life and house, Jack does some more digging. Meanwhile, his old girlfriend--a policewoman who just happens to be the dead woman's half-sister--finds a link between Nicky Vale's Russian mob and a Vietnamese gang of criminals. Jack's insurance firm begins to act strangely, pressuring him to settle the Vale claim. There may be a little too much technical data in California Fire and Life, but Jack--who lives only to surf and investigate arson--is still a fresh and fascinating creation. --Dick Adler

From the Inside Flap:

An insurance claims investigator, Jack Wade speaks the language of fire. He can walk into charred remains and know where the flames ignited and why. Now Jack is investigating a claim he knows isn't just fraudulent, it's murder.

The house was a multi million-dollar beauty looking out over the Pacific. The woman died in her bedroom, her alcohol-soaked blood baked on to a $350,000 canopied bed. It's a case Jack could turn away from but won't--because old scores need to be settled. So Jack takes the plunge into a world of crime, ambition, and evil he never knew existed under the bright California sun. And for Jack, getting out again is going to mean fighting fire with fire. . . .

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679454311: California Fire and Life

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