Download California Fire and Life: A Novel Audiobook

California Fire and Life: A Novel Audiobook, by Don Winslow Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Don Winslow Narrator: Jon Lindstrom Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2015 ISBN: 9781101912980
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Jack Wade, a claims adjuster for California Fire and Life Mutual Insurance Company, is one of the best arson investigators around. He's a man who knows fire, who can read the traces it leaves behind like a roadmap. When he's called in to examine an unusual claim, the tracks of the fire tell him that something's wrong. So wrong that he violates his own cardinal rule--"You don't get personal, you don't get emotional. Whatever you do, you don't get involved"--and plunges into the case.

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.

As the investigation spins out of control, Jack finds himself pulled so far in that he might not make it out. His outrageous behavior and defiant integrity, usually about as helpful to him as third-degree burns, may now be the only things that will keep the investigation--and Jack himself--from being snuffed out. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Intriguing and suspenseful. The San Diego Union-Tribune
  • [A] jazzy California thriller . . . Think Philip Marlowe if he were still sleuthing--and had taken up surfing. Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)
  • “A jazzy California thriller…Think Philip Marlowe if he were still sleuthing—and had taken up surfing.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “[Winslow finds] a dark, sinister lyricism in the forensics of fire.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A smoking, smoldering threat of a book that flickers and flames and inevitably goes inferno…Cover to cover, it is hot, hot, hot.”

    Austin Chronicle

  • “Before he became a bestselling novelist…Winslow spent fifteen years as an arson investigator. His expert knowledge pays off in California Fire and Life, a giant fireball of a thriller…Jack—who lives only to surf and investigate arson—is still a fresh and fascinating creation.”

  • “Southern California is captured perfectly in all its hyperbolic splendor…Winslow’s knowledge of his subject and his territory, and the narrative’s rapid pace, keep the entertainment value at steady flame.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A complex tale of murder and insurance fraud that keeps the reader alert and guessing right to the end…Writing in a gritty shorthand style that perfectly evokes the hard-nosed and dogged detective..[this] thriller won’t disappoint. Recommended for all public libraries.”

    Library Journal

  • “Though Winslow writes as crudely as he puns, his plotting is shapely and inventive, and most readers will get caught up in the tale of Jack’s treacherous descent into hot water and his miraculous escape.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Jon Lindstrom has his work cut out for him in this freewheeling mystery…Not only must Lindstrom voice a KGB general, an Armenian mobster, and a Vietnamese godfather, but—in what might be a first for audiobook narration—he convincingly provides the voice of a fire. Wisely, Lindstrom avoids using a surfer dude accent for Wade. Veteran crime writer Winslow is in good form combining his stream-of-consciousness narrative style with captivating details about fire investigation, insurance scams, and the Russian mob.”


  • An Entertainment Weekly “Must Read”

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About the Author

Don Winslow is the author of twenty-one acclaimed, award-winning international bestsellers, including the New York Times bestseller and sensation The Force, the #1 international bestseller The Cartel, The Power of the Dog, Savages, and The Winter of Frankie Machine. Savages was made into a feature ?lm by three-time Oscar-winning writer-director Oliver Stone. The Power of the Dog, The Cartel, and The Border sold to FX in a major multi-million-dollar deal to air as a weekly tv series beginning in 2020. A former investigator, antiterrorist trainer, and trial consultant, Winslow lives in California and Rhode Island.

About the Narrator

Joe Lindstrom is a voice talent and Earphones Award–winning narrator. He is also an award-winning, Emmy-nominated actor, director, and screenwriter, well known for his work on ABC’s General Hospital and HBO’s True Detective. He has been honored with numerous acting accolades, including the Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.