Neal Carey Books

The name Neal Carey refers to a series of crime fiction novels written by Don Winslow. The books follow the exploits of a young man who owes a powerful organization a big debt.

Order of Neal Carey Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 A Cool Breeze on the Underground 1991 Description / Buy
2 The Trail to Buddha's Mirror 1992 Description / Buy
3 Way Down on the High Lonely 1993 Description / Buy
4 A Long Walk Up the Water Slide 1994 Description / Buy
5 While Drowning in the Desert 1996 Description / Buy
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Don Winslow came to fame when he wrote The Death and Life of Bobby Z in 1997. The author explored a variety of careers and study options before he finally settled on publishing. He was even granted the opportunity to do investigative work as a private eye in Los Angeles.

That might explain why Don Winslow’s mystery novels have always boasted a gritty realism to them. The author wrote A Cool Breeze on the Underground in 1991. It was his debut novel and also the first book in the Neal Carey series.

The book introduces readers to Neal Carey, a 23-year-old student with a bright future. As a child, the loss of his mother left Neal destitute. He carved out a new life for himself on the streets and learned to survive as a lawbreaker.

His deft skills at pickpocketing kept Neal relatively warm and somewhat fed until he came across Joe Graham, a man far more astute than most. Most men would have made Neal Carey pay dearly for this attempted burglary.

Joe was merely amused and impressed by Neal. A one-armed private investigator, Joe took the boy under his wing and taught him the tricks of the trade. With his intelligence, it did not take Neal long to surpass his master.

And rather than allowing him to languish in a state of uncertainty, the private investigator finally introduced him to a New England Institution called the Bank that caters to the needs of the wealthy.

The Bank financed Neal Carey’s education until he graduated from Columbia University. And Neal was grateful for all their help. However, it isn’t until the events of A Cool Breeze on the Underground roll around that Neal realizes that the assistance of the Bank wasn’t free.

Presently a Master’s Student studying 19th Century Literature, Neal is drawn into the operations of the bank. They inform him that he must put his skills to good use by searching for the rebellious daughter of a prominent senator.

The case forces Neal to delve into some desperately deep waters, putting his life in danger and forcing him to question every choice he has ever made. However, even when he resolves the situation, the Bank remains unsatisfied.

It will be a while before they consider his debt repaid. Each new novel in the Neal Carey Series finds Neal Carey taking on a new case for the Bank. He makes it clear early on that he finds the work distasteful. But he doesn’t have much choice in the matter.

Neal Carey Awards

A Cool Breeze on the Underground was an Edgar Award and Shamus Award Finalist in 1992. The book also earned a Maltese Falcon Prize in 1994. This is on top of the Dilys Award nomination Way Down on the High Lonely received in 1994.

Best Neal Carey Books

Don Winslow has garnered a reputation for writing sharp, biting crime fiction that boasts plenty of dark humor, with some of the best books in the series including:

A Cool Breeze on the Underground: Allie Chase is a rebellious teenage girl and she has run off to London to immerse herself in a dangerous world filled with drugs. Allie’s situation wouldn’t matter if she wasn’t a prominent senator’s daughter, a senator who needs her sober and ready to face the cameras when campaign season starts.

Now Allie is Neal Carey’s problem. Neal Carey was a hopeless little boy with no future until an organization that caters to the needs of the rich swooped in and financed his life and education.
Now Neal Carey owes them. They want him to follow Allie down her violent path and drag her back home before it’s too late.

The Trail to Buddha’s Mirror: Robert Pendleton created a priceless fertilizer and now everyone wants it, from the CIA to the Chinese. When Pendleton disappears, the idea of finding him does not initially worry Neal Carey.

But then he runs into and falls hard for Lin Lan, a beguiling girl who just might lead Neal to an early grave if he does not learn to control his heart.

Other Book Series You May Like

The “Nick Mason” Series by Steve Hamilton is another great one. After five years in a maximum security prison, Nick is granted his freedom. But now he owes his life to a crime lord and he must commit increasingly dangerous crimes even as he evades capture by a determined detective.

Readers also enjoy the “Inspector Morse” Series by Colin Dexter. Morse is a Detective Chief inspector that works for the Thames Valley Police in England. He uses his ingenuity and attention to detail to solve complex crimes.

What Is The Next Book in The Neal Carey Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Neal Carey Series. The newest book is While Drowning in the Desert and was released on November, 30th 1995.

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