di Erika Scafuro
«And it was the ocean that healed him: very slowly and not completely, but it was a healing forever». Boone Daniels is the protagonist of The Dawn Patrol, a crime novel written by Don Winslow that tells about the troubles Boone Daniels faces as a private investigator. He is usually found with his buddies, together form The Dawn Patrol so called because they meet early in the morning to surf together the best waves off the coast of San Diego, California. And when Daniels eagerly awaits the arrival of an epic swell that will arrive shortly thereafter, he becomes involved in a case that will involve him on a personal level.
Pacific Beach is the place where The Dawn Patrol gathers, where they scrutinize the ocean to anticipate its movements, where they watch the waves crash against the Crystal Pier pilings, ready to enter the cold water with the heavy wetsuits that cover them from ankles to wrists and finally surfing the majestic waves.
In addition to being a very smooth book, not only for those who love the crime genre, Don Winslow has the extraordinary ability to make us feel from the pages he has written the energy of the waves spreading from the ocean to the body of Boone Daniels. The writer embellishes the pages with continuous reflections related to surfing and the ocean.
«To say he learned to surf before he learned to walk is no doubt an exaggeration, but he certainly did it before he knew how to run. Boone is the quintessential surfer: conceived on the beach, born half a mile away and raised three blocks from where the wave breaks at high tide. His father surfed, his mother surfed […] As a result, Boone’s relationship with the water goes back to the beginning of his life, and maybe even earlier. The ocean is his backyard, his refuge, his domain, his church. He enters it to feel good, to clean himself up, to remind himself that life is one big ride. Boone is convinced that in the wave lies a tangible divine message: all the great things in life have no strings attached. […] Boone Daniels lives for surfing».
In The Dawn Patrol does not lack a geographical overview of the places where surfing had its peak. Through the eyes of Boone Daniels, it is like being with him driving along U.S. Highway 101, the Pacific Coast Highway, and remember the golden age of surfing when for anyone who loved to ride the waves, come to those coastline, seemed to live in a dream.
It seems to really hear the waves breaking along the beach where the buddies of The Dawn Patrol are used to meet. All the reader has to do is wait for the swell to come, grab his surfboard and ride the waves with them.