If I were making a short list of the best crime writers around, which I'm not, I'd certainly include Don Winslow. The reason I'm not making the list is that I don't read widely enough to feel qualified, but if I did, I'll bet I'd still include Winslow. If you need any proof that he belongs on the list, read The Gentleman's Hour. Or for that matter, read just about anything else he's written.
The Gentleman's Hour is a sequel to The Dawn Patrol, and it again features Boone Daniels and his friends who go out early every morning to surf. They're the Dawn Patrol. One day Boone hangs around into the Gentleman's Hour when some of the older surfers come along. Most of them are successful businessmen, including Dan Nichols, who has a problem. His wife, he says, is unfaithful, and he wants Boone to find out for sure. Boone works as a private-eye, but he hates matrimonials. Nichols pleads, and Boone accepts, to his sorrow.
Then Petra Hall wants to hire Boone to help with the legal defense of Corey Blassingame, a young man who's confessed to killing Kelly Kuhio, a beloved surfer and local legend. Everyone, including Boone's closet friends, wants Blassingame in prison for life of, better yet, dead. But Boone accepts the job, again to his sorrow. The fact that he'd work on the kid's defense causes considerable tension between him and his friends.
Throw in feuding drug lords, real estate scams, and a villain who loves to torture people, and things get pretty complex. As dark as the subject matter is, Winslow somehow manages to keep the sun shining. Fine writing, great characters, and superb plotting do the job. You can't ask for much more than that. Check it out.