Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Calling Elvis ... Is Anybody Home?

The Last Detective (Elvis Cole and Joe Pike #9) (2003) by Robert Crais: LA private detective Elvis Cole and occasional partner Joe Pike deal with a problem close to home this time after the son of Cole's girlfriend is abducted from outside Cole's house by someone who claims to have a grudge against Cole for something that happened during Cole's Tour of Duty in Viet Nam.

The mystery plays pretty much fair this time out, though the reader will probably know what's really happened before Cole and Pike. As with many Cole/Pike adventures, this one ends with a violent, cinematic, and thrillingly choreographed action sequence. It's Hardboiled Action in the Mighty Crais Manner! It's all fun and diverting, if a bit shallow. Recommended.


Taken (Elvis Cole and Joe Pike #15) (2012) by Robert Crais: LA private detective Elvis Cole and occasional partner Joe Pike again deal with a problem close to home as a kidnapping case suddenly results in Cole himself being kidnapped. Mighty, laconic Joe Pike springs into action with the help of nearly-as-mighty good-mercenary Jon Stone as the clock ticks on the lifespans of Cole and the young couple he was searching for.

The set-up for Taken is really interesting. The logistics and practice of illegal immigrant trafficking on the U.S.-Mexico border come in for scrutiny. Real-life horrors are exposed, along with real-life hypocrisies. Pike and Stone make the world's most competent rescue team.

Taken is also Robert Crais' most complex novel from a structural standpoint. Several narratives running at different times and with different POV's converge at the climax, seamlessly. It's really a triumph of plot. Recommended.

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