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Fans of the Elvis Cole series by Robert Crais will have noted the subtitle to his latest novel. Yes, Joe Pike does get his own adventure here. That's good news and bad news. The good news is that nobody does snappy banter and mean streets thrills better than Mr. Crais--the West Coast's very own Robert B. Parker. The bad news is that the very reasons that characters like Hawk and Joe Pike have messed up so much of the private eye genre are merely exacerbated here. Mr. Crais does work to humanize Pike somewhat and to fill in a backstory for him, but at the end of the day he remains an efficient killer who isn't bound by the same sort of code a classic p.i. is and his invulnerability necessarily drains tension out of the story. The author concedes at one point that a superman risks nothing, and yet the character is essentially written as a superhero.

Fans will certainly enjoy the book, but count me with Loren D. Estleman.


Grade: (B+)


See also:

Robert Crais (3 books reviewed)
Private Eyes
Robert Crais Links:

    -EXCERPT: Prologue of The Watchman by Robert Crais
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Robert Crais (IMDB)
    -Robert Crais (Wikipedia)
    -Joe Pike, Created by Robert Crais (Thrilling Detective)
    -INTERVIEW: The Explosive Talents of Robert Crais (Kevin Burton Smith, May 2000, January Magazine)
    -INTERVIEW: ROBERT CRAIS: STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART: This longtime favorite is back from a life-threatening scare and ready to tell new stories about "Elvis Coles’ Los Angeles." (NANCIE CLARE, 11/14/22, CrimeReads)
-REVIEW: of The Watchman by Robert Crais (
    -REVIEW: of the Watch,man (Mel Odom, BlogCritics)
    -REVIEW: of The Watchman (Sandy Mitchell, Suite 101)
    -REVIEW: of The Last Detective by Robert Crais (Janet Maslin, NY Times)

Book-related and General Links: