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The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole/Joe Pike Series) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD

4.1 out of 5 stars 529 customer reviews
Book 1 of 11 in the An Elvis Cole Novel Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

[T]his action thriller is pure escapism and has great dialogue HEALTHY MAGAZINE --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robert Crais is the 2006 recipient of the Ross Macdonald Literary Award. He is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including The Two Minute Rule, The Forgotten Man, and L.A. Requiem.
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Product Details

  • Series: Elvis Cole/Joe Pike Series (Book 1)
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Abridged edition (May 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781455807390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455807390
  • ASIN: 1455807397
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (529 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,171,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Crais is the author of the best-selling Elvis Cole novels. He was the 2006 recipient of the Ross Macdonald Literary Award.

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River in a blue collar family of oil refinery workers and four generations of police officers. He purchased a second-hand paperback of Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister when he was fifteen, which inspired his lifelong love of writing, Los Angeles, and the literature of crime fiction.

He journeyed to Hollywood in 1976 where he quickly found work writing scripts for such major television series as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, and Miami Vice, as well as scripting numerous series pilots and movies-of-the-week for the major networks.

Feeling constrained by the collaborative working requirements of Hollywood, Crais resigned from a lucrative position as a contract writer and television producer in order to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a novelist. His first efforts proved unsuccessful, but upon the death of his father in 1985, Crais was inspired to create Elvis Cole, using elements of his own life as the basis of the story. The resulting novel, The Monkey's Raincoat, won the Anthony and Macavity Awards and was nominated for the Edgar Award. It has since been selected as one of the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.

Crais conceived of the novel as a stand-alone, but realized that, in Elvis Cole, he had created an ideal and powerful character through which to comment upon his life and times. Elvis Cole's readership skyrocketed in 1999 upon the publication of L. A. Requiem, which was a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller and forever changed the way Crais conceived of and structured his novels. Larger and deeper in scope, Publishers Weekly wrote of L. A. Requiem, "Crais has stretched himself the way another Southern California writer, Ross Macdonald, always tried to do, to write a mystery novel with a solid literary base." Booklist added, "This is an extraordinary crime novel that should not be pigeonholed by genre. The best books always land outside preset boundaries. A wonderful experience."

Crais followed with his first non-series novel, Demolition Angel, which was published in 2000 and featured former Los Angeles Police Department Bomb Technician Carol Starkey. In 2001, Crais published his second non-series novel, Hostage, which was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and was a world-wide bestseller. The editors of Amazon.com selected Hostage as the #1 thriller of the year. A film adaptation of Hostage was released in 2005, starring Bruce Willis as ex-LAPD SWAT negotiator Jeff Talley.

Robert Crais lives in the Santa Monica mountains with his wife, three cats, and many thousands of books. Additional information can be found at his website, www.robertcrais.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Monkey's Raincoat, grabs you from the first chapter, puts you on the edge of your seat and keeps you there to the climactic end of the book. Meet Elvis Cole, Viet Nam vet, ex-security guard turned private investigator. He's a hard boiled, wise-cracking detective who gives Mike Hammer and Sam Spade a run for their money. The case begins as Ellen Lang hires Elvis to find her missing husband, Hollywood agent, Mort, who's taken their son and disappeared. Unfortunately, the case is a bit more complicated than just a simple missing person. Mort is soon found shot dead in his car, there's no sign of the son and Ellen is missing too. Elvis Cole is now on a mission to find mother and son and it involves missing drugs and some pretty frightening bad guys. Robert Crais has created a great mystery with a tight plot, full of terrific, interesting characters. His writing is crisp and sharp with witty and irreverent dialogue and action packed scenes. This is a fast paced, page turner that won't let you down. Mr. Crais deserved all the nominations and awards this book won.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Possibly one of the most delightful moments for a crabby old reader and reviewer of mystery stories is to discover an excellent author whom he has somehow missed. Of course, in this case it is also a bit embarrassing. Robert Crais is the author of, among other things, 'L.A. Requiem,' indicating that this reviewer is not only unobservant, but a bit stubborn as well. I am not always a fan of the hard-boiled detective/hero genre, and most of those I don't like seem to live around Los Angeles.
Deciding to break with a long tradition (for me), I ordered this book, the first in the Elvis Cole series, for my trial dip. I was ill prepared for a small but potent bombshell that won its author several awards and nominations. Gasping for breath, I settled in for an unexpectedly wild and enjoyable ride.
Elvis Cole is the anti-detective incarnate. In an office filled with Disney memorabilia, shared with an invisible partner, Cole meets with new client Ellen Lang and her best friend Janet Simon. The problem - Ellen's husband Mort and her son Perry have disappeared. Ellen is a difficult client, but Mort definitely was not a perfect husband, and Cole proceeds on the assumption that this is a straightforward parental snatch and run.
Cole discovers Mort's girlfriend is missing as well, and that his business partners in the film business are a bit sleazy, but he is caught by surprise when this suddenly becomes a murder case. The badness mounts as Cole finds his clues lead from film moguls to the top of the narcotics trade. Soon Cole, on a grim search for the boy, is having his strings pulled by people who would just as soon kill him as look at him. With unusual adeptness, the detective switches from Jiminy Cricket quotes to guns and fists. Joined by his partner, Elvis Cole goes to war.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was intrigued by the reviews of "LA Requiem" and, since I live in SoCal, thought I might be interested in Robert Crais' work. I selected "The Monkey's Raincoat" because it was his first novel, and the reviews were mixed. I was pleasantly suprised by his effort. What this book has done, besides entertain me for a few evenings, is to whet my appetite for the rest of the Elvis Cole series. As a matter of fact, I just finished ordering all of Mr. Crais' books.
2 Comments 90 of 94 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first entry in Robert Crais' Elvis Cole series and is a great read. Crais is a former TV writer who wrote for Emmy Award winning series such as L.A. Law and Hill Street Blues. In Elvis Cole, he creates a charcter who, on the surface, seems to be just another wise cracking private eye, but is actually so much more. Along with his perpetually sunglassed partner Joe Pike, Elvis owns a P.I. Agency in Los Angeles. Pike is quite interesting as well. He says little and lives life according to a strict code of discipline. He reminds me a little bit of Clint Eastwood from his spaghetti western days. The book opens with Elvis meeting with Ellen Lang & her friend Janet. It appears that Ellen's husband Mort has kidnapped their son. Elvis reluctantly takes the case and what appears to be a routine case of a missing person turns into something much bigger. Through many twists and turns involving small time Hollywood agents and actresses, he eventually comes face to face with a Mexican crime lord, who is a former bullfighter. He thinks Elvis has his missing cocaine and the story ends with Elvis searching for the cocaine and a showdown in the crime lord's compound. Crais weaves many interesting characters into a fast paced, humorous tale. The book contains the right amount of twists and turns to keep you on your toes, but not too many as to seem implausible. He reveals just enough about Elvis & Pike for us to get know them, but leaves somethings about them uncovered, so they can be explored in future books. This book is as entertaining as any I ever read and if you enjoy mystery novels, you love this one.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If the mere hint of a private investigator with Disney figurines and a Pinochio clock in his office isn't the least bit interesting, I don't know what is. Robert Crais has created a wonderful persona in Elvis Cole.
Cole, a former security guard turned private investigator, is hired by Helen Lang to find her missing husband, Mort, and son. Before you can even begin to wonder about kidnapping, Mort is found dead in his car, and their house has been trashed, with the boy still missing. Throw in the mafia and a spanish bull-fighter turned aristocrat, and you have one exciting novel.
Cole is a wonderful, wise-cracking character, complimented nicely by his mercenary partner, Joe Pike. Together, they make a sensational team. The storyline is nicely developed and the suspense is great. Crais is talented writer.
Overall, this is an excellent book, and a really good start to the Elvis Cole mystery series. This faced-paced story doesn't stop with the thrills until the heart-stopping, wild ending.
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