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The Two Minute Rule Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 443 customer reviews

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Length: 464 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Two minutes, in and out, that's the rule for robbing banks in this page-turning action ride around L.A. from bestseller Crais (Hostage). Break that rule, and you can end up like Marchenko and Parsons, dying in a violent shoot-out on the streets, the fortune from their string of heists deeply hidden. Max Holman certainly knows the time limit better than most. Dubbed the "hero bandit" by the press, he got caught during a robbery after he stopped to perform CPR on a bank customer who had a heart attack. About to leave prison on parole, the 48-year-old Max hopes he can establish contact with the son he never really knew, now a cop. When Max's son is murdered, suspected of being in a ring of dirty cops seeking the Marchenko and Parsons loot, Max needs to know the truth. The only person he figures can help him is Katherine Pollard, the fed who nabbed him, who's now ex-FBI and a struggling single mom. The perfect odd couple, they keep this novel personal and real as it builds to an exciting twist on the bank-robbing rule. 200,000 first printing; 15-city author tour. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Most reviewers are slaphappy with praise for Robert Crais's 13th novel. While some critics note a preference for his Elvis Cole books, they find that believable, complex characters, the vibrant settings around Los Angeles—from the dive bars to the straitjacketed Los Angeles river—and heartfelt emotions separate The Two Minute Rule—and Crais—from the bulk of crime fiction. The sharp note of dissent from the Oregonian only serves to reinforce the impression that middle-of-the road Crais is better than many other writers' best.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1313 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743281616
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reissue edition (February 21, 2006)
  • Publication Date: February 21, 2006
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FCKS0K
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,813 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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 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,

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Flat out great, is how I describe most of the books written by Robert Crais and this book exceeded my high expectations.

In the Two Minute Rule, Crais has written bittersweet story of a friendship, of loss, of father's love for his son, and ultimately a story of redemption. All that, between the covers of well told mystery.

Max Holman has spent a good portion of his life behind bars. When he was free, he was breaking the law, thinking about ways to break the law, and generally self-absorbed in the pursuit of personal pleasure. Holman's recent ten year prison stint, has however, produced a change, and all Holman wants now, is to know the son he abandoned, well before he ever went to prison. Unlike the father, Holman's son followed a different path. He joined the police force. The night before his release, Max learns that his son has been murdered, and it doesn't stop there. Author Crais continues to take from Holman, to the point, that you find yourself saying "please don't hurt this man anymore." Holman is driven by two desperate needs, the first is his desire to find the killer, and the second is his need to discover the truth about his son. Was Max Holman's son a good cop or a dirty one?

This story is superb and it is memorable. The Holman character is a three dimensional flesh and blood person who evokes great empathy from the reader. The dialogue is tight, gritty, realistic, and essentially as good as it gets for a book full of characters living on the marginal fringe of polite society.

My highest recommendation! This book will appeal to a wide variety of book lovers. It is a mystery for sure, but one that rises to the level of suspenseful (not nearly enough mysteries do this). I can almost guarantee this book to be a weekend read. There is not one wasted word and you are going wish there were another 100 pages or so, when you get to the end.
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Format: Hardcover
Robert Crais is one of about a half a dozen authors whose new work I always buy in Hardcover. I read several books a week and Crais' books are among the few that I don't buy used or get from the library.

I am dishearteded to say The Two Minute Rule was tolerable at best. The characters were not well developed. The story started out great, but fell to a plod after the first few chapters. The plot was predictable. The love interest seemed like it was forced and just didn't play with the rest of the story.

Crais previous work has never failed to "take me there." If you love reading you know what I mean. My advice is, if you have not read any of Crais other books, pass on this one. Instead go pick up any of his other books. If you are Crais fan, you might find this an enjoyable read. I have a hard time believing anyone would think this is his best book.

The good news is that Crais is too talented not to bounce back with a winner and I'll be first in line to buy it!
4 Comments 48 of 54 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This story of a bank robber, Max Holman, who on the day of his release from prison learns that his estranged son, an LA cop, has been murdered with 3 other officers, becomes a touching story of a man trying to renounce his past and to reclaim some portion of redemption for the neglect and abandonment of his son due to his drug use and criminal life, when he rejects the official version of his son's death and begins a search for the truth he believes is being buried for reasons he cannot comprehend.

Stymied at every turn by the police and officialdom in general, he is a man weighed down by guilt for his past and a timidity born of the taint of being an ex-con. He nonetheless persists as a means to honor the son he never knew, and finally, in desperation reaches out for help from the ex-FBI agent, Katherine Pollard, who busted him, herself a struggling and lost single mother.

Together, this odd couple begins a journey of discovery about the mysteries of the case before them, but also about themselves and the content and purpose and meaning of where their lives are in this place and time as well.

Crais does a nice job of revealing the facts of the case as guided by the professional proceduralism of Pollard, while also revealing the confusion and conflicts of his main characters. He unfolds their stories simulaneously as the mystery unfolds, all the while employing a convincing sense of people and places they encounter along the way.

A fast and good read, it is so hard to rate genre fiction (after all we're not talking War and Peace here), that I am giving it 5 stars for being as good as you get in this fiction. I enjoyed it all the way.
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Format: Hardcover
I can't believe it was over so soon. Sure, I got my money's worth but I always finish a Crais book and am left wanting another new one right away. In this story, Crais gives us a variation on his favorite theme: The father-son relationship. In the Elvis Cole books, we always see the relationship from the perspective of two sons, Elvis, who never knew his father, and Joe, who knew his all too well. In 'Two-Minute Rule,' the perpective is from that of a less-than-stellar father, Max Holman, and the story combines action and angst as Max goes to great lengths to make whatever amends he can to a son he never knew, a son who had long ago written off Max as a loser. This book was solid, not as elegant and atmospheric as 'L.A. Requiem,' perhaps, but I read it so fast maybe I missed something. I won't mind a second read-through, that's certain.
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