From Publishers Weekly
As the subtitle suggests, Joe Pike, the intriguing, enigmatic partner of L.A. PI Elvis Cole, takes center stage in this intense thriller from bestseller Crais (The Two Minute Rule
). To pay back an old debt, Pike is coerced into protecting Larkin Barkley, a hard-partying young heiress whose life is in danger after a "wrong place wrong time" encounter that quickly escalates and spins out of control. The enemy is shadowy, violent and relentless—but the fierce, focused Pike, one of the strongest characters in modern crime fiction, is equal to the challenge. The breathless pace and rich styling are sure to appeal to readers of hard-boiled fiction in general, but since up to now Pike has mostly remained in the background, some fans of the Elvis Cole series (The Forgotten Man
, etc.) may find the explicit picture that emerges of Pike at odds with the image they've constructed for themselves. (Mar.)
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Robert Crais wrote for the hit television shows Hill Street Blues
, Miami Vice
, and L.A. Law
, among others, so it comes as no surprise that his novels (including 11 featuring Elvis Cole and Joe Pike) have a hard-boiled feel and seamlessly incorporate cutting dialogue (see the recently reviewed The Two-Minute Rule
, HHHJ May/June 2006). In The Watchman
, Crais maintains his reputation as an edge-of-your-seat plotter with a psychological bent, not unlike Lee Child in his Jack Reacher series or James Lee Burke with Dave Robicheaux. Although one critic wishes that Pike had remained an enigma and another cites a predictable plot, most agree Crais's fans will take to this highly charged first effort featuring Pike. "Elvis will still be the series star," Oline H. Cogdill points out, "but putting a spotlight on Joe will make for richer novels." Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.