Customer Review

20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good moments, but disappointing overall, January 14, 2011
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This review is from: The Sentry (Joe Pike Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
Looks like I am in the minority among the first dozen or so reviewers, but I don't find this book up to Robert Crais' usual high standards. The problem, I think, is the character of Joe Pike himself. The guy is just too elemental to carry all a novel's dimensions, and while Elvis Cole has in the past supplied the emotional center in the Cole/Pike novels, it's too heavy a load this time. When Cole finally sheds tears over a situation, it is simply not credible. Pike, for all his seeming interest in one of the lead characters, is pretty much the same as always. An automaton in love (assuming that he is in fact in love, or even capable of heading in that direction) is still an automaton.

Several scenes are not credible. Pike climbing a Sunset Blvd. billboard to look down into gangbanger's lair needed a rethink. So did the actions of the assassin who deliberately takes a bad sniper position because he knows Pike will be looking for him in a better one. Way too many of the characters turn out to be somebody or something different from what they seem to be. The main bad guy, who until the last few pages is seen only through his own perceptions and observations, is creepy, all right, but not in a successful way.

A lot of followers of Pike and Cole will probably find this one worth reading; judging from the early reviews here, a lot of them already have. I won't advise Crais fans to skip it, but if you go into it expecting a lesser performance you will perhaps enjoy it more than I did.

My downgrading of this book has nothing to do with the Kindle price. That's a market issue, and people know what they are willing to pay for a product. This would not have had a higher rating from me at half the price.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 17, 2011 10:08:41 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 17, 2011 10:09:18 AM PST
There were two things that I didn't understand in the book. Perhaps I wasn't reading carefully. Was the reason for the goat parts in the sandwich shop explained? And why was Joe happy that Elvis didn't tell him that Dru's real name was Rose?

If you can fill in these blanks, I'd be much obliged.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2011 10:34:43 AM PST
David Wilson says:
I took the carnage in the sandwich shop as Daniel's reinforcement of his basic message, "I AM HERE." At that stage in the book, though, we were still being allowed to think that the street toughs from Miguel's operation might have been behind it, in which case I agree it would be hard to explain.

Dunno about Joe's state of mind. I remember thinking late in the book when Joe has his "So her name is Rose" moment, "Didn't he already know that?" So maybe I double-punched the button and missed a Kindle screen. I didn't feel the need to go back and figure it out. I did sense that Joe was uncharacteristically in a state of semi-denial after Elvis gave him the bare-bones outline of Dru and Wilson's actual relationship to one another. Another moment of character mishandling. Pike? Denial? Don't think so.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2011 10:19:56 PM PST
yogabike says:
I don't get your point about Pike's attitude toward Dru after Pike heard what Cole found out about her and Wilson's relationship. Yes, he was dissapointed, and maybe hurt for trusting her, maybe second-guessing his own instincts for believing her.

But she touched a place in him, for whatever reason, and Pike is a man of his word. He said he would help her. He didn't say he would help her if she became his girlfriend. He helped Wilson before he even met Dru. Pike helps the downtrodden. He grew up downtrodden, with no one to help him. He's changing that by being the one who steps in and gives bullies a dose of their own harsh medicine.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2011 4:43:56 AM PST
Yes Joe helps the downtrodden, but his attachment to Dru/Rose after finding out that she was a sham was interesting. I think in his heart he thought that she was an innocent up until the very end. He was blinded by his attraction for her. Joe tends to trust people's words when he's on their side. Remember in The First Rule that he it took him awhile to distrust the woman posing as the baby's Mom. Elvis, as I see it, questions everything. I think that's why they are a good pair.

Posted on Jan 19, 2011 10:26:37 AM PST
I think it was typical Pike fight to the end to do what is right. Love pushes us all into a state of denial, look at all the people in this world who are scammed by people they think love them. Joe was trying to keep the illusion alive as long as he could.
Like Elvis said he wondered what that calm exterior it cost Pike in the end.
The fact he kept going back to that cafe where they sat said it all.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2011 11:23:14 PM PST
yogabike says:
Dyan - you say perhaps Pike thought Dru was innocent up to the end. But maybe he knows that people can change and he was giving her every chance to be a better person. Also, people are complex, they aren't just one thing. A part of Dru likely was good. But she was weak.
She could have acted differently in the end, and by acting different, become different. Pike saw something in her and gave her that chance. He's supposedly the 'tough' one but it was Elvis that took the kill shot.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2011 11:40:19 PM PST
@misanthrope, excellent point. I hadn't thought of that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2011 10:20:52 AM PST
Mystery Man says:
Did I miss what happened to Daniels two partners at the end of the story? Anyone who could fill me in, I would appreciate it...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2011 5:02:13 PM PST
@Mystery Man, if I read it correctly, Daniel's partners were voices in his head.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2011 10:22:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 24, 2011 10:24:03 PM PST
Mystery Man says:
That makes perfect sense Dyan. Thank you for your input. Ok, one more for you. With Wilson and Dru sitting on millions of dollars, why were they running a deli?
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