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The First Rule (A Joe Pike Novel) Hardcover – January 12, 2010
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Robert Crais on Joe Pike
Joe Pike is back, and this time I'm ready.
I have always received a lot of fan mail, but nothing prepared us for the tsunami that flooded my website when The Watchman was published. (The Watchman was the first Joe Pike novel. Joe is now returning in The First Rule.) I mean, I knew Joe was popular, but c'monnnn.
We always see a spike in e-mail when a book is released (by "we," I'm talking about myself and the sorely overworked Carol T, who creates our newsletter and manages our e-mail). This spike typically lasts eight to ten weeks, before leveling back to our average of about twenty e-mails a day. But when The Watchman was published, the spike was way larger, and didn't begin to fade until three months later. Then, amazingly, it grew again—coming back stronger than ever as thousands of readers—Joe Pike fanatics, bless'm!—spread the word. And the word was: sex.
Like Elvis Cole, Joe had always gotten a lot of mail from women, but the tone of his mail now changed. They sent gifts. They sent pictures. They wrote, "I love Joe Pike," but not in a way suggesting they were fond of him or maybe kinda crushing on him. Pike's fans were feral. They said, "I WANT Joe Pike."
Meaning: Pike is my love slave!
I get it. It is not lost on me that the young male heartthrobs in the current crop of insanely successful vampire films are all brooding bad-boy loners, held in check from their evil ways only by the love of a good woman, who is herself moved by their tortured hearts. Has any vampire been as lethal as Joe Pike, or as tortured?
Pike is the ultimate bad boy. He is dangerous, enigmatic, and male with a capital M, but it is his damaged soul that makes him sexy with a capital S. His lack of emotion suggests an inner landscape so damaged it is as barren as the desert surrounding Tikrit. It also suggests an emptiness waiting to be filled, and therein lies Pike's tragic nature and, I suspect, the sexy-hot core of his huge appeal. My female readers intuit that he is redeemable, and an awful lot of them want to help with his redemption!
For men, Joe Pike's appeal is different, but no less powerful. Pike takes no crap and fears no man, and this is a pretty common fantasy. Try to imagine Joe Pike getting cut off in traffic or shoved off the sidewalk? Ha—they wouldn't dare! Pike’s red-arrow tattoos probably sum up the fantasy best of all: here is a man who will not back up, or back down, and pretty much every guy wants to be that man (even if only in a fantasy life!) from time to time, or have such a friend as his wingman.
And speaking of friends—Pike wouldn't be Pike if it weren't for Elvis Cole, so hard-core Elvis Cole fans need have no fear: Elvis Cole is back, playing a large and important role in The First Rule. I could no more write a Joe Pike novel without Elvis than I could write an Elvis Cole novel without Joe. These guys are more than partners. They are friends. They are two underdogs who have turned themselves into heroes. --Robert Crais
(Photo © Patrik Giardino)
From Publishers Weekly
When garment importer Frank Meyer and his family are executed in their Los Angeles home at the start of bestseller Crais's adrenaline-fueled second thriller to feature PI Joe Pike (after The Watchman), LAPD detectives soon connect Meyer to Pike, who knew each other from their days as military contractors. Pike is convinced that Meyer, who left soldiering to start a family, wasn't dirty, even though his murder is the seventh in a series of violent robberies where the victims were all professional criminals. Determined to clear his friend's name, Pike discovers that Frank's nanny and her family have ties to Eastern European organized crime. With the help of PI partner Elvis Cole (the lead in Chasing Darkness and eight other books), Pike engages in a dangerous—and not always legal—game of cat and mouse with some of the city's most dangerous crooks. Pike emerges as an enigmatically appealing hero, whose lethal skills never overshadow his unflappable sense of morality. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story begins with a home invasion where three adults and two children are killed. It would have gone down as another in a horrible string of robberies and murders except this one had a special element, here the man murdered was one of Pike's guys - a member of his hand picked team - when he was a mercenary. The police are saying all the other incidents of this type were on people with known criminal leanings. Pike has to find out if Frank Meyer was dirty and prove it one way or another so he knows how to react to the death of his friend. Did Frank manage to fool Pike when they were working together?
In order to solve this case Crais brings in Elvis Cole, Jon Stone, Pike and many of their contacts in the shadowy world folks like me hope to never see. I thought the plotting was absolutely spot on and the technology still held up well even though this was published in 2010 and we all know how quickly spy gadget development moves. The twist at the end was especially impressive.
On a fairly typical night in suburban LA, importer Frank Meyer and his entire family are brutally murdered in what appears to be a robbery-motivated home invasion. But Meyer wasn't just a regular guy: he used to be a contract mercenary with Joe Pike before he left to start a family. Pike is determined to track down Frank's murderers at any cost, and runs into the police, ATF and the world of Serbian organized crime while doing so. This book has some great action and some terrific character development, and Crais has done a great job in his last several books rounding out Pike's persona more fully. While some of the action may be a little predictable, this book is a great page-turner. And you can't go wrong picking up any other of Crais' books either.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jon Smith are awesome. Wonder if there really are guys like that around? Love these characters.Read more