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The Wanted (Elvis Cole and Joe Pike) Hardcover – December 26, 2017
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“The Wanted is a firecracker of a book—a great way to jumpstart the new year." —The Wall Street Journal
"Gripping . . . The Wanted brings private detective Elvis Cole back in his full glory, so if you're a fan you'll rejoice, while new readers can celebrate a welcome literary gift from a master of the craft." —The Huffington Post
"[A]nother page-turner by one of the most reliable storytellers in modern crime fiction."—Associated Press
"Expertly crafted." —Seattle Times
"Crais's trademark humor and thoroughly accurate, genuine depictions of human interactions make this one of his best yet... [He] delivers another highly and deeply satisfying page-turner." —Library Journal
"Crais, who has a Grandmaster Award from the Mystery Writers of America, always delivers riveting crime fiction while somehow offering something unique in every novel. Here it's the surprisingly interesting, Tarantino-like conversations between Harvey and Stemms as they plan their next deadly steps. More fantastic reading from a perennial A-lister who belongs on every crime fan's TBR list." —Booklist (starred review)
“Among West Coast mystery writers, none is more reliable than Crais, who is in excellent form here....In his 21st book, Los Angeles ace Crais extends his streak of sharp, enjoyable thrillers.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The empathic Elvis takes center stage, with just enough hard-boiled Pike to season the mayhem...expertly crafted.”—Publishers Weekly
"Crais is one of the best crime writers in the business, and this thrilling novel will not only be wanted by thriller aficionados, but cherished as well. He has another guaranteed bestseller on his hands."—Suspense Magazine
"[Crais is] an excellent maker of suspense plots and thriller scenes, and gives full value on that score, but his real interest is in character, including mostly people who also seem grim and dark."—Sullivan County Democrat
"[An] outstanding crime-thriller ... the tone is clearly dark, bordering on noir, to spectacular results. The Wanted is a book you definitely want to find under your Christmas tree. A relentless and riveting read that is everything great crime fiction is supposed to be."—Providence Journal
About the Author
Robert Crais is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, many of them featuring private investigator Elvis Cole and his laconic ex-cop partner, Joe Pike. Before writing his first novel, Crais spent several years writing scripts for such major television series as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Miami Vice, Quincy, Baretta, and L.A. Law. He received an Emmy nomination for his work on Hill Street Blues, and one of his standalone novels, Hostage, was made into a movie starring Bruce Willis. His novels have been translated into forty-two languages and are bestsellers around the world. A native of Louisiana, he lives in Los Angeles.
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A worried single mom comes to Cole for help. Wasn’t that Taken and Lullaby Town? One of her son’s bad influences turns out to be a watered-down, unredeemable version of poor little rich girl Larkin in The Watchman. While Elvis is trying to keep everyone safe -here it comes, I thought - one of the ungrateful neurotics slips away, putting everyone in danger. Bad rich guys think they are above the law.You see? As our hero would say. This one I put down for two whole days, because it all got too formulaic to read until red-eyed dawn like I usually would for Elvis and Joe.
I gave the third star for the cat, some Elvis -style home-cooking, the usual wisecracking, and Pike finally showing up in Chapter 19. He’s not really part of the story except when we really need him, this time, and he reads like a cardboard character. There’s a sweet bit at the end with an old friend.
When I finished this book, I felt the Kindle edition must be missing chapters, because it wraps so abruptly, and what happens to these people who almost get Elvis killed? Who were those guys?
Dunno. I miss my bromance superheroes. Hitting send on this and grabbing the old yellowing paperback Monkey’s Raincoat. Come back to me, guys.
I'll try to stay away from spoilers, but the plot suffers from a lack of anybody you care much about. All the time spent developing nuance in the Pike character from dynamic works like "The Promise", "Taken", "The Sentry" and "Chasing Darkness" goes out the window here. You wonder if Crais really wrote his part. He's depicted as a simple killing machine cutout. About his only independent thought expressed in the whole book is that he should have killed the bad guys when he first saw them, leaving aside that neither he nor Elvis knew hardly anything about them that early in the plot.
Worse yet, the final scene of the big showdown has Elvis (with a broken rib) doing the clingy man-hug thing with Joe. Seriously? Those two characters developed over a dozen books would NEVER do such a thing. And then there's the very end (which I don't count as spoiler because it has nothing to do with the plot's story line at all) where Elvis runs off to Louisiana to see Lucy and bring Ben back alone with him to La. Excuse me? The self same Lucy who ran away from him because of threats to Ben in part because of Elvis's frequently violent occupational hazards?! Not to mention that at the beginning of the book Elvis is seeing the Homeland Security SAC he met in "The Promise" and at the end of the book with Ben back at his La house, Elvis makes a date with the female robbery detective sergeant from this book. I don't have any issues with Elvis "playing the field", but it's just not in character for a guy who was as tied up emotionally over Lucy as he was if he's "seeing" her again, and without his "seeing" her again how on earth does she let him take Ben away on his own to where all the threats against him happened? It's nonsense, IMHO.
I thought the plot was thin and with all this "stuff" I thought out of character or without character, I rank this one as way short of Mr. Crais's usual standards. It's like he got started, lost interest, and somebody else from the romance novel genre finished it, given all the PC man hugging and feckless male crying at the end. I saw in one of the other reviews somebody thought there were no strong/good female characters in the book. Interesting how different reactions crop up on the same material. I thought the only interesting character in the whole book was Amber, the female protagonist (if there is one) who may be a little wild and crazy, but with whom I'd have to agree when she says at the end of the main plot that when they make the movie, she'll be the hero. Okay, but not Crais's best work by any means.