Excerpt from The Last Detective by Robert Crais, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Last Detective

By Robert Crais

The Last Detective
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Feb 2003,
    302 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2004,
    352 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Ben!"

"It's me."

Lucy came into the living room. She was wearing a black business suit over a cream top, but she was carrying the suit jacket; her pants were wrinkled from so long in the car. She was clearly tired, but she made a weak smile.

"Hey. I don't smell hamburgers."

It was two minutes after six. Ben had been missing for exactly one hundred minutes. It had taken Lucy exactly one hundred minutes to get home after we last spoke. It had taken me one hundred minutes to lose her son.

Lucy saw the fear in my face. Her smile dropped.

"What's wrong?"

"Ben's missing."

She glanced around as if Ben might be hiding behind the couch, giggling at the joke. She knew it wasn't a joke. She could see that I was serious.

"What do you mean, missing?"

Explaining felt lame, as if I was making excuses.

"He went outside around the time you called, and now I can't find him. I called, but he didn't answer. I drove all over the canyon, looking for him, but I didn't see him. He isn't next door. I don't where he is."

She shook her head as if I had made a frustrating mistake, and was getting the story wrong.

"He just left?"

I showed her the Game Freak as if it was evidence.

"I don't know. He was playing with this when he went out. I found it on the slope."

Lucy stalked past me and went outside onto the deck.

"Ben! Benjamin, you answer me! Ben!"

"Luce, I've been calling him."

She stalked back into the house and disappeared down the hall.

"Ben!"

"He's not here. I called the security patrols. I was just going to call the police."

She came back and went right back onto the deck.

"Damnit, Ben, you'd better answer me!"

I stepped out behind her and took her arms. She was shaking. She turned into me, and we held each other. Her voice was small and guilty against my chest.

"Do you think he ran away?"

"No. No, he was fine, Luce. He was okay after we talked. He was laughing at this stupid game."
I told her that I thought he had probably hurt himself when he was playing on the slope, then gotten lost trying to find his way back.

"Those streets are confusing down there, the way they snake and twist. He probably just got turned around, and now he's too scared to ask someone for help; he's been warned about strangers enough. If he got on the wrong street and kept walking, he probably got farther away, and more lost. He's probably so scared right now that he hides whenever a car passes, but we'll find him. We should call the police."

Lucy nodded against me, wanting to believe, and then she looked at the canyon. Lights from the houses were beginning to sparkle.

She said, "It's getting dark."

That single word: Dark. It summoned every parent's greatest dread.

I said, "Let's call. The cops will light up every house in the canyon until we find him."

As Lucy and I stepped back into the house, the phone rang. Lucy jumped even more than me.

"That's Ben."

I answered the phone, but the voice on the other end didn't belong to Ben or Grace Gonzalez or the security patrols.

A man said, "Is this Elvis Cole?"

"Yes. Who's this?"

The voice was cold and low.

He said, "Five-two."

"Who is this?"

"Five-two, motherfucker. You remember five-two?"

Lucy plucked my arm, hoping that it was about Ben. I shook my head, telling her I didn't understand, but the sharp fear of bad memories was already cutting deep.

I gripped the phone with both hands. I needed both to hang on.

"Who is this? What are you talking about?"

"This is payback, you bastard. This is for what you did."

Excerpted from The Last Detective by Robert Crais Copyright© 2003 by Robert Crais. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  170The Weight of Blood:
    Laura McHugh
  2.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin

All Discussions

Who Said...

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.