With his acclaimed bestsellers, Hostage (a New York Times Notable Book) and Demolition Angel, Robert Crais drew raves for his unstoppable pacing, edgy characterizations, and cinematic prose. Now, in The Last Detective, Crais returns to his signature character, Los Angeles private investigator Elvis Cole, in a masterful page-turner that probes the meaning of family and the burdens of the past.
Elvis Cole's relationship with attorney Lucy Chenier is strained. When she moved from Louisiana to join Elvis in Los Angeles, she never dreamed that violence would so easily touch her life -- but then the unthinkable happens. While Lucy is away on business and her ten-year-old son, Ben, is staying with Elvis, Ben disappears without a trace. Desperate to believe that the boy has run away, evidence soon mounts to suggest a much darker scenario.
Joining forces with his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike, Elvis frantically searches for Ben with the help of LAPD Detective Carol Starkey, as Lucy's wealthy, oil-industry ex-husband attempts to wrest control of the investigation. Amid the maelstrom of personal conflicts, Elvis and Joe are forced to consider a more troubling lead -- one indicating that Ben's disappearance is connected to a terrible, long-held secret from Elvis Cole's past.
Venturing deep inside a complex psyche, Crais explores Elvis's need for family - the military that embraced him during a troubled adolescence, his rock-solid partnership with Pike, and his floundering relationship with Lucy - as they race the clock in their search for Ben. The Last Detective is Robert Crais' richest, most intense tale of suspense yet.
Booklist - Wes Lukowsky
Kidnapping provides the backdrop, but this is really a novel about what constitutes real family. The answer isn't necessarily genetic lineage or marriage; it's love, devotion, sacrifice, and often, shared pain--even for a couple of hard cases like Cole and Pike.
Before he hit the big time with Hostage (2001), Crais made his name with seven novels about wisecracking but ever tougher L.A. shamus Elvis Cole. Now his old hero's overheated return suggests that somebody can't go home again....The detective work, when Elvis has a chance for it, is sound and the plot twisty enough, but that's no longer enough for Crais, who ups the ante with flashbacks to Elvis's neglected childhood and Vietnam service, gives his villains the world-class bad-guy credentials you'd expect from an Austin Powers movie....
As the kidnappers' deadline nears and disturbing motives surface, the suspense becomes almost unbearable. The terrible, heartstopping climax is so well written that time seems to stop. Crais combines the thriller and private eye genres into a dazzling novel that is far more accomplished than the sum of its parts.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
It's kind of a macho man's view of LA book, a little bang bang shoot 'um up, but I like how the plot unravelled. And every once in awhile I like these army-guy-becomes-PI books. Sure Elvis is now a detective, but you get the sense he's only 2... Read More
The worldliness, relentlessness, and passion of Easy Rawlins have been sorely missed from the world of fiction. This thriller is proof that Walter Mosley is one of the masters of crime fiction, and as original a voice as any writing in America today.
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