The Watchman put Joe Pike, Elvis Cole's strong, taciturn partner, front and center, and not only won Robert Crais new audiences but remarkable reviews. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel said "Robert Crais elevates crime fiction" and now with The First Rule he does it again.
The organized criminal gangs of the former Soviet Union are bound by what they call the thieves' code. The first rule is this: A thief must forsake his mother, father, brothers, and sisters. He must have no family-no wife, no children. We are his family. If any of the rules are broken, it is punishable by death.
Frank Meyer had the American dream-until the day a professional crew invaded his home and murdered everyone inside. The only thing out of the ordinary about Meyer was that- before the family and the business and the normal life-a younger Frank Meyer had worked as a professional mercenary, with a man named Joe Pike. The police think Meyer was hiding something very bad, but Pike does not. With the help of Cole, he sets out on a hunt of his own-an investigation that quickly entangles them both in a web of ancient grudges, blood ties, blackmail, vengeance, double crosses, and cutthroat criminality, and at the heart of it, an act so terrible even Pike and Cole have no way to measure it. Sometimes, the past is never dead. It's not even past.
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'Pike emerges as an enigmatically appealing hero, whose lethal skills never overshadow his unflappable sense of morality." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. Not a word is wasted in this suspenseful, hair-raising page-turner that also reveals the humanity of Pike, generally a stolid and silent character, as he mourns his friend's death." - Library Journal
"Righteous vengeance, a reckless pace, a stratospheric body count and just enough surprises to keep you turning the pages. The pleasures may be primitive, but they're genuine." - Kirkus Reviews
"Crais, whose last Joe Pike novel, The Watchman (2007), hit the New York Times best-seller list, likely has another on his hands here." - Booklist
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Crais is the
author of the best-selling Elvis Cole novels. A native of Louisiana, he grew up
on the banks of the Mississippi River in a blue collar family of oil refinery
workers and police officers. He purchased a secondhand paperback of Raymond
Chandler's The Little Sister when he was fifteen, which inspired his
lifelong love of writing, Los Angeles, and the literature of crime fiction.
Other literary influences include Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Robert B.
Parker, and John Steinbeck.
After years of amateur film-making and writing short fiction, he journeyed to Hollywood in 1976 where he quickly found work writing scripts for such major television series as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, and Miami Vice, as well as numerous series pilots and Movies-...
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