Summary and book reviews of The Forgotten Man by Robert Crais

The Forgotten Man

by Robert Crais

The Forgotten Man
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2005, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2006, 368 pages

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Book Summary

A stunning, edge-of-your-seat suspense novel that leads Detective Elvis Cole to the very thing he's always searched for— the dark secrets of his own life and the father he never knew—as well as a brutal killer determined to stop him.

In his major New York Times bestseller, The Last Detective, Robert Crais returned to his signature characters, private investigator Elvis Cole and his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike. Now Crais delivers a stunning, edge-of-your-seat suspense novel that leads Elvis to the very thing he's always searched for— the dark secrets of his own life—as well as a brutal killer determined to stop him.

Los Angeles, 3:58 a.m.: Elvis Cole receives the phone call he's been waiting for since childhood. Responding to a gunshot, the LAPD has found an injured man in an alleyway. He has told the officer on the scene that he is looking for his son, Elvis Cole. Minutes later, the man is dead.

Haunted throughout his life by a lack of knowledge about his father, Elvis turns to the one person who can help him navigate the minefield of his past— his longtime partner and confidant, Joe Pike. Together with hard-edged LAPD detective, Carol Starkey, they launch a feverish search for the dead man's identity—even as Elvis struggles between wanting to believe he's found his father at last and allowing his suspicions to hold him back. With each long-buried clue they unearth, a frightening picture begins to emerge about who the dead man might have been and the terrible secret he's been guarding.

At the same time, Elvis has no way of knowing he has awakened a sleeping monster. The further he goes in his investigation, the closer he draws to a merciless killer who is violently connected to the unidentified man's past. This psychopath believes Cole is hunting him, and he goes on the attack to find Elvis before Elvis can find him.

Summoning all the powerful elements that have made Robert Crais one of the preeminent crime writers today, The Forgotten Man is a spectacular tour-de-force of suspense and intrigue.

1

They called me to view the body on a wet spring morning when darkness webbed my house. Some nights are like that; more now than before. Picture the World's Greatest Detective, reluctant subject of sidebar articles in the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles magazine, stretched on his couch in a redwood A-frame overlooking the city, not really sleeping at 3:58 A.M. when the phone rang. I thought it was a reporter, but answered anyway.

"Hello."

"This is Detective Kelly Diaz with LAPD. I apologize about the time, but I'm trying to reach Elvis Cole."

Her voice was coarse, reflecting the early hour. I pushed into a sitting position and cleared my throat. Police who call before sunrise have nothing to offer but bad news.

"How'd you get my number?"

I had changed my home number when the news stories broke, but reporters and cranks still called.

"One of the criminalists had it or got it, I'm not sure. Either way, I'm sorry for calling like this,...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

...blends high-powered action, a commanding cast and a touch of dark humor to excellent dramatic effect.....Crais boasts a distinctive knack for a sucker-punch element of surprise.

Kirkus Reviews

A potent mix of sound detection, black humor, cut-and-run action, sensitive-male flapdoodle, and half a dozen first-class surprises. Welcome back, Elvis.

Booklist - Wes Lukowsky

Very few thrillers leave readers with teary vision, pondering such profundities as acceptance and forgiveness. This is one of the few. A deeply moving, heartfelt mystery.

Reader Reviews

Laramie

My credentials as a reviewer are strictly amateur level. I enjoy detective genre books from several authors, Hammett, Chandler, John D. McDonald, Robert B. Parker and Sue Grafton. After reading each of this authors books at least twice, I consider ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Before Crais published his first standalone thriller, Demolition Angel, in 2000, followed by Hostage in 2001, he wrote a series of eight books featuring Elvis Cole, a 'sensitive and wisecracking collector of Disneyana' and his 'heavy-artillery partner, Joe Pike', set in the seamy streets of Los Angeles. In 2003 he returned to the series with The Last Detective. The Forgotten Man is the 10th in the series.

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