Monday, April 16, 2007

The Watchman -- Robert Crais

I've enjoyed the novels in Robert Crais's Elvis Cole series, beginning with The Monkey's Raincoat, which I bought in paperback when it first appeared. (That turned out to be a better investment than I'd have guessed.) A fixture throughout the series has been Joe Pike, the guy Cole can turn to when the going gets rough. Pike has been an enigmatic figure, but now Crais has devoted a book to him, and that gives Crais a chance to let us know a lot more about Pike's history. He's still enigmatic, but a little more human.

Because he promised a favor, Pike finds himself trying to prevent the murder of a young woman who witnessed a traffic accident. Or that's what he thinks he's doing. Things get complicated in ways that I'd better not mention. Pike has to kill a lot of people, and in a nice turnabout he calls in Elvis Cole for back-up support and other kinds of help. As usual they make a good team, and they start to find out a lot of things that other people would like to keep hidden.

One of the villains of the piece is too easy to spot, and the plot is so convoluted that I'm still not sure I have it all figured out, but the pacing is admirable, and it's always fun to see Pike and Cole in action. Getting Pike's backstory is the bonus. Check it out.


Randy Johnson said...

I loved the book. So far, Mr. Crais seems incapable of writing a bad book. I've enjoyed them all. Have you read Hostage? They made a quite good film from it starring Bruce Willis, his best movie in years.

Unknown said...

Read the book, haven't seen the movie. I guess I should give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

I, too, have been with Crais since The Monkey's Raincoat. The Watchman is next on my list to read and I can't wait!

dave said...

I have read all of Crais' books and enjoyed tham all but I found this a bit disappointing, the relationships, Elvis and Lucy and the widow of Joe's dead partner seem to have disapeared. I found the developing 'love'between Larkin and Pike hard to believe.
In an earlier book the prologue about Pike pulling out af hunting the giant rogue grizzly would, for me have been a better line to follow up, but that's just me.