I should probably be embarrassed, but I didn’t realize until reading other reviews that the plot of Sunset Express, sixth in the Elvis Cole series, was a take on the O.J. Simpson case. Probably means 1) kudos to Crais for not being too obvious, and 2) I don’t pay attention to celebrity drama. I remember the part about the white bronco, and about the obviousnessness of OJ’s guilt, but Crais puts enough twist on the details that it wasn’t initially recognizable.
This was easily one of the stronger stories of the series, with solid plotting, characterization that felt both real and appropriate, and an ending that dared step outside the mystery format box. Once again, the L.A. landscape and cultural enclaves come to life. For those who might be tempted to read out of order (as I did), there is a sub-arc through the series about a woman Cole meets in book 5 that continues to develop here. It brings a human touch and gives Cole moments of emotional depth beyond the smartass World’s Greatest Detective. I ended up doing one of those ‘just one more chapter’ and staying up too late on a work night.