The Wanted by Robert Crais

Read June 2018
Recommended for fans of PIs
★    ★   ★  

Alas; I have reached the current end in the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series, a collection of private investigator thrillers set predominantly in the Los Angeles basin. Over seventeen books, we’ve mocked Elvis’ office clock, tread warily around his feral cat and winced at his taste in shirts. Through it all, he’s been witty, an outrageous flirt with the ladies and protective of his clients.

In this one, Crais turns the tables a bit, giving Elvis a legitimate client seeking help with a less-than-legit son. The experienced reader quickly understands that this will no doubt create artificial barriers with problem resolution, although thankfully, Elvis does not take it to extremes as he has at other times.

Crais continues to use multiple-point narration. While it is primarily Elvis’ voice, which is in first person, he also switches to the son’s, as well as that of two unknown but murderous men. I think following the two unknowns gives a heightened sense of tension because it becomes apparent they are both competent and intent on leaving no witnesses behind. I figured out the reason behind it fairly quickly, but it took Elvis a bit to catch up with me. Honestly, I could have lived without their viewpoint, and had Elvis work more on making the connection between the son and the pair. As it was, when it came together, it felt rather spurious and inconclusive.

The plot was decent, but it reminded me quite a bit of book 14, The Sentry, which was more thriller than mystery and also had a killer viewpoint. I have to say, I also caught strong Spenser parallels, particularly with the meal scenes. In a last damning item, I’ll note that while Elvis had a date planned with one woman at the beginning of the book, he had a date planned with another by the end. I almost suspected a ghostwriter, but there were still touches of the emotional complexity that I associate with Elvis. Ah well. Perhaps it’s time for a L.A. Requiem. Alas; I have reached the current end in the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series, a collection of private investigator thrillers set predominantly in the Los Angeles basin. Over seventeen books, we’ve mocked Elvis’ office clock, tread warily around his feral cat and winced at his taste in shirts. Through it all, he’s been witty, an outrageous flirt with the ladies and protective of his clients.

In this one, Crais turns the tables a bit, giving Elvis a legitimate client seeking help with a less-than-legit son. The experienced reader quickly understands that this will no doubt create artificial barriers with problem resolution, although thankfully, Elvis does not take it to extremes as he has at other times.

Crais continues to use multiple-point narration. While it is primarily Elvis’ voice, which is in first person, he also switches to the son’s, as well as that of two unknown but murderous men. I think following the two unknowns gives a heightened sense of tension because it becomes apparent they are both competent and intent on leaving no witnesses behind. I figured out the reason behind it fairly quickly, but it took Elvis a bit to catch up with me. Honestly, I could have lived without their viewpoint, and had Elvis work more on making the connection between the son and the pair. As it was, when it came together, it felt rather spurious and inconclusive.

The plot was decent, but it reminded me quite a bit of book 14, The Sentry, which was more thriller than mystery and also had a killer viewpoint. I have to say, I also caught strong Spenser parallels, particularly with the meal scenes. In a last damning item, I’ll note that while Elvis had a date planned with one woman at the beginning of the book, he had a date planned with another by the end. I almost suspected a ghostwriter, but there were still touches of the emotional complexity that I associate with Elvis. Ah well. Perhaps it’s time for a L.A. Requiem.

 

Advertisements

About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
This entry was posted in Book reviews, Mystery and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.