Friday, December 11, 2009

The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais

I think I may have found another favorite author. I read The Watchman, the first official Joe Pike novel, last weekend and loved it. Pike has been PI Elvis Cole's partner since the first Cole novel, The Monkey's Raincoat, but apparently he's not fleshed out that much but is popular enough for Crais to bless him with the limelight in his own series. After reading The Watchman, I decided I had to read his other series and set out right away to get my grubby hands on as many of them I could. Surprisingly, I already had several of them. Elvis Cole however is like the west coast version of Robert B. Parker's Spenser: He cracks wise and has a smart mouth, has his own morality code that doesn't always jive with the law but he always manages to get the job done. Cole is a Vietnam vet turned PI, does yoga every morning, keeps plastic Jiminy Cricket toys on his desk, and if I'm not mistaken, lives on the same road as Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, Woodrow Wilson Drive. According to Robert Crais's website, Cole made an uncredited appearance in Connelly's book Lost Light. Another website claims that Harry returns the favor in Crais's The Last Detective.Very cool :)

In this first book, Cole is hired by a woman to find her husband. He's been missing for several days along with their son and she's afraid to involve the police so that she doesn't anger him in case he comes home. Elvis decides that he will help this mouse of a woman, mostly so he could see what kind of man her husband was. He ends up in the middle of a case involving kidnapping, murder, extortion, drugs, and even the mob. Did I mention he makes love to two women along the way? Elvis Cole is the cat's ass, no doubt about it.

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