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Robert Crais is the author of many novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Hostage, Demolition Angel, and L. A. Requiem. Learn more about his work at www.robertcrais.com.
After two bestselling stand-alone novels (Demolition Angel and Hostage), Crais has returned to his popular Elvis Cole series with a thrilling action-adventure yarn. The private eye's eighth and last crusade against evil, L.A. Requiem, explored the events, from childhood on, that turned his sidekick, Joe Pike, into a hardened killing machine (albeit a moral one). Now it's Elvis's turn to be analyzed, as he tries to rescue his beloved Lucy Chenier's son, Ben, whose kidnapping by ruthless mercenaries apparently was prompted by something in the sleuth's past. With its relentless pacing, large cast, flashbacks to Elvis's unhappy youth and war experiences and constant shifting from first- to third-person narration, the book poses significant problems for an audio interpreter. Daniels, one of the format's prime performers, has given voice to Elvis and Joe before, on the less complex Lullaby Town and Free Fall (both Brilliance titles). He takes the present challenge in stride, using his own voice for the Elvis-narrated sections and an appropriate just-the-facts approach to the straightforward sentences in the third person passages. Just as deftly, he distinguishes the cultured Lucy from the rougher-edged policewoman Carole Starkey (the author's Demolition Angel in a surprise cameo); finds an assortment of Louisiana accents for Lucy's ex-husband and his bayou crew; and, most stirringly, treats Pike to a hardboiled whisper Clint Eastwood might mistake for his own. Crais is notoriously protective of his Elvis novels, reputedly rejecting the wealth of Hollywood rather than trust others with his creations. He's got nothing to worry about here. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday hardcover (Forecasts, Jan. 27). (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Fans will rejoice that after a detour with Hostage, Crais has reinstated his popular P.I., Elvis Cole, as well as enigmatic partner Joe Pike, continuing the events begun in L.A. Requiem. The ten-year-old son of Cole's girlfriend is kidnapped while under his care, and the frantic chase to find the boy leads Cole into a maze of physical and psychological violence. Cole's tormented childhood and Vietnam experiences mingle with contemporary problems, including relations with L.A. detective Carol Starkey, whom readers first met in Demolition Angel. Crais has said that he "likes vivid characters who are jammed into a tight place." His screenwriting experience also shows as he alternates between scenes of increasing tension and inner monologs revealing more of Cole's background. Fast action, tough guys, vivid Los Angeles details, and snappy dialog are Crais's trademarks, and this tale has them all. Highly recommended for all mystery and suspense collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/02.]-Roland Person, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"Stunning . . . Shrewdly written and sharply plotted . . . The Last Detective is a rare treat." --The Washington Post Book World "FAST-MOVING . . . A PAGE-TURNING THRILLER." --Chicago Tribune "CRAIS TAKES READERS ON A WILD RIDE. But like all talented writers, Crais has other themes floating beneath the choppy surface waters. . . . [He is] one of the genre's most versatile craftsmen." --The Denver Post "Crais reaffirms his place in the front row of the private-eye purveyors. . . . He skillfully evokes past masters of the genre without imitating them." --San Diego Union-Tribune