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The First Rule Paperback – 3 Mar 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (3 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409118231
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409118237
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 178,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Crais is the author of the bestselling Cole & Pike novels. A native of Louisiana, Crais moved to Hollywood in the late 70s where he began a successful career in television, writing scripts for such major series as Cagney & Lacey, Miami Vice and Hill Street Blues. In the mid 80s, following his success with the TV buddy genre, Crais created a series of crime novels based around the characters Cole & Pike. In addition, Crais has also written several bestselling standalone thrillers. Robert Crais lives in LA with his wife and family.

Here are the Elvis Cole novels in series order:

The Monkey's Raincoat
Stalking the Angel
Lullaby Town
Free Fall
Voodoo River
Sunset Express
Indigo Slam
L. A. Requiem
The Last Detective
The Forgotten Man
The Watchman
Chasing Darkness

Stand-alone novels:

Demolition Angel
Hostage
The Two Minute Rule
The First Rule

Product Description

Review

Crais once mroe proves himself to be one of the finest exponents of the genre in a gripping and complex story. (HUDDERSFIELD DAILY EXAMINER)

Book Description

Joe Pike is out for revenge and no cop, no bad guy, no one alive, is going to stop him.

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover
"The avenger of blood himself shall put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death." -- Numbers 35:19

Let's face it, when a character's appeal is as a strong, silent type, it can be hard to build an appealing story around him. Since the witty dialogue opportunities are limited with Joe Pike as the detective, Robert Crais wisely chooses to let Pike's actions develop the story and his character. This decision opens up two rather interesting possibilities that are well developed: lots of action where Pike is on his own and detailed development of interactions with even very minor characters. Through those nuances of Pike's actions and reactions, we see him muddily through the reflected mirror of what others do and say . . . and the impact of Pike's decisions on them (especially children).

If Joe Pike isn't one of your favorite characters in detective fiction, I suggest you skip this book. Its appeal is mostly to the Pike aficionado rather than to the main-line fan of action detection. The plot, dialogue, and character development are there to illuminate Joe Pike rather than to provide a great detective story.

Before Joe Pike was Elvis Cole's partner, he was a highly regarded mercenary in the world's most troubled hot spots who looked after his men much in the way that Marines have always looked after their own. One of those men had been Frank Meyer. Pike had dropped out of Meyer's life after Meyer's pregnant girl friend (and later wife) issued an ultimatum to leave the mercenary life and his mercenary comrades behind.

As the book opens, Meyer's home is invaded by career criminals looking for a large score . . . the same group that has been ripping off other criminals at home in prior weeks. Meyer resists and a bloodbath ensues.
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Format: Paperback
I read everything that Robert Crais writes and, even though this one features his usual number two man the impalacable and unstoppable Joe Pike, it is still up to his usual brutally fast moving standards. R.C. delivers a known product, but a good one - very good - almost addictively good - but there is a little niggle of concern at the back of my mind. I tried to write a review of The First Rule but everything I wrote could have been applied equally to any of his books, the same review covered them all! Imagine trying to write a review of a single episode of the TV series Friends. Is there such a thing as an overproduced book, after all this one lists almost 50 people to be thanked. Am I just some stupid woman who can't write reviews or are all his books essentially the same? It is not even the lack of significant female roles that bothers me, you usually just accept that with this sort of book.

But there are other thrillers that reach deeper, and I'm not even counting P.D. James because hers aren't genre thrillers they're fully satisfying novels. Take a look at the link I've put in below to a book by someone called Ian Okell, he seems to fill the gap between P.D. James and Robert Crais.

Loose Cannon

But I'm still going to buy the next Crais just as soon as it comes out.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The First Rule is told from the viewpoint of Joe Pike. It's the second of a Joe Pike series, the first being The Watchman.

The thing I like about the Joe Pike series is that Robert Crais offers the same world of guns and gangsters and double-crosses and twists but from a new perspective; a slightly different angle. Also, Joe Pike is the complete opposite of Elvis Cole. Whereas Elvis is cocky and thinks he's funny, Joe only talks when necessary. He doesn't crack jokes or look for humour. He only looks for the truth, and he'll kill whoever stands in the way of that truth. This brings a huge difference: Elvis Cole is humour wrapped in bullets; Joe Pike is darkness with bullet holes of light.

The First Rule starts with a simple home-robbery/multiple homicide--one of the victims an old friend of Joe Pike--and soon branches out into Serbian gangsters. It has all the elements of a typical Robert Crais, but unlike some of the Elvis Cole novels--as much as I like the Joe Pike character--it's lacking a little something. It's not boring or slow, but it lacks a spark somewhere. The story is too straightforward; too easy. There aren't many twists, and after the first half of the book, it's merely one long fight/chase/shoot scene after another, as if Crais ran out of plot.

It's not bad as such--I liked it. But Crais has done better, so if you've never read him before, don't start with this book. It's more of a series entry, rather than a series standout.

Also, I have no idea why Crais feels the need to write "mother****er" as "muthuf**kah" when uttered by a black character. It's annoying to read. It's not cute.

So if you're reading this Crais: stop it.

You muthuf**kah.
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Format: Kindle Edition
First of all, I really like Robert Crais - his witticisms and the humour shown in his Elvis Cole books were what prompted me to read 'The First Rule'.

And I've got to say, I was pretty disappointed.

Crais is known for his 'Cole and Pike' books, where Cole is the lead character, supported by Pike. However, in this book, Joe Pike is the main character, and Elvis Cole appears intermittently.

Joe Pike is more or less indestructible. It's a bit ridiculous, and also means there is little tension or suspense, because you know Pike will come out of any situation easily and unscathed.

The storyline is pretty standard, nothing really out of the ordinary for this type of book. It moves along at a fair pace, which is quite fortunate really.

None of the one-liners or usual humour from Cole makes any kind of appearance whatsoever.

The most disappointing aspect was that no part of this book seemed attributable to Robert Crais - it really is that unlike him. I think his style is quite definable - which is why he is usually such a good storyteller. However, but for the chacters 'Cole' and 'Pike', you would have absolutely no idea that this is a Robert Crais book.

I would definitely read another 'Cole and Pike' book, i.e. Cole as the main character, but definitely wouldn't read another centred around Joe Pike.
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