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The Last Detective (Crais, Robert) [Hardcover]

Robert Crais
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb 2003 Crais, Robert
Elvis Cole is back...

With his acclaimed bestsellers, Hostage (a New York Times Notable Book) and Demolition Angel, Robert Crais drew raves for his unstoppable pacing, edgy characterizations, and cinematic prose. Now, in The Last Detective, Crais returns to his signature character, Los Angeles private investigator Elvis Cole, in a masterful page-turner that probes the meaning of family and the burdens of the past.

Elvis Cole's relationship with attorney Lucy Chenier is strained. When she moved from Louisiana to join Elvis in Los Angeles, she never dreamed that violence would so easily touch her life -- but then the unthinkable happens. While Lucy is away on business and her ten-year-old son, Ben, is staying with Elvis, Ben disappears without a trace. Desperate to believe that the boy has run away, evidence soon mounts to suggest a much darker scenario.

Joining forces with his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike, Elvis frantically searches for Ben with the help of LAPD Detective Carol Starkey, as Lucy's wealthy, oil-industry ex-husband attempts to wrest control of the investigation. Amid the maelstrom of personal conflicts, Elvis and Joe are forced to consider a more troubling lead -- one indicating that Ben's disappearance is connected to a terrible, long-held secret from Elvis Cole's past.

Venturing deep inside a complex psyche, Crais explores Elvis's need for family - the military that embraced him during a troubled adolescence, his rock-solid partnership with Pike, and his floundering relationship with Lucy - as they race the clock in their search for Ben. The Last Detective is Robert Crais' richest, most intense tale of suspense yet.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books; First Edition First Printing edition (Feb 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385504268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385504263
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,967,493 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

Amazon Review

For The Last Detective Robert Crais fields something of a crime busting dream team; his regular duo, private detective Elvis Cole and enigmatic partner Joe Pike, hook up with Carol Starkey, the feisty, chain-smoking heroine of Demolition Angel in a tautly plotted kidnapping caper.

Crais has always spiced his elaborate LA procedurals with the gamier elements from action thrillers and this book, which pits his gumshoes against a gang of vicious mercenaries as well as the intractable red tape of policing law, is no exception. The drama kicks off when Ben Chenier, Cole's girlfriend Lucy's ten-year-old son, is abducted with military precision from outside Elvis' own home. Stunned by the kidnappers' audacity, Cole receives an even bigger shock when the gang phone. There is no ransom demand; instead the caller reminds him of a horrific incident from his past. As a Ranger in Vietnam, Cole's unit, number Five-Two, had come under heavy attack. Only he had survived the assault. Now more than 20 years later, the kidnappers accuse Cole of murdering his colleagues and maintain that Ben has been taken in retribution. Could the snatcher be a bitter relative with a grudge or perhaps, a disgruntled old army buddy out for vengeance?

Elvis and Pike, along with renegade LAPD cop Carole Starkey, start to hunt for Ben. Meticulously tracking leads and drawing on their military know how they start to build up a profile of their prey. While they make headway Cole is still left feeling "as if each piece of the picture was from a different puzzle and no matter how hard" he tries "to arrange them it made no sense". Their efforts are further hampered by Ben's father, Richard. Richard has always despised Cole and accompanied by Myers, his personal investigator, he begins stirring up trouble for Elvis with Lucy and with the authorities. But when Cole's researches start paying off, things in this page-turner become far, far murkier. --Travis Elborough --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

The author of LA Requiem, Hostage, Demolition Angel and other big-selling novels has produced a new one which sounds hugely saleable. I have only had a chance to read the opening 50 pages or so, which tell how private eye Elvis Cole is looking after his girlfriend's son Ben when he is kidnapped under Elvis's nose from his house outside LA. The kidnapper telephones saying, "I've got the boy. This is payback." Also mentioned is 'Five-two', which was his unit's designation in Vietnam. That is another part of his life which he has not thought of for 20 years, but it is obvious that retribution is what the kidnappers are after, not money, and he's going to have to look back into his past if he is to secure the future. His latest thriller looks like another big bestseller for this American author, and has an explosive beginning. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Detective Story 6 Mar 2003
By J. E. Parry VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
I agree with the previous reviewer that this was a long anticipated book.
After the ending of L.A. Requiem there was a fear that Crais was retiring Elvis and Joe. However his fans are rewarded with another superbly crafted work.
The character development continues and you learn more about Cole and discover that Pike may no longer be the superman he seemed to be. Crais has also woven in his heroine, Starkey, from Demolition Angel to add to the pot.
For those fans of Michael Connelly we also get a homage to his Heironymous Bosch character. Thankfully this is far better done than the high tech thrillers where they just say "it was just like something from a Brown/Clancy/Bond book". Unless you know the character you'll miss the link.
The story zips along and you won't want to stop reading. The story alternates between the viewpoint of Cole, Pike and Ben. The plot is believeable and never relents. You hate the breakdown of his relationship with the boy's mother and hope that it will survive.
Like Connelly he breathes life into an L.A. that every knows, even if they've never been there. However just one word of warning. There are 7 previous Cole/Pike stories and not 4. I recommend that you read them all before starting this.
For those who read Crais for the first time you don't know what you've missed. You WILL want to read more.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Cole novel yet.... 28 Feb 2003
Format:Hardcover
As much as I love the Elvis Cole books, they've always felt a little 'pulpy' - crime, crime-solving, go home. Then came 'L.A. Requiem', turning the relationship between Cole and his partner Joe Pike into something more than just a buddy-buddy situation - a very real friendship. We also got a look in at the before- unknown past of Pike. Now arrives 'The Last Detective' and we finally get to see into Cole's life. How he grew to become the man he is. This really helps to turn Cole into the three-dimensional character he had always destined to be. This book is not only the best in the Cole series, but also the most mature. Cole still has his witty comback lines and Pike is still, well Pike, but they feel more human, adding to the dangerous situations they find themselves in by making them finally seem fallible. A masterpiece and a must read for any Elvis Cole fan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable! 27 Oct 2003
Format:Paperback
Having only read one Robert Crais book before this and found this lurking at the back of my bookcase, I decided to give it ago. What have I been missing out on?
The book does not let up on the pace.
The last detective being Elvis Cole along with his trusty not very talkative sidekick Joe Pike become involved in a race against time battle with three mercenaries to rescue Elvis's girlfriends son Ben who has been kidnapped by them.
What follows is the fight to find the men and rescue Ben.
Expect some twists and to be kept on the edge of seat reading.
If you enjoy it as much as me you'll finish it in a day or two and become an avid fan of Robert Crais!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not sure I understand the criticism 20 July 2004
By JayPee
Format:Paperback
Having come across Robert Crais quite late, I've had a fast track through all of the Elvis Cole novels, and yes, he does abandon some of the tried and trusted formula - but surely one would expect that of any author as he seeks to develop his characters and avoid becoming too comfortable and predictable.
There are some probelms with the book - I don't think that the dream sequences Elvis has work well, and there are times when sticking to the first person narrative clearly becomes a problem as he seeks to tell the story from multiple angles.
However, this is a very fast paced story, with enough twists and different angles to have kept me in suspense until very late on, and I for one look forward to the next installment.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth The Wait 23 Feb 2003
By rspeir
Format:Hardcover
For those of you you haven't read any of Robert Crais' work before, STOP NOW. Get a hold of his previous four books in the series, Voodhoo River, Sunset Express, Indigo Slam and L.A. Requiem. Read them in that order before settling down with The Last Detective...and enjoy!!
The Last Detective continues plot and character developments from the previous novels and not being aware of these points will certainly reduce the reader's enjoyment of Crais' newest Elvis Cole and Joe Pike thriller.
Commited fans of the series will be aware that this novel does for Elvis Cole what L.A. Requiem did for Joe Pike - namely provide us with more of Elvis' background: his childhood and army service in Vietnam.
We get to witness the events that really mould his psyche and make him into the character that he is.
The story kicks off 9 months after L.A.Requiem. The normally indestructable Joe Pike is still recouperating after severe injury at the end of the previous novel. A point that makes for facinating and often saddened reading when we see Joe doubting his ability to protect Elvis and himself at various points throughout the story.
Elvis' girlfriend Lucy is still finding life hard following L.A. Requiem's traumatic ending and this is putting visible strain on their relationship.
Matters are further complicated when Lucy's son Ben is kidnapped from Coles' home whilst under Elvis' care.
The kidnapper appears to be seeking revenge on Elvis following an incident involving Elvis' platoon in Vietnam.
What follows is Elvis' desperate struggle to rescue Ben, aided by a far from fit Joe Pike
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Rainbow Follows The Storm
The Last Detective starts off with an intriguing, involving prologue concerning Joe Pike, the most interesting character in the series (which is probably why L. Read more
Published 1 month ago by George Kelly
4.0 out of 5 stars exciting from start to finish
Action packed from start to finish with a good story line. Love the characters. Hard to put down once you've started it.
Published 3 months ago by Sarah W.
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
First bought a Robert Crais book from a remainder shop and have been busy reading his back catalogue ever since. Would recommend to anyone who likes a good detective novel. Read more
Published 8 months ago by audrey shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Another spectacular read from Robert Crais
A real page turner. I have read quite a few Robert Crais books, I love his style of writing, he has you hooked into the story from page 1. Read more
Published 13 months ago by emma hopley
5.0 out of 5 stars great author
I bought this for a present and the person loves this author and really enjoyed the story, well worth the money spent
Published 14 months ago by Haffenden
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Detective
Loved this book, couldn't put it down. It was recommended to me by my Sister in Law, she has brought all the Robert Crais novels because of it.
Published 17 months ago by Mo
5.0 out of 5 stars Cole & Pike
It's a Cole and Pike novel which is why you buy them, they do what they say on the tin so to speak, brilliant book.
Published 20 months ago by Timj
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality thrills and twists
More quality output from Mr Crais and I am surprised that some reviewers have not enjoyed this.

When girlfriend Lucy's son is kidnapped it looks like Cole's military... Read more
Published on 12 April 2011 by Nick Brett
3.0 out of 5 stars Token Getting Rid of Love Interest Novel
Most long running Detective series follow a similar pattern; loner hero embarks on PI career, but finally finds one woman to be with by around book 5. Read more
Published on 7 July 2009 by Sam Tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex plot set in non-stop action
The Last Detective
Non-stop action in this latest pairing of Elvis Cole and Pike as the Teflon coated private investigators with special services backgrounds and a welcome... Read more
Published on 8 Mar 2009 by Amazon Customer
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