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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Last Detective
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
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
on 28 February 2003
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
on 27 October 2003
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2008
Lee Child, step away from the keyboard. Wow - what a brilliant find Robert Crais is. Just as I was getting all antsy about a) there being so long to wait for the next Jack Reacher novel and b)the fact that the last one was so, well, not quite up to scratch - it read so much like it was rattled off at the publisher's gunpoint - I find myself blown away by another stunning hero. Elvis Cole is a glorious creation and though some might argue he's too much the identikit good guy (troubled past, heroics in the marines,strong moral code but not afraid to do what a guy's gotta do, FAB house perched atop a canyon and so on) I come to these books as a female, so he's precisely what I want my heroes to be. This (my second Cole and Pike novel - the first was the new one - also excellent) was about the abduction of his girlfriend's son, and it pushed all the right buttons in terms of narrative tension and pace. Indeed, I think I probably read it in real time - i.e. the scant time between the abduction and the denouement. Gripping stuff. So, Mr Crais, if you read your reviews (and I'm a novelist myself so I don't doubt you do) please accept five stars and my grateful thanks. To find a great new author is a joy - to find one with a huge backlist is just about nirvana... Can some kind person please now tell me the proper order in which to read them all? Would be most grateful. You can do so via my profile page. Ta!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2004
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 29 July 2006
First of all the facts. Its the 9th Elvis Cole Novel. That means it will mean more to you the reader if you have read some or all of the previous books. So my advice is always to read the Elvis Cole books in Sequence.

OK, its the best crime series that you can read. Thats Fact also.

This book continues where the fabulous LA Requiem finishes, with Cole and Lucys relationship in full focus, due mainly to the the danger that seems to live in Coles World. Anything or anyone that joins it also endures danger, and for Lucy (Elvis's Love), it may be too much to bear, especially when her son is kidnapped.

If you have read the previous Cole novels then I agree that you may have sensed the plot this time, never the less, the further depth of character development for Cole and Pike is brillant, and the build up to the finalle is Crais at his very best.

I begin to think that Elvis can only find real love in his eco system, with someone that cab share his life, rather than someone who tries to change it or cannot accept it.........

Again and excelent novel from the master of Crime. The best series that you can read. Loved it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2003
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2004
If you've already read the previous Elvis Cole novels by Crais, this onewill either have you on tenterhooks for the next installment or hankeringafter the old wise-cracks.
Personally I loved 'Last Detective', it followed on from 'L.A. Requim'perfectly; we saw how Pike became Pike, and here we start to find out justwhat shaped Elvis Cole. Sure, Elvis is very different from the earliernovels, but this only deepens his character; Elvis is falling apart, andI guess we've only seen the well-developed facade Crais has created for usthe reader.
Its fast and just a little bloody, but there are reasons for this, its notmindless. Ben Chenier's knowledge of guns and his kidnappers crimes shownaivety versus brutality.
By the end I just wanted Elvis to be able to have a good shower and a longsleep; he deserved it. I'm off to re-read the series.
Last word: If you prefer Elvis Cole dusting Jiminy Cricket rather thanseeing him struggle with his past, 'The Last Detective' probably won't befor you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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 service has caught up with him. Before long Cole and Pike find themselves up against someone who might just be as dangerous as Pike himself. As they dig into it, the pieces do not fit together and their assumptions may all be wrong.....

This blends a strong plot with character development for both Cole and Pike, we see a bit of Cole from his military days and we see a weakened Pike with glimpses of self doubt. This helps make them more real and their motives more meaningful and certanly draws you into the story.

Excellent stuff. Again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2014
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.A Requiem was such a hit--it revolved around the enigmatic sidekick) and his fight to rehabilitate himself following the events in the previous novel. This rehabilitation entails fighting a bear. And then, in the opening scenes of the book, the annoying kid of Lucy Chenier (Elvis Cole's girlfriend) gets kidnapped.

So far so good. But then the unthinkable happens, my worst nightmare sucked from my brain and put on the page--Carol Starkey, annoying heroine of Demolition Angel--turns up, now apparently working in some kind of kidnap unit. And to make things even worse the first hundred pages or so were slow moving and bored the hell out of me. I couldn't care less about the kid, or about Cole or about anything or anyONE, and I was ready to throw the book in the corner with Demolition Angel--then:

It got good.

Almost as if two different writers wrote the book, it suddenly came to life. The back story is introduced in flashbacks; gripping well-written scenes, all of it hooking me in, bringing me back to the days of L.A Requiem. There was a particularly good section with the main character Elvis Cole, back in the day when he was in the army. And I kept picking up the novel more and more often, wanting to read on.

Anyway, the rest of the novel is pretty strong and the twist was an OK one, too, although I guessed it in advance. Plus Lucy wasn't annoying or particularly whiny this time and nor was the kid, and by the end of the novel I didn't even hate Carol Starkey, so Crais kind of redeemed himself for Demolition Angel.

I was, however, left wondering why everyone knows Elvis Cole as "Cole" and not "Mr. Cole" within two seconds of meeting him.

But that's one of life's mysteries, I guess.
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