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76
4.3 out of 5 stars
The First Rule
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2010
In my house I have a shelf set aside for Elvis Cole and I intend to revisit Elvis' adventures as they were one of the most entertaining I've read, and I read a lot of crime fiction. I've been waiting for a new Elvis outing for years having been immersed in more serious tales from messrs McBride, Robinson and others. Elvis, along with Harlen Coben's Myron Bolitar is one of those characters that has a serious story but enough humour to lighten the daily trip to work on the tube.

So to our beloved Mr.Pike. As another reviewer comments, Pike's silence is one of his strengths and these solo excursions have taken a bit of the polish for me in the character. As the wife of a (minor) crime novellist myself (see Max Jones) I can appreciate both the passion in the characters, and the need to deliver to the publisher. In the absence of any more of Elvis I will 'get by' with further pike outings. However, Reacher (Lee Child) has been cemented as my no.1 strong silent type ahead of Pike and unless Mr.Crais delivers some more Elvis stories I am sorry he won't regain the top spot.
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on 11 October 2013
Though this is in the 'Elvis Cole' series by Robert Crais, it's mainly about Joe Pike, and that's absolutely fine. When I started reading this series in the middle, and then went back to the first book (highly recommended) it makes Joe Pike more understandable. I absolutely love the whole series and thoroughly recommend it. The First Rule is a great book, but if this is your first of the series, do start at the beginning. It really is worth it. The books do stand alone, but to get the most out of them it's best to know the backgrounds of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. Great books. Strong story lines, often dark but with a lot of humour too. I really like the characters - you get drawn into their lives. Passed this one on to my husband who loved it and will recommend the whole series to my son who lives in the USA when I visit soon.
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on 21 July 2013
I discovered Robert Crais through Amazon quite recently and have been working my way through his Elvis Cole – Joe Pike series ever since. I have to admit it was love at first page. I really like Robert Crais writing style – fast-moving plots often featuring in-depth investigation of one main crime rather than a new stiff with every chapter.

The First Rule gave me the opportunity to study Joe Pike in more detail as he often plays the second character to Elvis Cole. It is a story of revenge and retribution. If, like me, you have read the other novels in the series you will know that it is a bad idea to mess with Joe Pike’s friends. So when of them is killed in the first chapter, you know that it is going to end badly for the protagonists – and it certainly does.

A great continuation of the Cole-Pike franchise.
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VINE VOICEon 10 October 2013
The first rule should be to keep Elvis Cole in the foreground with Joe Pike as his hitman and saviour, not to mention Hardy to his Laurel in the dialogue. The First Rule reverses the roles. This is abook about Pike with Cole called in to act as detective. It works because Robert Crais knows how to manage a thriller but those of us who came to this series for Elvis have to admit an initial disappointment.

The other consequence is the violence inherent in Pike's nature. There are brutal fights and many killings; this is not a book for the squeamish. There is also a fiendish double cross plot; this is not a book for the casually inattentive.

Given those caveats, the action is fast and the pages turn themselves.
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on 29 June 2013
When I read the first chapter I could not bear to read the rest of the book because I thought Pike was dead (reminder - its a book) But being brave I started it - promise one hour housework 15 minutes reading. Later one hour reading 15 minutes gardening - cannot concentrate (its a book - it`s not real) Stayed up to finish it. I am really glad I live in England rather than Los Angeles. Doesn`t anyone check up and charge him with killing people. Wish Robert Crais could be made into films but there is NO-ONE who is charismatic enough to take the part of Pike especially if they learn by Tom Cruise playing Reacher. Do not want to start another book yet in case it is not as good. Is there no hope for me? I am 80.
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on 19 May 2014
I came across Robert Crais by accident, I just fancied reading something a bit different (I'm usually a hearts and flowers sort of girl).
I thought I'd give it ago and I'm so glad I did, within a few minutes I was hooked. Now I would concider myself addicted, I cant get enough of his Joe Pike novels. Joe's a been there done it sort of chap, guns, bullets & fists flying everywhere. He always gets the job done no matter what it takes and he's a thoroughly decent guy to boot - if your bad you cop it. It makes me laugh when I imagine myself in the fight as he beats the brown stuff out of two or three baddies at a time - great stuff (but don't tell anyone it's most unladylike)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
First Sentence: Frank Meyer closed his computer as the early winter darkness fell over his home in Westwood, California, not far from the UCLA campus.

Joe Pike receives word that, Frank, one of the members of his former mercenary team has been murdered, along with his entire family and the nanny, in a violent home invasion. The police and FBI want to know what Frank was into.

Pike knows he Frank was clean but, along with the other members of the former team and his friend, PI Elvis Cole, are dedicated to find the killers and elicit their own form of justice. This becomes particularly true when Pike realizes Frank wasn't the target, but only collateral damage.

In general, I am a big fan of Robert Crais and the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series. I liked "The Watchman" which gave us more information about Pike's past. But I don't think Pike works as a lead protagonist.

Pike works as Cole's backup, sometimes known as the "psychopathic sidekick," because he is an enigma. He doesn't do friendship, in the classic sense of the word but, by heaven, he does loyalty and he has a code by which he leads his life; and that makes him work as a character.

I appreciate Crais wanting to stretch the character of Pike, but it just didn't quite work because of problems with the story and the writing. First, if Pike has said "Sh." one more time, I'd have taken out whatever virtual weapon--I am so NOT a gun person--and shot him. Second, Pike formed a relationship with a baby that, even allowing for the metaphysical, stretched credulity beyond the point of belief. But third, and most important, Pike broke his own rules. The situation did not call for it and it didn't make sense. The one thing that did hold true, was Pikes tribute to his fallen comrade, which I appreciated.

Crais did give the story an element of place, but there also seemed to be a large assumption that the reader is familiar with the environs of Southern California/Los Angeles. I do find it interesting; i.e., unbelievable, that whenever there would be a car chase, there was no traffic to slow them down.

It was, as always, an exciting read with lots of action and some good twists to the plot, but it was far from Crais best work. I'm certain I'll read his next book, but I may not buy it in hardcover.

THE FIRST RULE (PI-Joe Pike/Elvis Cole-LA-Cont) - Okay
Crais, Robert - 2nd Joe Pike
G. P. Putnam's Sons, ©2010, US Hardcover - ISBN: 9780399156137
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on 20 June 2013
This is a Joe Pike story, we have come to know Joe Pike from the Elvis Cole novels. He is no wise cracking PI, rather he is an action hero dare I say it in the mould of Jack Reacher. Crais being Crais he can still spin a good yarn whoever is his hero. In this story Joe hunts down killers of an old comrade. With a few twists. Be aware a Joe Pike story has a tendency to be more concerned with action. Personally just a bit bored with continual references to his tattoos, (red arrows always pointing forward yadda yadda yadda)
It is a perfectly adequate action story to pass a while away.
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on 10 July 2015
Still reading them in order.....but I have to say I'm being a bit generous with the four stars on this one. Why? Well because it's mainly Pike on his own and the two work better together with Coles humour. Also....dare I say It?....it's a bit predictable.....Pike I'm indestructible and out for vengeance....you know what's going to happen from the start....all padded out with the constant LA landscape which Crais does so well. But, I still enjoyed it, a but like a comfortable well worn shoe. I hope the next won't be as predictable.
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on 25 September 2013
Crais dosen't dissappoint. Pike is his usual belligerent, loyal, focused self. Righting a great wrong committed on his former buddy-in-arms. Battling ruthless Serbian gangs involved in Murder, Kidnapping, using Prostitutes to further their ends. Arms deals, intrigue and of course "guest" appearances by his other splendid "alter-ego" character Elvis Cole. Add to the mix a fervent FBI agent intent upon using Pike, but trying to keep him in line and you have a brilliant read. Never fails to keep us enthralled.
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