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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Con with a Heart of Gold
One of the most appealing characters in adult fiction is the sinner who has decided to toe the line. Mr. Crais has created a unique and interesting version of that classic role in The Two Minute Rule. Building from that strong foundation, Mr. Crais has succeeded in creating a memorable and appealing story of redemption.
Max Holman is just finishing up a long sentence...
Published on 9 Mar 2006 by Donald Mitchell

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It ain't Elvis Cole that's for sure
Fans of Crais' Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series will be sorely disapointed with this book.

Crais' moves uncharacteristically slowly and the mood is sombre .In fact it takes until 170-200 pages in until I started to feel any affinity for the lead characters.

To be honest,if you read this book without it's cover i.e without knowing that Robert Crais is...
Published on 29 May 2007 by Omri Levin


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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great story by Robert Crais, 27 Dec 2006
By 
Helen Hancox "Auntie Helen" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Two Minute Rule (Paperback)
I've loved Robert Crais' recent books (Demolition Angel, Hostage, LA Requiem etc) and so picked up this book with great anticipation - and was not disappointed.

Max Holman is just about to be released from prison after a 10 year sentence for bank robbery. He's looking forward to getting to know his son who is a policeman, but on the night before his release his son Richard is killed in a shooting with three other policemen. Max is released and immediately starts to try to find out more about Richard's death - why was he killed, how did it happen, who was responsible. He ends up teaming up with Special Agent Pollard, formerly of the FBI, who was actually the person who caught him in his last bank robbery. The two of them get deeper and deeper into their investigation, discovering that the cops are not all honest and that people involved with a series of recent bank robberies are being murdered.

What's really interesting about this book is the vignettes on life that a freshly-released long-term prisoner might experience. Max is unfamiliar with the use of mobile phones, his general knowledge about life in LA is ten years out of date and he experiences all the fears and strangeness of the newly freed man. He also has to deal with the fact he has few skills and no knowledge except for that of a criminal and is crippled with the fear that his son has turned out bad, like him. Agent Pollard, too, looks back on her time with the FBI as the highlight of her life which has now gone downhill; is she getting too involved with Holman and who can she trust?

If you have liked any of Robert Crais' other books then you're bound to enjoy this one. It's not an Elvis Cole/Joe Pike book but it's still a great read with interesting characters and a fascinating new view - not that of a policeman but of an ex-criminal. Enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Con with a Heart of Gold, 9 Mar 2006
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Two Minute Rule (Hardcover)
One of the most appealing characters in adult fiction is the sinner who has decided to toe the line. Mr. Crais has created a unique and interesting version of that classic role in The Two Minute Rule. Building from that strong foundation, Mr. Crais has succeeded in creating a memorable and appealing story of redemption.
Max Holman is just finishing up a long sentence for bank robbery when the book opens. Max has a job lined up, a place to live and a strong desire to make peace with his estranged girl friend and their son, both of whom have written Max off. That plan is quickly derailed when Max's son, Richie, is killed along with three other police officers in an unexpected place and in a very suspicious way.
Max can simply go on with his life, or he can try to make peace with the loss of his son. With few resources, Max has to find a way into the inside of law enforcement. But who will listen?
As the story develops, Max creates an unlikely and intriguing connection to former special agent Katherine Pollard of the FBI. The two explore Richie's death and find hidden depths that will draw you into the story in ways you don't expect.
Unlike many detective stories, this one uses the book's title as an intriguing theme. It seems that modern technology is such that anytime a branch bank hold-up lasts longer than two minutes, the police will probably be outside the front door waiting for the robbers. Smart thieves learn to clear the money out of the vault, leave the dye packets behind and skip the bravado in the process . . . all in the interests of time. When more time is spent, the consequences can be unexpected . . . and revealing.
If you like Elvis Cole, you probably also like Spenser. If you know Spenser, you probably also know Jesse Stone. Holman will remind you a lot of Stone with his flaws, except Holman comes from the wrong side of the law. There's an element of the vigilante seeking to do the right thing here that will fascinate all those who love old westerns.
The plot develops nicely, interestingly and not too predictably. Like the best fiction, the plot and dialogue add a lot to the character development.
If I liked the book so much, why did I grade it as four stars rather than five? The plot stretches implausibly thin in places, employing unlikely action that wasn't essential to telling a good story. As a result, the book reads more like a fable than action detection in several places. While that's fun, it takes away from the amount that you can imagine yourself as Holman or Pollard. That flaw costs the book a lot of its potential power and immediacy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great read, 5 Sep 2006
By 
R. Monga "book worm" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Two Minute Rule (Hardcover)
Holman is a bank robber who is released from prison after serving his sentence and he finds that his son has been murdered on the day of his release. The story is about Holman's need to discover the truth of his son's murder.

Holman is a likeable charachter & the only problem I had with the book was reconciling the image of a thief to that of a gentleman like Holman. It is overall a very well written book & defintely worth reading. Please, Mr Crais, can we have some classic Elvis Cole now?
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5.0 out of 5 stars I was sorry to finish this book, 8 Feb 2009
By 
S. Wilson (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Two Minute Rule (Paperback)
Max Holman was a violent criminal. Ten years later he is determined to take the chance of a new life and to rebuild links with his wife and son on his release for jail. His son, a cop, is gunned down before Holman can make contact; his wife is already dead. All he can do, with the help of a one-time accomplice and a retired FBI agent is to set things right by discovering his son's killer. It turns out to be a tough task, hampered as it is by police, FBI and the need to stay out of jail.

The plot has its twists and turns, though it isn't by any means the most complex of books, and the outcome was not a surprise when it arrived. Pacing is generally good, though has to take second place to character at times. And that is where the book is strongest. I really cared that Holman found out the truth about his son, that he cleared his son's name, that he kept out of jail and that...

I won't tell too much.

Holman isn't Elvis Cole, as people have pointed out, and the book has faults. However, it also has the imperfect, complicated character of Holman, and Pollard the messed up FBI agent. I was involved with these characters until the end, and sorry to reach the final page. For me the characterisation takes this straight to five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not a two minute read, 27 April 2010
By 
A. Browne "avid reader" (Donegal Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Two Minute Rule (Paperback)
This book is slow particularily if you are used to the early elvis Cole novels. But stick with it this story is a slow burner. Ex con going straight and his estranged son gets killed on the day of his release.
It would be easy to go with cliche given this plot line. Instead we get an involved story that twists and turns.
A good buy and a good read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartily Recommended, 2 Feb 2007
By 
Scully Bloke (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Two Minute Rule (Hardcover)
This is another exceptionally well crafted book by a master writer. Robert Crais does just get better and better.

This is a one off story, of an ex bank robber Max who's son becomes a policeman while he is doing time in Jail. On his release he finds his son has been killed, and Max wants to know why and by whom. So he turns to the FBI agent who put him in Jail for help.

It has all the makings of a great Crais book with great characterisation, plot, suspense and build up to a tense finally.

Heartily recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars SO LITTLE TIME, SO MUCH MONEY: AWESOME CRIME NOVEL, 1 Feb 2014
By 
RSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Two Minute Rule (Paperback)
Five Awesome Stars: Robert Crais is some kind of an amazing writer. WOW! "Two Minute Rule" is one of those crime novels crying out to be made into a thriller movie (starring Tom, Denzel, the other Tom or Bruce, you pick'em). The 'Two minutes' denote the optimum time needed to rob a bank and escape. To drive home the point, in what is reminiscent of a recent real-life LA bank shootout, the prologue gives a disastrous example of what happens when two heavily armed robbers violate 'the two minute rule'. Then Mr Crais shifts gears into the real story. But what about the title?

Based on a complex plot involving the entanglement of three people from two families: a recently released ex-con who lost more than he knew in prison; the ex-con's star-crossed son, a policeman; and a disillusioned, retired "Feebie" with lots of personal baggage. This is a novel that gradually turns up the heat on the reader until you just have to read it through.

Full of rich characterizations and spicy dialogue, the characters and situations fairly leap off the pages in bold relief even in mundane scenarios. And am I the only one who thought of Cheech Marin when we first meet Chee? And does Perry Wilkes have a price tag on everything? Then Crais turns everything on end and jolts us into another gear, as the reality of everything we have previously read comes into a surprising sharp focus. And then, "the two minute rule". Didn't see that coming. Great writer!! The very end of the novel is a joy, if somewhat unrealistic, but still a joy. Highly Recommended. Five HUGE Stars.

(Note: I have no doubt we'll be seeing this baby on the big screen eventually, if Hollywood can get itself out of the 'easy money' mode of doing remakes. Do we really need another Batman, Superman, or King Kong, when novels like this are crying out to me made into a movie? Wake up, Hollywood!!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars ROBERT CRAIS, 14 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Two Minute Rule (Paperback)
ANOTHER GREAT BOOK BY AGREAT AUTHOR - ALWAYS ENJOY THESE BOOKS AND WILL CONTINUE TO UNTIL I HAVE READ THEM ALL
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5.0 out of 5 stars More please!, 6 Oct 2013
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Having enjoyed the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series I was a bit nervous about moving away from the familiar, so many authors attempt to do so after hitting on a winning blend and seem to lose the spark that you have come to expect. Quite simply I loved Holman and Pollard, great story and endearing characterisation. Terrific read. Would love to see Crais write more with these two characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars My first non Cole book, 21 Sep 2013
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A very good read. Bought by mistake but having enjoyed it I have no regrets. Craigs' characters are very believable.
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The Two Minute Rule
The Two Minute Rule by Robert Crais (Paperback - 16 Aug 2012)
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