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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elvis on the Case of the Missing Manuscript
When Bradley Warren saunters into Elvis's office, the two men clash from the beginning. But Elvis still takes his case. Seems a rare and valuable manuscript from Japan that Bradley borrowed has gone missing and Bradley feels the police aren't doing enough to find it. Elvis soon picks up a trail that leads him to the underside of Little Tokyo. But when the Warren...
Published on 19 Sept. 2004 by Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another good Elvis Cole mystery!
First the job involved the robbery of an ancient Japanese book, known as the Hagakure. Now the owner’s daughter is kidnapped. Elvis is on a mission to find the girl. Joined by his devout partner, Joe Pike, Elvis must confront the yakuza or Japanese Mafia. Elvis’ sarcastic and flip comments are absolutely hilarious in this outing.
Published on 27 Feb. 2006 by Clarence T. Henry


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elvis on the Case of the Missing Manuscript, 19 Sept. 2004
By 
Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
When Bradley Warren saunters into Elvis's office, the two men clash from the beginning. But Elvis still takes his case. Seems a rare and valuable manuscript from Japan that Bradley borrowed has gone missing and Bradley feels the police aren't doing enough to find it. Elvis soon picks up a trail that leads him to the underside of Little Tokyo. But when the Warren family begins receiving threatening phone calls, the heat really picks up. Can Elvis keep the family safe and find the manuscript?
Ok, I admit, I'm not much of a hardboiled fan. But something about this series intrigues me. Probably the fact that the main character is more passionate about Disney then I am. And I really do love Elvis. His sarcasm and quips had me laughing throughout the entire book. However, it's not all fun and games. The further you go, the darker it gets. That's probably my big complaint; it just got too dark for my personal tastes. On the whole, it's a great storyline that keeps you reading until the final page with a couple nice twists. And all the characters are interesting and very real.
I certainly recommend this book to fans of hardboiled PI's. It's very well written and engaging. Frankly, even though I'm not a fan of this sub-genre, I'm thinking I may need to continue with these characters myself. They're that intriguing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another good Elvis Cole mystery!, 27 Feb. 2006
First the job involved the robbery of an ancient Japanese book, known as the Hagakure. Now the owner’s daughter is kidnapped. Elvis is on a mission to find the girl. Joined by his devout partner, Joe Pike, Elvis must confront the yakuza or Japanese Mafia. Elvis’ sarcastic and flip comments are absolutely hilarious in this outing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The return of Elvis Cole - what a ride!, 4 July 1999
By A Customer
Now, if you're wondering how a hardboiled mystery could ever make you laugh, you obviously haven't met Elvis Cole. This is a series I resisted at first - I guess I was put off by the thought of a detective named Elvis. But I'm hooked and I think you will be too! Stalking the Angel hits the ground running on page one and I didn't put it down until the last page was read. Wise cracking Cole adheres to no one's standards and doesn't much seem to care who hires him. When he's approached by Bradley Warren, a pompous executive, to investigate the theft of a priceless manuscript, he takes the job even though the two clash from the first word. Meeting Warren's exhibitionistic wife and troubled daughter dampens what little enthusiasm he has for the case, but when the daughter is kidnapped after Cole promised her he'd watch out for her, it becomes personal. When suspects start dying torturous, violent deaths, Cole enlists the aid of partner Joe Pike and the two leave no stone unturned in bringing the case to a climactic end. Robert Crais presents us with a lovable hero with a smart mouth and eyes that don't miss much. But don't be deceived - this is no cozy. Violence is real, but not unjustified. Ethical lines are understandably blurred and happily ever after isn't part of the deal. Still, it's a highly enjoyable read and we can all look forward to Elvis' latest adventure - LA Requiem, due out in June.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short & Sweet, 25 Jun. 2008
By 
Dr Evil (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Disney-loving, wise-cracking tough guy Elvis Cole returns in the second novel in the series from Robert Crais in `Stalking the Angel'. Bradley Warren has lost a very valuable thirteenth-century Japanese manuscript, the Hagakure, and hires Elvis Cole, with the help of Joe Pike, to recover it. Elvis and Pike search through Los Angeles' Little Tokyo and the nest of the notorious Japanese mafia, known as the yakuza.

I read Crais' first Elvis Cole novel last year and really enjoyed it and so I've been looking forward to getting round to reading the follow-up and although it's not as good as the original, it is still a great, action-packed detective thriller with some of the best and fastest dialogue I've came across in a series.

The story is fairly faced-paced and has a lot of action from the get-go with some gun battles and martial arts that jump straight out of the page. The mystery regarding the missing book is fairly dull but that isn't the main focus of the story as it does unravel into many other stories as it goes on. Cole and Pike's relationship evolves some more, if a little slowly.

Overall this is a decent read that isn't the best in the series but is short and enjoyable. If this is your first Crais book, I strongly recommend reading The Monkey's Raincoat first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elvis has Re-entered the Building, 23 Aug. 2007
By 
Elvis Cole is back in his second mystery and this time he is up against the Japanese Yakuza. A priceless Japanese book has been stolen from a rich property magnate and Cole, with his silent partner Pike, has been hired to retrieve it. Things become more dangerous when the daughter of the property magnate is kidnapped and threatened with death unless the investigation is called off. Can Cole save the day without being turned into Sushi?

'Stalking the Angel' is a very early, but fun Cole novel. Written in 1989 it does feel quite dated. I also noticed that the character of Elvis Cole himself has not quite yet reached the quality of later novels. Here he is more annoying than funny at times and there is little that links him to real life. Despite these misgivings this book highlights Crais' ability to write a rip roaring action thriller. The mystery itself is good and there are enough twists and turns to make any Robert Crais fan happy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hard-Boiled Walk on the Seamy Side with Wisecracking Humor, 24 Jun. 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
If you have yet to begin the marvelous Elvis Cole series by Robert Crais, you've got a great treat ahead of you! Few series get off to a stronger start than Mr. Crais did with The Monkey's Raincoat, which won both the Anthony and Macavity awards for best novel while being nominated for the Edgar and Shamus awards as well. And the books just keep getting better from there in their characterizations, action, story-telling and excitement.
Elvis Cole is the star attraction, the co-owner of The Elvis Cole Detective Agency. He's 35ish, ex-Army, served in Vietnam, ex-security guard, has two years of college, learned to be a detective by working under George Feider, a licensed P.I. for over 40 years, does martial arts as enthusiastically as most people do lunch, and is fearless but not foolish. He's out to right the wrongs of the world as much as he is to earn a living. Elvis has a thing for Disney characters (including a Pinocchio clock), kids, cats, scared clients and rapid fire repartee. He drives a Jamaica yellow 1966 Corvette Stingray convertible, and usually carries a .38 Special Dan Wesson.
His main foil is partner, Joe Pike, an ex-Marine, ex-cop who moves quietly and mysteriously wearing shades even in the dark . . . when he's not scaring the bad guys with the red arrows tattooed on his deltoids, which are usually bare in sleeveless shirts. Although he's got an office with Elvis, Pike spends all of his time at his gun shop when not routing the bad guys with martial arts while carrying and often using enough firepower to stop a tank. Pike rarely speaks . . . and never smiles. A standing gag is trying to catch Pike with a little twitch of his lips indicating he might possibly be amused. But he's there when you need him. He drives a red Jeep.
Robert Parker's Spenser is the obvious character parallel for Elvis, but Spenser and Elvis are different in some ways. Cole is more solitary, usually being alone when he's not working. Cole is very much L.A. and Spenser is ultra blue collar Boston. Cole is martial arts while Spenser boxes and jogs. What they have in common is that they're both out to do the right thing, with money being unimportant. They both love to crack wise as they take on the bad guys. The bad guys hate the "humor" in both cases, and can't do much about it. The dialogue written for each is intensely rich.
Mr. Crais has a special talent for making you care about his characters, especially the clients and their kids. You'll want to know what happens to them. With a lot of experience in script writing, Mr. Crais also knows how to set the scene physically and make you feel it. He may be out finest fiction writer about physical movement. He gives you all the clues to picture what's going on . . . but draws back from giving so much detail that you can?t use your own imagination to make things better.
I grew up near Los Angeles, and get a special pleasure out of reading his descriptions of the differences in cities, neighborhoods, and buildings in the area. He gets in right . . . and in detail. It's a nice touch!
On to Stalking the Angel, the second book in the series:
"I love to hear the story
which angel voices tell."
--The Little Corporal
Emily Miller
"When the truth is found to be lies,
and all the joy within you dies,
don't you want somebody to love?"
--Jefferson Airplane
When Jillian Becker walks into his office, Elvis Cole thinks she's "the best looking woman I'd seen in three weeks" despite being dressed as a "Serious Businesswoman." She introduces her boss, Bradley Warren, and within three pages Elvis is being asked to find the Hagakure, an 18th century manuscript outlining all proper forms of samurai behavior.
The trail of the Hagakure brings Elvis and Joe into some of the most unappetizing situations I remember reading about in hard-boiled fiction.
The story develops in small segments from quite different perspectives, usually in chapters of 4-5 pages in length, like a scene in a drama. Each change adds to a mosaic portrait of the characters and the overall situation. So the story moves fast . . . but without leaving you behind. There is enough material in this book to make three or four novels.
Pay particular attention to the evolution of your perceptions of Jillian and Mimi. Mr. Crais does a nice job of helping you realize all sides of their characters. That's one quality that takes this book above the best of the Spenser books.
After you finish the book, you might find it interesting to think about the dangers that can come from reaching for more than we can handle.
What can you do to resist harmful temptation?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another decent read, 13 Feb. 2013
By 
col2910 (Bedfordshire,UK) - See all my reviews
Blurb....

Bradley Warren had lost something very valuable, something that belonged to someone else: a rare thirteenth-century Japanese manuscript called the Hagakure.

Everything PI Elvis Cole knew about Japanese culture he'd learned from reading SHOGUN, but he knew a lot of crooks - and what he didn't know, his sidekick Joe Pike did.

Together, Cole and Pike begin their search in L.A.'s Little Tokyo, the nest of the notorious Japanese mafia, the Yakuza - and find themselves caught up in a white-knuckled adventure filled with madness, murder and sexual obsession. Just another day's work for Elvis Cole...

Hot on the heels of the first Crais/Elvis Cole novel I read on Saturday, the second instalment was done and dusted on the following day. Don't you just love weekends where you can pretty much just chill and do nothing but read? I'll have to make the most of them, because in a month or so, with spring around the corner I'll no doubt be cutting the grass or trimming trees or painting the shed.

Anyway.....Cole gets hired to recover a valuable Japanese manuscript recording the warrior code of the Samurai; the Hagakure. His employer, Bradley Warren is a successful, driven businessman, married to a wife with a penchant for daytime boozing and a daughter, Mimi he seemingly has no connection to either. Warren, unlikeable from the off needs the manuscript found to placate his Japanese trading partners.

Cole in pursuit of the script in Little Tokyo crosses words with the Japanese Yakuza and manages to annoy several branches of law enforcement along the way. After ignoring threats to his family, Warren fires Cole after the kidnapping of his daughter. Cole feeling responsibility towards the unhappy girl persists in investigating the crimes, now more focused on recovering the girl instead of the book.

Pike, the enigmatic partner assists as does Warren's previously aloof assistant. Cole tracks Mimi down and there the story endeths...........err, not really as Crais burdens Cole with a heavier load to resolve.

Entertaining and enjoyable, but slightly less so than The Monkey's Raincoat as far as this reader was concerned.

Still merits a 4 from 5 rating.

I bought my copy new, back in the days when my hair was its original colour and my waistband considerably smaller.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Joe Pike in this one. I liked that., 20 Feb. 2011
By 
J. Lesley "(Judy)" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The Elvis Cole series written by Robert Crais is turning out to be one of those multi-volume series where I'm going to want to read each book. This is the second in the series so now I've read three of the books and think I understand the characters pretty well. I especially liked having Joe Pike present during so much of this novel. He is such an enigmatic character when compared to the ebullient nature of Elvis Cole and the two opposite characters work very well together. Robert Crais did a very good job of filling this novel with characters who had depth and dimension. As seems to be the case in these novels, there is a lot of driving around the streets of LA and it's surroundings with detailed descriptions of where everything is located. Maybe a little bit on the long winded side for me, but at least I get a good feel for the neighborhoods and countryside.

Perhaps what intrigued me most about this plot is that the reader is left not quite sure of why certain things happened. Not that the threads of the plot were not finished up, that's not what I mean. The motivation and truth of why something happened, that's what you are unsure of. And, quite frankly, I think it makes for a much better book because it was left that way. Cole starts off looking for an extremely valuable Japanese book, but the case rapidly moves into other areas because what he encounters is a completely dysfunctional family, a totally self-absorbed billionaire, a kidnapping and a murder. And questions, many, many questions.

This second book in the series follows along in the same direction as the others I've read and I will continue to work my way through the Robert Crais canon. And I'm sincerely looking forward to it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Hard-Boiled Walk on the Seamy Side with Wisecracking Humor, 15 July 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Stalking the Angel (Paperback)
If you have yet to begin the marvelous Elvis Cole series by Robert Crais, you've got a great treat ahead of you! Few series get off to a stronger start than Mr. Crais did with The Monkey's Raincoat, which won both the Anthony and Macavity awards for best novel while being nominated for the Edgar and Shamus awards as well. And the books just keep getting better from there in their characterizations, action, story-telling and excitement.
Elvis Cole is the star attraction, the co-owner of The Elvis Cole Detective Agency. He's 35ish, ex-Army, served in Vietnam, ex-security guard, has two years of college, learned to be a detective by working under George Feider, a licensed P.I. for over 40 years, does martial arts as enthusiastically as most people do lunch, and is fearless but not foolish. He's out to right the wrongs of the world as much as he is to earn a living. Elvis has a thing for Disney characters (including a Pinocchio clock), kids, cats, scared clients and rapid fire repartee. He drives a Jamaica yellow 1966 Corvette Stingray convertible, and usually carries a .38 Special Dan Wesson.
His main foil is partner, Joe Pike, an ex-Marine, ex-cop who moves quietly and mysteriously wearing shades even in the dark . . . when he's not scaring the bad guys with the red arrows tattooed on his deltoids, which are usually bare in sleeveless shirts. Although he's got an office with Elvis, Pike spends all of his time at his gun shop when not routing the bad guys with martial arts while carrying and often using enough firepower to stop a tank. Pike rarely speaks . . . and never smiles. A standing gag is trying to catch Pike with a little twitch of his lips indicating he might possibly be amused. But he's there when you need him. He drives a red Jeep.
Robert Parker's Spenser is the obvious character parallel for Elvis, but Spenser and Elvis are different in some ways. Cole is more solitary, usually being alone when he's not working. Cole is very much L.A. and Spenser is ultra blue collar Boston. Cole is martial arts while Spenser boxes and jogs. What they have in common is that they're both out to do the right thing, with money being unimportant. They both love to crack wise as they take on the bad guys. The bad guys hate the "humor" in both cases, and can't do much about it. The dialogue written for each is intensely rich.
Mr. Crais has a special talent for making you care about his characters, especially the clients and their kids. You'll want to know what happens to them. With a lot of experience in script writing, Mr. Crais also knows how to set the scene physically and make you feel it. He may be out finest fiction writer about physical movement. He gives you all the clues to picture what's going on . . . but draws back from giving so much detail that you can?t use your own imagination to make things better.
I grew up near Los Angeles, and get a special pleasure out of reading his descriptions of the differences in cities, neighborhoods, and buildings in the area. He gets in right . . . and in detail. It's a nice touch!
On to Stalking the Angel, the second book in the series:
"I love to hear the story
which angel voices tell."
--The Little Corporal
Emily Miller
"When the truth is found to be lies,
and all the joy within you dies,
don't you want somebody to love?"
--Jefferson Airplane
When Jillian Becker walks into his office, Elvis Cole thinks she's "the best looking woman I'd seen in three weeks" despite being dressed as a "Serious Businesswoman." She introduces her boss, Bradley Warren, and within three pages Elvis is being asked to find the Hagakure, an 18th century manuscript outlining all proper forms of samurai behavior.
The trail of the Hagakure brings Elvis and Joe into some of the most unappetizing situations I remember reading about in hard-boiled fiction.
The story develops in small segments from quite different perspectives, usually in chapters of 4-5 pages in length, like a scene in a drama. Each change adds to a mosaic portrait of the characters and the overall situation. So the story moves fast . . . but without leaving you behind. There is enough material in this book to make three or four novels.
Pay particular attention to the evolution of your perceptions of Jillian and Mimi. Mr. Crais does a nice job of helping you realize all sides of their characters. That's one quality that takes this book above the best of the Spenser books.
After you finish the book, you might find it interesting to think about the dangers that can come from reaching for more than we can handle.
What can you do to resist harmful temptation?
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch Elvis grow up. A bit., 12 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
While, admittedly, not as much fun as "The Monkey's Raincoat" before it, this is still most certainly deserving of your attention. By introducing an edge to Cole's personality containing the necessary pessimism and disenchantment to balance his, at times, almost too-glib approach to the situations he finds himself in, the novel finds a solid base off of which to bounce several of it's key themes - among them the nature of truth and what is right. The understated weariness sets the beginnings of "L.A. Requiem"s maturity and the start of the all important empathy which must be developed for any character to survive a series as successfully as it turns out Cole now has. This is not, however, to say that Caris' keen ear for humour is in any way diminished, or that the novel is less enjoyable for being more serious at a deeper level, as the plot is less complicated than "TMR", allowing the essence of Cole's realisation to soak through without sledge-hammering you into submission. Not as good, then, but maybe more important in the long run.
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Stalking the Angel (Elvis Cole/Joe Pike Novels)
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