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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BABY FORMULA, 29 Mar 2010
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This review is from: The First Rule (Hardcover)
"The First Rule" is a successful, formulaic thriller written with Robert Crais' usual elegance and skill.

Joe Pike began life as sidekick to Crais' main series hero, L.A. gumshoe, Elvis Cole, playing Hawk to Cole's Spenser. Pike may be known from his appearance: sleeveless sweatshirt, twin red arrow tattoos on his biceps, perpetual sunglasses, and a bristle of firearms. He is a cyborg warrior. His central processor knows neither fear nor doubt. It is hardwired with a code of natural justice that does not always coincide with the law. In any given situation, Pike can only do one thing. Unlike Cole, he is not a developed character. He is a vehicle for relentless, linear, cathartic and violent action in the mode of Jack Reacher or the Terminator.

"The First Rule" - the title apparently refers to the Russian mafia's code of conduct, which must be true as one couldn't make this up - is a conventional tale of revenge. One of Pike's retired army buddies and his family are brutally murdered by home invaders somehow linked with Serbian gangsters. Pike assembles a predictable band of avenging angels and through a combination of classic detective work, orchestrated by Cole, and enhanced interrogation techniques, tracks down and deals with the killers. In the process, he rescues a stolen baby. His tin heart softens. Perhaps the old cyborg's biological clock is kicking in.

Predictable and formulaic? Absolutely. Entertaining page-turner? You bet!
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4.2 out of 5 stars (62 customer reviews)
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