Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was Okay, which was disappointing, 14 Mar 2010
This review is from: The First Rule (Joe Pike Novels) (Hardcover)
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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L. J. Roberts
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Location: Oakland, CA, USA

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