2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Con with a Heart of Gold,
This review is from: The Two Minute Rule (Paperback)
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.