Chasing Darkness Paperback – 19 Feb 2009
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Crais is on cracking form, with a fast moving plot with enough twists and turns to keep readers guessing (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)
A fast-paced satisfying thriller (HUDDERSFIELD DAILY EXAMINER)
Three years ago Elvis Cole's actions may have freed a killer. Now three more young women are dead...See all Product description
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Here we see them investigating the death of a serial killer. The problem is that Cole had cleared him of one of the murders 3 years before. The LAPD are blaming him for the following deaths but he maintains his intial findings were correct.
As he looks for answers things just get more and more complicated and people who could help are being killed. Paperwork goes missing from police files and, after declaring that the killer is dead, the LAPD seem to be investigating something and not telling anyone, including those in the force.
We have returned to a more care-free Cole with references made to his quirky side - the Mickey Mouse phone and Pinnochio clock making welcome returns. We also see more of his sarcastic wit materialising.
Pike is Pike. The supreme figure of primtive manhood that is always there, not letting anything ruffle him but gazing impassively at events that go on around him.
I really wish that we could have more than one book a year. That 12 month wait between books is very difficult. Yet I never want him to descend to Patterson thinness and poor quality. This year I've even rationed myself to stop me reading the entire book in a day.
Buy it and see what you may have missed.
But then again, Robert Crais is not your average crime novelist. He has the gift of setting a scene within a very short paragraph, and can easily sketch a memorable, living, breathing character in only a few lines. The upshot of this is that he crams an awful lot of plot into a relatively short space and this helps the action move at a cracking pace.
I'll not provide a synopsis - you can see one above, all I'll say is that while `Chasing Darkness' is by no means the best entry in the Cole and Pike series, it's still got plenty of good twists and the reader simply speeds through it. The prose is, as always, lean and spare and contains no excess wordage anywhere. This is the mark of all great American crime writers, and Crais is up there with the very, very best.
My one criticism is that it would have been nice to have had a bit more of Joe Pike in here - but then he did have a whole novel to himself last year with the excellent `The Watchman'. So `Chasing Darkness' is largely Elvis's show as he once again manages to out-think an entire police department and turn up vital information they've overlooked.
Although the murders he's investigating are harrowing and would be really dark in an other's hands, there's still plenty of light and shade. I particularly enjoyed the interplay between Cole and Carol Starkey, a homicide cop who moved from the bomb squad a while back after a long period of physical rehab (I would refer you to `Demolition Angel').
If you're a complete newcomer to Robert Crais, please be assured that you can read this without having caught the preceding books in the series. All you need to know is that Elvis is a private detective operating in LA. He has a wisecracking style (as do ALL private dicks! - but don't let that put you off!), a taciturn, hard-as-nails ex-marine sidekick named Joe Pike, and his office has a Mickey Mouse phone... oh, and the office tends to get trashed quite a lot!
All in all this was a very enjoyable read and is recommended to anyone who likes a good crime thriller
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