Top critical review
This tale of Elvis' past had such great potential
on 22 September 2006
The stunning beginning is a wonderful hook. Elvis is asked to identify the body of a murdered man, who before he died, claimed to be Elvis' father. The man has self-inflicted tattoos of crosses and other religious symbols on his body, suggesting he is atoning for something. Elvis never knew his father, and yet he spent most of his childhood trying to find him. His mentally ill mother once told him that his father was the human cannonball, and since then, he frequently ran away to search nearby carnivals. In fact, it is this endless search for his father which made Elvis in to the "World's Greatest" detective. Now it's up to Elvis to identify the murdered man, find out who killed him, and discover whether he really is this man's son. While the plot is a good one, I was left with the feeling that Crais could've done more with Elvis' past. In L.A. Requiem, Crais really gave Joe Pike depth when exploring his past. But the human cannonball? It just comes across as flat. Nevertheless, Crais' choice for the murderer is perfect. And for diehard Crais fans, the climactic ending is not to be missed.