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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars

on 29 October 2017
The poorest of the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series to date. Disjointed, lacking the usual humour (although the subject matter didn't lend for much, granted) and just missing the usual Robert Crais sparkle. Hopefully the next will be back to his usual high standard.
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on 20 April 2017
up to his usual standard
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on 3 April 2017
Another great Pike and Cole book. Fast paced till the end
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on 7 June 2017
Just reread it after picking up the one in the series before, such a great read, almost as good as the Harry Bosch books.
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on 27 April 2017
Great book
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VINE VOICEon 6 March 2003
I agree with the previous reviewer that this was a long anticipated book.
After the ending of L.A. Requiem there was a fear that Crais was retiring Elvis and Joe. However his fans are rewarded with another superbly crafted work.
The character development continues and you learn more about Cole and discover that Pike may no longer be the superman he seemed to be. Crais has also woven in his heroine, Starkey, from Demolition Angel to add to the pot.
For those fans of Michael Connelly we also get a homage to his Heironymous Bosch character. Thankfully this is far better done than the high tech thrillers where they just say "it was just like something from a Brown/Clancy/Bond book". Unless you know the character you'll miss the link.
The story zips along and you won't want to stop reading. The story alternates between the viewpoint of Cole, Pike and Ben. The plot is believeable and never relents. You hate the breakdown of his relationship with the boy's mother and hope that it will survive.
Like Connelly he breathes life into an L.A. that every knows, even if they've never been there. However just one word of warning. There are 7 previous Cole/Pike stories and not 4. I recommend that you read them all before starting this.
For those who read Crais for the first time you don't know what you've missed. You WILL want to read more.
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on 28 February 2003
As much as I love the Elvis Cole books, they've always felt a little 'pulpy' - crime, crime-solving, go home. Then came 'L.A. Requiem', turning the relationship between Cole and his partner Joe Pike into something more than just a buddy-buddy situation - a very real friendship. We also got a look in at the before- unknown past of Pike. Now arrives 'The Last Detective' and we finally get to see into Cole's life. How he grew to become the man he is. This really helps to turn Cole into the three-dimensional character he had always destined to be. This book is not only the best in the Cole series, but also the most mature. Cole still has his witty comback lines and Pike is still, well Pike, but they feel more human, adding to the dangerous situations they find themselves in by making them finally seem fallible. A masterpiece and a must read for any Elvis Cole fan.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 November 2017
I know lots of people who rave about Robert Crais’s books, but I’ve found them to be hit or miss. That’s changed with The Last Detective. Sit back while I rave about this book.

As the book opens, Los Angeles based PI Elvis Cole is trying to repair things with Lucy Chenier, he girlfriend. She’s beginning to think that her ex-husband, Richard, is correct that Elvis’s world is too dangerous for her and her ten-year-old son Ben, while Elvis is trying to convince her that some of the events she’s seen since they got together were exceptions to what his life is like.

Lucy still does trust Elvis mostly since, while Lucy is out of town for a few days for work, she leaves Ben with Elvis. On the last afternoon, the unthinkable happens – Ben vanishes. After a frantic search of the neighborhood, Elvis gets a phone call. Only it’s not a ransom. The caller tells Elvis this is payback for sins from his past. The only problem is, Elvis doesn’t recognize the voice or know what the caller is talking about. With so many people investigating the case, can Elvis figure out what is really going on in time to save Ben?

Lucy and Ben have been in the past few books in the series, and I love these characters, so I was immediately pulled into the story. While most of the book is told from Elvis’s first person point of view, we get scenes from Ben’s point of view and even some from the point of view of Elvis’s partner Joe Pike. This adds to the suspense and our knowledge of what is really going on. Even though I figured out one plot point early on, I was still glued to the story to find out how it would end.

Just how engrossed was I in the book? I listened to the audio version narrated by James Daniels. I had already started the book, but I listened to the majority of it while driving to and from an event in Southern California. I was actually disappointed when I got home since I was in a very exciting point and I needed to know what was going on. I might have invented a reason to go out again that night to get just a little bit more of the story.

Since the kidnapper is targeting Elvis because of his past, we get our first real look at his past, from his childhood to an extended look at an incidence from his time in Vietnam. At first, I was disappointed because I wanted to know about what was happening to Ben, but then I got caught up in these flashbacks, too.

My biggest complaint with previous books has been that the characters, especially Joe Pike, haven’t felt real to me. That wasn’t the case here at all. We are seeing weakness in Joe even as we get to see a different side of Elvis. The rest of the cast are also strong characters. Fans of Crais’s other books will be glad to know that Carol Starkey pops up here. She was first introduced in the standalone Demolition Angel. I feel like we missed a piece of her life between that book and her appearance here, but that’s a very minor issue.

As with all of Crais’s books, there is more language and violence than the cozies I normally read. A couple scenes of violence were unnecessary, but I didn’t feel the language was as out of place this time as in some of his other books.

Obviously, I can’t praise this book enough. The Last Detective is a thriller that will keep you engrossed until the very last word.
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on 27 October 2003
Having only read one Robert Crais book before this and found this lurking at the back of my bookcase, I decided to give it ago. What have I been missing out on?
The book does not let up on the pace.
The last detective being Elvis Cole along with his trusty not very talkative sidekick Joe Pike become involved in a race against time battle with three mercenaries to rescue Elvis's girlfriends son Ben who has been kidnapped by them.
What follows is the fight to find the men and rescue Ben.
Expect some twists and to be kept on the edge of seat reading.
If you enjoy it as much as me you'll finish it in a day or two and become an avid fan of Robert Crais!
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on 7 July 2009
Most long running Detective series follow a similar pattern; loner hero embarks on PI career, but finally finds one woman to be with by around book 5. However, after a few more books the writer realises that the edge has gone from his character so something needs to be done to get rid of the lady, or at least threaten it. Welcome to `The Last Detective', the book were Robert Crais may get rid of Elvis Cole's love interest. The book is all about the kidnap of a child and how the life of a PI is too dangerous for a normal person. For this reason the tone is a lot darker as the stakes are higher. For once it is not just Cole and Pike who are in danger, but an innocent child.

These race against time novels can work well, but in this case I found it too different from other books in the series to work. The Cole novels have always been violent and dark, but laced with great humour and amusing characters. Due to the subject matter this does not happen this time and instead it is a relentless thriller with no light moments. I always have a feeling with crime books that the females love interest will eventually die/be killed/leave so what happens here was no surprise and merely acted as an inevitable by-product of the genre. Although, a decent thriller in itself I felt it clashed too much with the style of the series and was just written to get on with bringing back the Cole and Pike relationship that people want to read about - a throwaway book in an otherwise excellent series.
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