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Customer Review

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joe Pike rides again, 20 Mar. 2010
This review is from: The First Rule (Joe Pike Novel) (Hardcover)
The book hits the ground running, opening with a house invasion that leaves all of the occupants dead (or near enough), and we get our first clue that the instigators have taken on more than they bargained for when one of the first detectives on scene draws the attention of his partner to two tattoos on the arms of one of the victims; two red arrows pointing forward.
Yes, someone's taken down a family linked to Joe Pike, and so Joe Pike goes to war once again. I won't give a way too much of the plot, except to say that Joe's refusal to believe that his friend Frank fits the profile of other victims of the same home invasion crew (the earlier victims were all criminals of some sort) quickly causes him to pursue different lines of inquiry and puts him at odds with the cops (but, hey, what's a Robert Crais novel without either Elvis Cole quipping inappropriately or Joe Pike silently (although with a twitch, of course) winding up the LAPD).
I'd agree with the other reviewers that it could perhaps do with a bit more of Elvis Cole to lighten proceedings (although he is in it a lot more than he was in Pike's previous solo outing) but I disagree that Joe doesn't work as a solo character; there's enough to him to keep him interesting, and for us to continue to discover more about him, while Crais manages to maintain his enigmatic qualities. This is action writing at its best -I read it in one sitting. This is not 'L.A. Requiem', which I believe to be Crais' best book and which was the first one to delve into what made Joe Pike the man he is, but it is an entertaining read that I highly recommend to fans of Crais's other books and also to fans of the action thriller genre more generally -you don't need to have read the previous books to follow the plot, although prior knowledge of the characters will add to your enjoyment.
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