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Chasing Darkness: An Elvis Cole Novel
 
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Chasing Darkness: An Elvis Cole Novel [Kindle Edition]

Robert Crais
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
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Review

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

Product Description

Private Investigator Elvis Cole learns that LA fires bring more than heat, they bring his old friend Joe Pike and the past. Cole’s fight to clear his name brings murder and corruption terrifyingly close to home.

It’s fire season, and the hills of Los Angeles are burning. When police and fire department personnel rush door to door in a frenzied evacuation effort, they discover the week-old corpse of an apparent suicide. But the gunshot victim is less gruesome than what they find in his lap: a photo album of seven brutally murdered young women—one per year, for seven years. And when the suicide victim is identified as a former suspect in one of the murders, the news turns Elvis Cole’s world upside down.

Three years earlier Lionel Byrd was brought to trial for the murder of a female prostitute named Yvonne Bennett. A taped confession coerced by the police inspired a prominent defense attorney to take Byrd’s case, and Elvis Cole was hired to investigate. It was Cole’s eleventh-hour discovery of an exculpatory videotape that allowed Lionel Byrd to walk free. Elvis was hailed as a hero.

But the discovery of the death album in Byrd’s lap now brands Elvis as an unwitting accomplice to murder. Captured in photographs that could only have been taken by the murderer, Yvonne Bennett was the fifth of the seven victims—two more young women were murdered after Lionel Byrd walked free. So Elvis can’t help but wonder—did he, Elvis Cole, cost two more young women their lives?

Shut out of the investigation by a special LAPD task force determined to close the case, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike desperately fight to uncover the truth about Lionel Byrd and his nightmare album of death—a truth hidden by lies, politics, and corruption in a world where nothing is what it seems to be.

Chasing Darkness is a blistering thriller from the bestselling author who sets the standard for intense, powerful crime writing.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 391 KB
  • Print Length: 404 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 075288283X
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (July 1 2008)
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000YJ675E
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #258 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Strong Opening Fades into the End Aug. 14 2008
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Stephen King teaches novelists to think of an unusual situation to start the book and then let the book write itself from there. Chasing Darkness proves that formula isn't surefire advice. Despite a very interesting and unusual beginning, Chasing Darkness manages to end up feeling all too pedestrian at the end.

Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are inspired characters who have provided their fans hours of amusement, entertainment, and dark humor. When those two are at it, the rest of the story doesn't matter so much.

What do we make of this book which crowds out Joe almost entirely and gives us relatively little amusement, entertainment, and dark humor from Elvis? The plot had better be pretty good. And it starts off like that, until it twists into dry gulch you've been down far too many times before. As a result, the book ends with a whimper rather than a bang. It's definitely deflating for the reader.

But if you are a dyed-in-the-wool fan of this series, you'll want to read the book. It's good enough not to skip. Keep your expectations low and you'll enjoy the book more than I did.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Strong Opening Fades into the End Aug. 14 2008
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Stephen King teaches novelists to think of an unusual situation to start the book and then let the book write itself from there. Chasing Darkness proves that formula isn't surefire advice. Despite a very interesting and unusual beginning, Chasing Darkness manages to end up feeling all too pedestrian at the end.

Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are inspired characters who have provided their fans hours of amusement, entertainment, and dark humor. When those two are at it, the rest of the story doesn't matter so much.

What do we make of this book which crowds out Joe almost entirely and gives us relatively little amusement, entertainment, and dark humor from Elvis? The plot had better be pretty good. And it starts off like that, until it twists into dry gulch you've been down far too many times before. As a result, the book ends with a whimper rather than a bang. It's definitely deflating for the reader.

But if you are a dyed-in-the-wool fan of this series, you'll want to read the book. It's good enough not to skip. Keep your expectations low and you'll enjoy the book more than I did.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  244 reviews
175 of 186 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Next Title: Elvis Cole and Sunset Living? July 9 2008
By Gary Griffiths - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So I'm beginning to feel like all of the big names in pop thriller/crime fiction - Lee Childs, James Lee Burke, James Patterson, and now Robert Crais, are getting either bored or lazy, or have somehow managed to misplace the passion and fiery writing that placed them in their well deserved positions (well, except perhaps Patterson) on the big best seller lists. Yes, I'm a Robert Crais fan. The early Elvis Cole was smart, funny, and in your face - definitely an updated, more hip, and slightly more irreverent version of the venerable Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe and today's answer to the hard boiled LA that Chandler invented. And Joe Pike? In Crais' prime, can you think of a supporting cast member more menacing - a more cleverly and intelligently rendered butt-kicker - the hands down candidate for the guy you'd least want to have on the other side of a street fight - or any kind of fight? Leaves me yearning for "LA Requiem", "The Monkey's Raincoat", or Crais' outstanding stand alone effort, "The Hostage".

To be fair, "Chasing Darkness" is by no means a bad read. In fact, it starts out with an intriguing "murder in a locked room-like" premise that is genuinely gripping, and definitely held my attention. And without the distraction and baggage of Cole's annoying girlfriend Lucy hanging around to mush up the action, I was getting ready to declare that "Crais is back" after what a thought were a couple of sub-par installments. But before long it starts feeling a bit tired with crooked cop conspiracy theories and all too familiar themes. And the intimidating Pike is relegated to a near cameo role, emerging with only enough adrenaline to help Elvis beat up some kids. At the end of the day, the enigma unravels too easily, and if you devote more than a few seconds to dissecting the mystery, you'll find a hole big enough for Cole's 'vette and Pike's Jeep to drive through - side-by-side.

When all is said and done, "Chasing Darkness" is mostly an entertaining ride, but essentially flat - a journeyman's effort that had that "got-to-do-this-to-meet-my contract" feel to it. The Crais aficionado - like me - will want to read it, but it is far from his best effort, and a sure sign that the talented Mr. Crais should take the hint from Dennis Lehane and William Lashner, and take some well deserved time off to recharge his classic crime-busting mojo. And should he take this hiatus, Crais fans take heart - their are plenty of great new writers - Huston, Swierczynski, Gischler, McKinty, Doolittle and more - to fill the gaps while the old guys like Crais and Child take a vacation to remember the kind of writing that got them to the top.
84 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elvis' Story July 4 2008
By Richard B. Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Joe PIke is along as well and so is Carol Starkey, but this is Elvis' story. A putative suicide is found as the result of a fire, a man exonerated by Elvis in the past. Now it appears that the man was a serial killer and Elvis was responsible for providing him the freedom to kill others. Elvis goes to work, sorting things out. The result is a classic novel of detection, in which the protagonist knocks on doors, asks people questions, knocks on more doors, asks more questions and does not stop (no matter how many obstacles are placed in his path) until he has the answers he seeks.

While Elvis gets off a few good one-liners this is less the wisecracking Elvis Cole of the early novels and more the serious one of the more recent books. The plot is suitably complex, but the pace is perfect--a driving narrative that hurtles toward a plausible but unexpected conclusion. The ethos is pure Chandler, with apparent villainy in high places and a complete tour of L.A. from the dark booths of the Pacific Dining Car to the gritty, sad cottages of Sylmar and the sunny, but blood-soaked lawns of Santa Monica.

It is hard to say if this is Crais's best book, because he consistently sets and meets a high standard. Suffice to say it is an excellent one, one of the best of the summer. It is exceptionally well-written, with memorable observations and descriptions that are delivered economically and with great skill. The polish on the individual sentences gleams. Highly recommended.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Phoning it in Aug. 11 2008
By Nora - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Where's the spark? Elvis Cole is nothing close to his chirpy, irreverant self, Pike is a pale shadow of his usual formidable presence and Starkey seems like a caricature of herself. Towards the end, the book becomes mildly interesting when Cole finally figures out whodunit, but then Crais cheats his audience with the ending. After a break from Cole in which Crais penned two other novels, I'd a-thunk he'd have brought Elvis back well rested and in fine form, but Elvis Cole seems as bored as I was in this latest addition to the series.
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Released too soon July 6 2008
By Savvy Spender - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Let me preface this by saying I am a huge Robert Crais fan; I have read all of his previous books, and with the exception of Demolition Angel, I thought they were all five star material. This is not five star material. It is more like a first draft; I felt like I was reading the outline not the book. There was no depth to the characters in this book, which R.C. usually provides in abundance. He tries to surprise us with the true identity of the villain, but I was only half surprised. In this case, I think he could have made the book more interesting by giving us a first person glimpse of the perpetrator(s), even if he wanted to keep the characters anonymous. Elvis' meager observations of the criminal(s) did little to peak my interest, and I think Elvis was frustrated with his lack of ingenuity as well. All in all, the book was as flat as week old ginger ale. I have seen this happen with several of my favorite authors, and perhaps it is because their publishers push too hard for that next book to be released and the next book tour to begin. I say let the book age properly and don't release it too soon.
46 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strong tale July 3 2008
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The forest fire remains out of control so police are evacuating homes in the blaze's path in Laurel Canyon. In one of the houses the cops find the corpse of Lionel Byrd; he apparently committed suicide.

When Los Angeles private investigator Elvis Cole learns of the death, he is stunned and filled with remorse. Three years earlier, Byrd was accused of a homicide; working for the defense, Cole found proof that his client was innocent; the charges were dropped. However, recently new evidence has been found that strongly implies Byrd committed that murder, four known others before being caught and at least two more since Cole found the prof that freed him. Wracked by guilt for those who died perhaps by his actions, Cole investigates determined to learn whether he was duped, erred, or was right three years ago.

Returning to Cole after his partner Joe Pike starred in THE WATCHMAN, fans of the series will see a different hero as he is obstinately determined to learn the truth; thus there are less amusing asides than usual and few scenes with friends; the plot fits the tone of his demeanor, as Cole suffers from crippling guilt. The story line is fast-paced from the onset, filled with plenty of action, and plausible but powerful twists and red herrings. CHASING DARKNESS is a strong tale as a more introspective Cole than ever before battles personal demons.

Harriet Klausner
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A person can tell the truth as he knows it, but be mistaken in what he knows. &quote;
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The darkness frightens me, but what it does to us frightens me even more. Maybe this is why I do what I do. I chase the darkness to make room for the light. &quote;
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Darcy was the larger of the two, with fleshy hands and the slow moves of a man who thought things through. Maddux was different. He flicked and fluttered like a man wound tight by a grudge. &quote;
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