Elvis Cole's humor is a little strained in this one, and his devil-may-care attitudes about jail, his own invincibility, and his dewy eyed views of all veterans, marines, ingénues and underprivileged youth get a mite tiresome. Thank the Lord for Joe Pike, who remains cynical and enigmatic.
A pretty young lady radiating wholesomeness (is there any other kind?) wants to hire Elvis to see why her fiancé, an LAPD copy, has been acting so distant toward her lately. Elvis finds her a quick, not too pleasant answer and the case is closed. Right? Not quite, or the story would end on page 22. Elvis has sparked the interest of a whole squad of LAPD plus some heavy-duty gangbangers. The action picks up; the escapades are just short of unbelievable while Elvis and Joe are on everyone's Most Wanted List.
Mr. Crais does some excellent description of South Central LA, bringing the mean streets to life and shows us it isn't just one vast killing ground. The action is fast, it's highly readable, but not on a par with other works by Robert Crais.