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L.A. Requiem [Hardcover]

Robert Crais
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1 1999
Los Angeles is a city of perpetual reinvention. Inviting, with a promise of infinite hope, it can also be a glittering landscape of debilitating isolation. The city's lost souls take comfort in its promise--the notion that tomorrow could be the day to start all over again, to transform oneself into someone else. Someone more powerful, more beautiful, more daring.

At the core of L.A. Requiem is Joe Pike, a former cop with a past as dark and foreboding as his demeanor. His only stable relationship is with his partner of twelve years, Elvis Cole, a talented and quick-witted PI with skeletons in his own past.

When Pike's former lover is found dead at a reservoir in the Hollywood Hills, the duo is brought in by the woman's father to monitor the police investigation. But Pike's no stranger to the men and women in the LAPD's elite Robbery-Homicide Division, at least one of whom has been harboring a long-buried desire for revenge.

With a rich cast of characters reminiscent of Raymond Chandler's classic The Long Goodbye, L.A. Requiem is the apotheosis of Crais's writing career--a gripping novel that envelops Cole and Pike in an ever-tightening web of conspiracies, secrets, and mortal passions that threatens to destroy their friendship, and leave one, or both, dead.

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From Amazon

More than 10 years ago, I was shocked to learn that some puerile piece of fluff had won the Edgar for Best Paperback Original, when it was so obvious to me and virtually everyone else in the Western Hemisphere that the award should have gone to The Monkey's Raincoat, the book that introduced Elvis Cole, private eye, and is to this day one of the funniest books I've ever read.

The terrific Elvis Cole series has grown through the years, each book better than the last, but nothing prepared me for the quantum leap (yes, it's a cliché, but it belongs here) that Crais has made with L.A. Requiem. It's not as funny as the other books in the series, but it's a beautifully plotted detective story, rich with police procedure, and it will keep even the most sophisticated reader at sea right until the end. And that's what elevates this book to the level of literature.

This one is more about Joe Pike, Elvis's silent sidekick, than it is about Elvis. We learn, through Pike's own eyes, how his childhood made him the way he is today. It's also about a friendship so strong that it threatens Elvis's relationship with his beloved Lucy. It is a tender but dark book--a serial killer book--but it doesn't attempt to outgross the other serial killer books on the shelf. It is funny at times and chilling at other times, making it one of the rare books that can't help but linger in the memory long after it's been read and put away. --Otto Penzler

From Publishers Weekly

In his eighth book about wise-cracking Los Angeles private detective Elvis Cole, Crais has expanded his narrative reach and broadened his characters' horizons to produce a mature work that deserves to move him up a notch or twoAinto Parker or Connelly country. He's done this by focusing on Joe Pike, Cole's tough and hitherto totally enigmatic partner. It's Pike who breaks in on Cole's reunion with Lucy Chenier, his lawyer/broadcaster lover who has just moved from New Orleans, to ask for Elvis's help in tracking down the missing daughter of a rich and powerful Hispanic businessman. When the girl turns up murdered in Griffith Park, it's Pike who gives a nerdy medical examiner valuable assistance; and when it turns out that the girl's death is linked to several other murders, it's Pike who is charged with killing the chief suspect. Through flashbacks to Joe's past life as an abused child, a highly motivated teenage soldier and an L.A. cop fighting to keep a corrupt partner from destroying his family, we learn more about Pike than we did in the seven previous Cole books. This new focus also allows Crais to keep Elvis's often annoying throwaway lines to a minimumAalthough more pruning could have been done with no loss of flavor. The book's scope is wide enough to include many other memorable characters, especially a rough-edged, vulnerable police officer named Samantha Dolan, plus a choice of plausible villains. There may be one too many metaphoric descriptions attempting to link aspects of the L.A. landscape with the moods and deeds of its inhabitants, but overall Crais seems to have successfully stretched himself the way another Southern California writerARoss MacdonaldAalways tried to do, to write a mystery novel with a solid literary base.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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First Sentence
Uniformed LAPD Officer Joe Pike could hear the banda music even with the engine idling, the a.c. jacked to meat locker, and the two-way crackling callout codes to other units. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is Joe Pike? July 18 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A friend's daughter is missing and Joe Pike asks his friend Elvis Cole to help him find her. Along the way we discover that the missing girl and Joe Pike had once been an item and that is just the beginning of what author Robert Crais reveals about the enigmatic, silent partner to his gregarious wise-ass hero, Elvis Cole.
It was time in the series to do something more than another fast-paced, wise-crack laden, plot-driven Cole/Pike adventure. Not that the novel is slow and humorless, but here Crais has decided to round out Joe Pike, giving him more background and history to explain some of his mystery. It's a cracking good story at that.
Adding depth to his characters will only add to the future novels, and he does the same for Elvis Cole in The Last Detective. Plus here we get the horny SID criminologist, John Chen, thrown in, and a complex and nasty mystery behind it all.
Well worthwhile for fans of the series. 5 stars for them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! July 14 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I stumbled upon his Elvis Cole series by accident but after reading Indigo Slam I immediately bought the rest of his books and wasn't dissapointed. This one is definately one of the best in the bunch because it goes more in depth about Joe Pike and his past and I always liked him. He is one cool customer. I have to say that at times, Elvis's character is a little too wussy for my taste but he is definately likeable and this novel just like most of the others is a page turner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars His best work July 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Without a doubt, L.A. Requiem is the finest thing Robert Crais has written, and I consider that high praise, as he is one of my favorite authors.
If you have been reading his books, Requiem will be a great payoff for you, since it brings to a head much of what has been building in the previous six Elvis Cole novels. If this is your first Crais book, rest assured you will like this book enough to want to go back and read the rest.
Despite Joe Pike being the character the plot is about, Elvis still remains central. Nearly every page is viewed through his eyes. Tha pages that deviate, when we see and learn about Joe's past, are among the most interesting in the book. Also, without giving too much away, the scenes with the killer are most revealing and in some ways creepy. Elvis remains aloof, but genuine, a much better protaganist than the typical Superman fantasy. Elvis can't beat up fifteen ninjas, pull a gun out of an extremity, shoot a sniper from 300 feet, and then anounce he has, in his head, completed the DNA test and found the real killer.
The one problem I would say I have with this book is it gives up too much. Too many things happen and when it is all said and done, in many ways, Crais has ruined the series. The follow-up, The Last Detective, felt lacking after the carnage of this entry, naked without much of the mystery and buildup. Thankfully, it still tackled a major piece of character development, but left the series with absolutely no steam for the next book. It is possible you could simply read the series and consider "Detective" the final chapter.
Also worth checking out is Crais's Hostage, soon to be made into a movie by Bruce Willis. It is a great stand-alone novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Elvis in the real world... Feb. 3 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I agree with many here who feel that L.A. Requiem is the best of the Elvis Cole series, but I not sure yet how I feel about that. I've read them sequentially and I must say that Elvis Cole could be the most likeable character in any book that I've read. This is a guy I'd like to drink a beer with! Part of the joy of reading the Robert Crais series is the sort of Superman nature of Elvis Cole...here's a guy who has represented a large L.A. Real Estate developer, the 3rd biggest Director in Hollywood, a very famous female TV star and now an enormously wealthy producer of Tortillas and yet still appears no better off financially than he did in the first book, the Monkey's Raincoat. In addition, after Sunset Express there wouldn't be a cop in all of Southern California who didn't know and love Elvis. In the real world Elvis would have a national office with hundreds of detectives working for him because no power on Earth could stop the flow of referrals that he would get! The phone would never stop ringing. The truth, however, is that after 7 books reality needed to make an appearance and in L.A. Requiem it has. Many elements of this story relating to the central characters are simply natural consequences and ultimately the story is alot darker than it's predecessors. I loved this book but alot of me yearns for the Superman of the past books who could get away with so much with such joy. I actually feel sorry for a fictional character!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best June 3 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
You might have to read a lot of mysteries/thrillers to find this
quality of writing. Author Crais provides depth to this story
that brings it truly into the realm of great literature.
If the seasoned mystery reader has ever wondered who would take
up where the truly greats have left, look no further. Here, the
story combines the hard-flint noir qualities of Sam Spade with the L.A. depth and sensitivity of Lew Archer; he does it with
two heros, but they work as one operative in the field, and together they have all the qualities of the best possible private detective.
Here, in this story, they start out looking for a missing woman, as a favor to an old man, but very shortly, she turns
up dead; when the police move too slowly to suit the woman's father, he goads these P.I.s to action, and their work surpasses the police, and their interest not only moves toward
finding a killer, but also annoys the police.
So there is plenty of action, with twists and counter-moves, to keep the story moving at a fast, complex pace, and the reader
will truly have difficulty putting the story down before its
conclusion.
We learn a lot about the characters, and, for a change, these
personal revelations add to the story, rather than, as usual
in books, merely adding to its length.
There are multiple conclusions, because the story is so complex,
but they are all good.
One of the best stories in print. A "can't miss" for anyone
interested in this field of writing.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good reading
Published 1 month ago by DGC
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story!
Another great hard boiled thriller by Crais. Pike and Cole are a well- balanced team and this story does a good job of blending action with background and character development.
Published 2 months ago by Jenifer Mohammed, Author of Resurrecting Cybele
5.0 out of 5 stars ... to read a Robert Crais book that I didn't love. I want more
I have yet to read a Robert Crais book that I didn't love. I want more!! (no pressure)
Published 3 months ago by Janice Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars This Elvis Is Much Better Than Presley!
This was my first Elvis Cole book. Wow. Others have done a fine job of describing the story line for LA Requiem, and there's nothing more I can add to what's been said that will... Read more
Published on March 3 2004 by Gabby Hayze
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but I hope that Crais is capable of more
There is a lot to like about this book, and it is certainly better than most. But something about Crais' voice occasionally doesn't ring quite true, and keeps him from being one... Read more
Published on March 2 2004 by "ake465"
5.0 out of 5 stars Master Storytelling
I've read all of Robert Crais' work in the last few months, but had put off reading L. A. Requiem and The Last Detective because I knew the relationship between Lucy and Cole was... Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Journey of Joe Pike
If a book can be beautiful then L.A. Requiem is it. Mr. Crais uses a murdering spee in L.A. as a backdrop to the inner workings of Joe Pike. Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2003 by Kim Waltman
5.0 out of 5 stars Pike Takes Center Stage
"L.A. Requiem" is a tight, well-constructed novel with flashbacks that tie directly to the action. Read more
Published on March 8 2003 by Brian Kaufman
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