Stalking the Angel Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
Undoubtedly prompted by the success of recent Crais bestsellers (Demolition Angel; Hostage), his audio publishers have gone back to the second book in his increasingly popular Elvis Cole series, originally published in 1989, for a lively and colorful outing that manages to capture much of the author's early innocence and freshness. Stuart brings the quirky Cole to life quickly, combining his strengths (tenacity, incorruptibility, frequent flashes of humor) with his oddities (his love of the Disney artifacts that litter his office) to make a credible whole person. Other characters emerge with equal vocal skill: the enigmatic Joe Pike, Cole's muscular sidekick; a glowering Los Angeles property developer, his alcohol-impaired wife and their fragile adolescent daughter, who winds up being kidnapped by Japanese gangsters. Cole, hired to find a rare Japanese manuscript, discovers that the teenager's fate is very important to him personally forging a bond between the detective and children in peril that has become a hallmark of the series. For those who have been fans of Elvis since book one, The Monkey's Raincoat, it's good to have his early adventures around to listen to. For more recent Crais converts, this could prove an eye-opening revelation of how Cole got to be who he is. Based on the Bantam mass market.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Hard-nosed private detective Elvis Cole returns ( The Monkey's Raincoat ) to do battle for a teenaged girl kidnapped as part of a scheme involving the theft of a priceless Japanese manuscript outlining samurai behavior. While Cole's wry sarcasm and attempts at "cute" often fall flat, his humanity and integrity carry him through an apparently convoluted but mostly transparent plot. Los Angeles settings, Japanese heavies, wild action, and businesslike prose, however, make this better than many.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have yet to begin the marvelous Elvis Cole series by Robert Crais, you've got a great treat ahead of you! Few series get off to a stronger start than Mr. Crais did with The Monkey's Raincoat, which won both the Anthony and Macavity awards for best novel while being nominated for the Edgar and Shamus awards as well. And the books just keep getting better from there in their characterizations, action, story-telling and excitement.
Elvis Cole is the star attraction, the co-owner of The Elvis Cole Detective Agency. He's 35ish, ex-Army, served in Vietnam, ex-security guard, has two years of college, learned to be a detective by working under George Feider, a licensed P.I. for over 40 years, does martial arts as enthusiastically as most people do lunch, and is fearless but not foolish. He's out to right the wrongs of the world as much as he is to earn a living. Elvis has a thing for Disney characters (including a Pinocchio clock), kids, cats, scared clients and rapid fire repartee. He drives a Jamaica yellow 1966 Corvette Stingray convertible, and usually carries a .38 Special Dan Wesson.
His main foil is partner, Joe Pike, an ex-Marine, ex-cop who moves quietly and mysteriously wearing shades even in the dark . . . when he's not scaring the bad guys with the red arrows tattooed on his deltoids, which are usually bare in sleeveless shirts. Although he's got an office with Elvis, Pike spends all of his time at his gun shop when not routing the bad guys with martial arts while carrying and often using enough firepower to stop a tank. Pike rarely speaks . . . and never smiles. A standing gag is trying to catch Pike with a little twitch of his lips indicating he might possibly be amused.Read more ›
Elvis' clue gathering style is to keep stirring the pot of likely sources and suspects until something floats to the top. This time what comes up is trouble. Warren's family receives several threats, which he chooses to ignore. Suddenly the worst happens and Mimi Warren is kidnapped, leaving no trace. Incensed, Warren fires Cole and the detective decides to continue the case on his own. He promised Mimi he would protect her, and he's not about to let the Yakuza of two countries get in his way.
Robert Crais' tactic is to lure the reader in with Elvis Cole's humorous attitude and hard-boiled attitude, and then follow through with a series of severe hammer blows. Even when you know that there is a nightmare waiting to happen, its onset is a shock. Perhaps this is formula writing, but few authors can shift gears as smoothly as Crais can. One moment you are listening in on some sarcastic dialog between Cole and his partner Joe Pike, the next minute they are dealing out badness - and you are liking it.
In addition, Crais' characters are never one sided. If anything, they defy the common stereotypes. Cole and Pike don't simply hunt villains and right wrongs; they hold intelligent conversations and understand the issues they must deal with. Good plot, great characters and a fine eye for detail makes 'Stalking the Angel' a memorable story. One that will drive you back to the bookshelves looking for more.
The mystery here is one that Parker would have taken to as well. Cole is hired by a wealthy businessman to retrieve on of the last remaining copies of the Hagakure, the book that defines Japanese feudal culture. Along the way, we get to meet the Yakuza (Japan's version of the mafia), some serious dysfunctional families, a cult, and thow in a bit of true love and a nice look at ethics, and you've got a Spenser novel (if you replaced Cole with Spenser and Pike with Hawk).(...)
I do not expect a detective story writer to be an Orientalist, but the author screws up the background so often that it is distracting. Tang is a Chinese name. Naming your Japanese villain Eddie Tang is like having a Gestapo general named Paddie O'Brian. Maybe to the author, these Orientals all look alike, like waiters in a Chinese restaurant. Thus the sentence in which Elvis performs the "dragon kata from the taekwondo." Dragon is a Chinese martial art element, not a kata, which is a Japanese term; adding a 'the' to Korea's tae kwon do is as annoying an affectation as his "the Nam". Maybe he's trying to show how macho he is, as in the scene -- which drags on for page after page -- in which the hero heroically eats all the pepper the sinister, ungrammatical Oriental cook puts in his food.
During and since the war, I have traveled all over Viet Nam, sometimes the only foreigner to set foot in a vicinity for years, and when I ate with these people, we all used chopsticks. Even in the boonies. Don't they know better? If they learned English and read American detective novels, they would discover the error of their ways. Crais informs us that people in Viet Nam don't use chopsticks. Either my friends were all mixed up, or the author was thinking of Burma, or maybe Indonesia.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
All of Robert Crais novels are awesome. Too bad he hasn't written morePublished 4 months ago by Paul
A complicated and exciting hard boiled thriller with a lot of interwoven mysteries that need to be solved. Some remain unsolved because that's just the way life is.Published 18 months ago by Jenifer Mohammed, Author of Resurrecting Cybele
I'm new to the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series and consider myself lucky to have so many more to read. I'm looking forward to many more hours of enjoyment.Published on March 27 2013 by B. West
The realist in me feels like it is all a little too far fetched, and way beyond what most people can relate to however for those who enjoy a rollicking good ride, well, why not? Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2004 by Kelly
Elvis Cole has been hired to retrieve an ancient Japanese manuscript stolen from a prominent LA businessman. Read morePublished on July 4 2003 by N. Sausser