Hired by a hotel magnate to locate a priceless Japanese manuscript, L.A. private eye Elvis Cole encounters the notorious Yakuza, the Japanese Mob, and is drawn into a game of sexual obsession, amorality, and evil.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. But he's there when you need him.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).(...)