The Last Detective: A Novel Hardcover – Feb 18 2003
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Don't start reading The Last Detective with much on your calendar. This tense, satisfying thriller will glue you to your chair, as private eye Elvis Cole--the star of eight previous Robert Crais novels, prior to the Cole-less Demolition Angel and Hostage--faces his toughest case: the abduction of his girlfriend's son, 10-year-old Ben Chenier, who was staying with Elvis when he was snatched.
Panic at Ben's disappearance turns to terror when the kidnapper phones to reveal his apparent motive, a dark secret from Elvis's past. But the plot thickens and twists, and then twists again, as Elvis and his longtime buddy, tough guy Joe Pike, race the clock against a group of villains as sinister as they are capable. The author mixes Elvis's first-person narration with third-person sections that describe other points of view--a risky technique, but Crais makes it work. He also does a fine job resurrecting the wisecracking Elvis of earlier books while imbuing him with a new depth and darkness.
This dazzlingly plotted, crisply told story is threaded with real detection (what a rarity!) and peopled by characters you can't help but care about--including Carol Starkey, the haunted bomb-squad cop from Demolition Angel, who's now a juvenile-abduction detective. Crais has long been getting better with each book, and The Last Detective continues the pattern. --Nicholas H. Allison
From Publishers Weekly
Elvis lives! Elvis Cole that is, Crais's iconoclastic, smart-aleck L.A. PI, last seen in Indigo Slam (1997). Violent and action-packed, this eighth book in the series has less of Cole's usual wisecracking but all the intensity and convoluted plotting of his two recent stand-alone thrillers, Demolition Angel (2000) and Hostage (2001). Cole is babysitting Ben, the 10-year-old son of his lawyer lover, Lucy Chenier, when the boy is kidnapped. As Cole and his super-tough, enigmatic pal, Joe Pike, join the police in the search for Ben, Lucy's obnoxious ex-husband, Richard, arrives from New Orleans with his own investigators. At first, the kidnappers imply they're seeking revenge for atrocities Cole committed in Vietnam. Several powerful, beautifully written flashbacks to Cole's horrendous Nam experiences and his troubled childhood follow. The narrative switches between Cole's vivid first-person point-of-view and a third-person account of a brave, frightened Ben and his savage captors. As the kidnappers' deadline nears and disturbing motives surface, the suspense becomes almost unbearable. The terrible, heartstopping climax is so well written that time seems to stop. Crais combines the thriller and private eye genres into a dazzling novel that is far more accomplished than the sum of its parts.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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A silence filled the canyon below my house that fall; no hawks floated overhead, the coyotes did not sing, the owl that lived in the tall pine outside my door no longer asked my name. Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews
Several books ago, Cole developed a girlfriend from New Orleans. Lucy has a son, and they moved to L.A. to be with Cole. Elvis is watching the son, Ben, one day, and he goes to do something; when he returns, Ben is nowhere to be seen. When Elvis begins to look for her, he becomes convinced that the people who took Ben are more clever or well-trained than any one else initially suspected.
The one quibble I had with the book was the switching points of view. I don't like this writing technique. I know that it's difficult to write from the first person perspective, and I know this is a stylish choice to make, and a big temptation: it allows you to tell the story with more dimensions to it. It doesn't matter to me: I still hate it.
Other than that, I enjoyed the book immensely, and would recommend it.
Elvis is watching Ben Chenier, the ten year old son of Elvis' girlfriend, Lucy Chenier. While playing in the back of Elvis' house, Ben is kidnapped. The person who abducted Ben calls and blames the kidnapping on revenge for something Elvis did in Vietnam. Working with his partner, the mysterious Joe Pike, as well as, Carol Starkey of the FBI, Cole will stop at nothing to get Ben back safely.
A riveting plot, overall strong characterizations and realistic descriptions make this one of the more gripping reads of the year. There is not much new or original in the ideas used in the story. Kidnappings have a vast representation in the mystery and crime genre. The plot of this book really is nothing special. It is the use of familiar sympathetic characters and the smooth lyrical writing that sets this work apart. THE LAST DETECTIVE should prove hugely popular with the book buying public. It is good to see Elvis Cole and friends back again.
I was beyond thrilled to hear that Crais was working on another Cole story. But when I got the hard copy of "The Last Detective" in my hands after a very long 4 year wait, I am sorry to say I was highly disappointed.
Gone from this book was Elvis's witty one liners, his fun sense of humor and cast of quirky, odd-ball secondary characters. The thing I've always loved about Elvis is that lying underneath his good-natured humor was a man with good morals, who was absolutely dead serious about getting the job done. Every Elvis book in the past has dealt with serious issues, but not once did Elvis loose the light hearted way in which he dealt with these issues. Unfortunately, that is not the case with "The Last Detective".
There is absolutely no humor in this book, and it is full of darkness, moodiness and a lot of military psycho-babble, which is hard to follow at times and a bit dry. The story is a bit slow, and jumps back and forth from being told in first to third person, making the pace of an already choppy book even choppier.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I really enjoyed the Novel I purchased and my Husband really liked the Puzzle.The other purchases were gifts.Published 14 days ago by lynn johnson
An excellent thriller that gives a lot of new background information about Elvis and shows how the past and present are interconnected. Wonderful storytelling!Published 18 months ago by Jenifer Mohammed, Author of Resurrecting Cybele
Makes you read through dinner. A quick easy entertaining book. Always read the pike series but Elvis Cole series just as goodPublished on May 10 2013 by Adele Anderson
This was a fast paced thriller that is sure to be one of Robert Crais' best books. It grabbed my senses from the very beginning and didn't let up until I finished reading the... Read morePublished on Dec 12 2010 by Jordan L. Wares
Elvis Cole is once again coming to terms with his life as a private eye in the streets of Los Angeles. Read morePublished on June 4 2004 by HORAK
Definitively RC is a six stars writer, the way he explains what are thinking all the characters at the same action in the book is excellent, the way he combine the characters of... Read morePublished on April 22 2004 by Jorge Frid
One of the things Crais uses to add tension in this excellent book is the use of a running timeline. Read morePublished on March 10 2004 by Paul Skinner