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The Monkey's Raincoat (An Elvis Cole Novel) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
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The Monkey's Raincoat Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 1992

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crimeline; Reissue edition (March 1 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553275852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553275858
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 1.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


[T]his action thriller is pure escapism and has great dialogue HEALTHY MAGAZINE --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Robert Crais is the 2006 recipient of the Ross Macdonald Literary Award. He is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including The Two Minute Rule, The Forgotten Man, and L.A. Requiem. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Ellen Lang hires Elvis Cole to find her missing husband, Mort, and their son, Perry. Or rather, her friend kind of pushed her into hiring him. Ellen Lang doesn’t seem sure what to do. She was afraid that if her husband was OK, he’d be mad if she informed the authorities. Mort seems to have her under his thumb even when he’s not around. But, admittedly she is much more concerned to find her son than her husband. Elvis begins digging and finds Mort is pretty down on his luck, much more than he’s led Ellen to believe. Mort left a good job to become a small-time talent agent.

When they find Mort … in his car … shot … dead, there is still no sign of Perry. And then, Ellen disappears. Elvis Cole enlists the help of Joe Pike, his investigative partner.

This first book in the Elvis Cole series set the stage and introduced both Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. They are pretty dissimilar in everything, but they work well together. Neither seems to step in the other’s space. I liked both characters and their ‘snarkiness’ quite a lot so I’m sure this will not be my last Elvis Cole novel. This is not a new book; the pub date was 1987, but the pace and action is good and the ending most interesting. There are now 14 books in the series with the latest, The Promise, published 2015. Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Elvis Cole is not your typical P.I. When we first meet Cole, he's staring at the Pinocchio clock in his office waiting for a frightened woman to make up her mind. Finally she decides to hire Cole to locate her husband and son who have disappeared. Cole finds himself embroiled in a murder case involving drugs and sex, a Mexican matador, and a film starlet. Cole is a complex character-a tough-guy who is obsessed with his good looks, but also a comedian with a tender-heart. His loyal, enigmatic partner, Joe Pike, aids him in the case, but one wonders why Pike is so undeveloped in this first novel by Robert Crais. (It isn't until "L.A. Requiem" that readers find out what makes Pike tick.) Written in the first person, Cole doesn't tell readers what he's thinking about the case. Readers just follow him wherever he goes. The chapters are short and snappy, allowing for an easy, pleasurable read. No real plot twists here. Just a good, funny yarn. Elvis Cole will leave you in stitches.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I may have missed something crucial, and I'll feel really dumb if I did, but I'm not sure why this novel is called 'The Monkey's Raincoat.' That mystery aside, its time to focus on the one at hand....
Ellen Lang is a housewife that has lived a sheltered life. Then one day, her aspiring Hollywood producer husband goes missing. Their son goes missing with him. On the advice and insistence of her pushy friend, Mrs. Lang goes to see Elvis Cole, the detective that never wants to grow up.
Cole is a wise-cracking detective with a thing for Disney characters. His experiences in Viet Nam, to sound redundant, lead to his decision to never grow up. Nevertheless, Cole engages in Yoga, in psychotic fashion, enjoys a good beer, and hangs out with an unnamed cat, and occassionally, his partner Joe Pike, who is a bit on the extreme side of things.
Cole takes the case and sets out to find Mort Lang. It doesn't take long for Lang to turn up dead. Not long after that, Mrs. Lang goes missing. Cole, and the reader, smells a rat. Deciding not to give up on his client, Cole doggedly pursues this case.
This is definitely crime/noir fiction. It is also very, very dark. Despite, and sometimes because of, Cole's wisecracks, there is a fair amount of violence. When Pike finally gets around to making an appearance in the novel to help Cole out, the violence only escalates. This isn't a complaint, but more of a warning of what to expect.
Crais writing reminds me of Dennis Lehane. Both authors seem to favor a protagonist with a quick wit thrown into a dark setting. I'd highly recommend both. I plan on picking up the next novel in the Elvis Cole series. We'll see if it is as dark, or darker than the first.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Possibly one of the most delightful moments for a crabby old reader and reviewer of mystery stories is to discover an excellent author whom he has somehow missed. Of course, in this case it is also a bit embarrassing. Robert Crais is the author of, among other things, 'L.A. Requiem,' indicating that this reviewer is not only unobservant, but a bit stubborn as well. I am not always a fan of the hard-boiled detective/hero genre, and most of those I don't like seem to live around Los Angeles.
Deciding to break with a long tradition (for me), I ordered this book, the first in the Elvis Cole series, for my trial dip. I was ill prepared for a small but potent bombshell that won its author several awards and nominations. Gasping for breath, I settled in for an unexpectedly wild and enjoyable ride.
Elvis Cole is the anti-detective incarnate. In an office filled with Disney memorabilia, shared with an invisible partner, Cole meets with new client Ellen Lang and her best friend Janet Simon. The problem - Ellen's husband Mort and her son Perry have disappeared. Ellen is a difficult client, but Mort definitely was not a perfect husband, and Cole proceeds on the assumption that this is a straightforward parental snatch and run.
Cole discovers Mort's girlfriend is missing as well, and that his business partners in the film business are a bit sleazy, but he is caught by surprise when this suddenly becomes a murder case. The badness mounts as Cole finds his clues lead from film moguls to the top of the narcotics trade. Soon Cole, on a grim search for the boy, is having his strings pulled by people who would just as soon kill him as look at him. With unusual adeptness, the detective switches from Jiminy Cricket quotes to guns and fists. Joined by his partner, Elvis Cole goes to war.
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