Joe Pike, former Los Angeles Police Officer, former Marine and ex mercenary, sees two men enter a sandwich store. Something about their body language alerts Joe to the fact that they are probably up to no good. He enters the store to find two men beating the shop owner, Wilson Smith. Joe manages to restrain one of the attackers while the other escapes.
When the shop is attacked again, Wilson Smith`s niece, Dru Rayne asks Joe Pike for help. Joe tries to help, but the shop is attacked again and Dru and her uncle Wilson go missing. Where are they? What role do the gang members who beat up Wilson have in this? And why have they disappeared? What is the role of the federal agents involved?
Joe Pike is concerned, especially about Dru - to whom he feels drawn - and is keen to find her and her uncle. He involves his best friend and private investigator Elvis Cole to help him, and the information Elvis finds suggests that Dru and Wilson may not be who they claim to be. As the violence escalates, Joe discovers that he really didn't know Dru at all.
I enjoyed this novel, the pace of the story kept me turning pages and I found, in Joe Pike, a tough but vulnerable, likeable new hero. At the beginning of the story, he makes a relatively insignificant decision with far reaching consequences: a chance stop which results in him becoming involved in a series of events which expands to involve the LAPD, the FBI, Mexican and Bolivian drug gangs and a highly motivated hit man.
This is my first Robert Crais novel, it won't be the last.