5.0 out of 5 stars Time Wounds All Heels While Love Heals All Wounds
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. Stalking the Angel followed powerfully with...
Published on May 15 2003 by Donald Mitchell
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This Is Good - But Not Great
Although I am a HUGE Elvis Cole fan, I found this book just a little more difficult to really get into. For that reason I'm only giving it three stars - I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, it just wasn't quite as good as some of the other books in the series. The snappy dialogue from Elvis is still evident and the humour is constant, as usual, it just seemed to take a while...
Published on Jun 12 2001 by Untouchable
Most Helpful First | Newest First
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This Is Good - But Not Great,
This review is from: Free Fall (Mass Market Paperback)Although I am a HUGE Elvis Cole fan, I found this book just a little more difficult to really get into. For that reason I'm only giving it three stars - I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, it just wasn't quite as good as some of the other books in the series. The snappy dialogue from Elvis is still evident and the humour is constant, as usual, it just seemed to take a while for something to happen.
Elvis is hired by a young woman whose fiancé is a plainclothes police officer and she suspects that he may be getting himself into some sort of trouble. At first it seems that the young policeman is cheating on his girlfriend, but then it slowly becomes clear that something more sinister is happening. With the help of the ultra-capable Joe Pike, Elvis finds himself caught between the LAPD and a street gang who are intent on stopping him.
Like I implied earlier, Elvis Cole is Elvis Cole and ya gotta love him. It just didn't grab me the way the others have and I didn't race through it like I did the others.
4.0 out of 5 stars Elvis is the King!,
This review is from: Free Fall (Mass Market Paperback)Yet agian, Robert Crais puts forth an excellent novel starring the illustrious Elvis Cole and his dark partner Joe Pike. Elvis is asked to investigate an L.A. Police Officer, Mark Thurman, a member of a special division that investigates gang activity. What Elvis finds involves a Rodney King type incident and the cover-up that follows. As Elvis peels away the layers of the story, things are more complicated than they seem. Very readable and very quick story.
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Entry,
This review is from: Free Fall (Mass Market Paperback)In this Elvis Cole--Joe Pike story, Crais hits the mark again,
and his two heros work as one in solving some problems/mysteries
involving an elite squad of the LAPD, and their mysterious activities after the bright but naive girl friend of one of the
cops consults Elvis.
Just as soon as his new client leaves, a couple of LAPD cops
come into his office and threaten him and pester him to leave
the case alone, but Elvis isn't the kind of guy to easily scare
off. Although he isn't as quiet as his partner, Pike, he is
almost as fearless, and together they form a team that is almost
The action moves along quickly and smoothly, and the reader
who pays attention feels he is in L.A., moving with the
5.0 out of 5 stars Time Wounds All Heels While Love Heals All Wounds,
This review is from: Free Fall (Mass Market Paperback)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. Stalking the Angel followed powerfully with classic noir style of the 1930s hard-boiled detective up against evil moderated with wise cracks. Lullaby Town brought Hollywood-oriented detective fiction into the 1990s with style and grace. 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 now 39, 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 Dan Wesson .38 Special.
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. He drives a spotless red Jeep.
Robert Parker's Spenser is the obvious character parallel for Elvis, but Spenser and Elvis are different in some ways. Cole is more solitary, usually being alone when he's not working. Cole is very much L.A. and Spenser is ultra blue collar Boston. Cole is martial arts while Spenser boxes and jogs. What they have in common is that they're both out to do the right thing, with money being unimportant. They both love to crack wise as they take on the bad guys. The dialogue written for each is intensely rich.
Mr. Crais has a special talent for making you care about his characters, especially the clients and their loved ones. You'll want to know what happens to them. With a lot of experience in script writing, Mr. Crais also knows how to set the scene physically and make you feel it. He may be out finest fiction writer about physical movement.
I grew up near Los Angeles, and get a special pleasure out of reading his descriptions of the differences in cities, neighborhoods, and buildings in the area. He gets in right . . . and in detail. It's a nice touch!
On to Free Fall, the fourth book in the series. The title refers to what happens when you slip over the side of the high cliff of ambition and probity. As much as I liked the first three books in the series, Free Fall exceeds them.
The person in free fall is Mark Thurman, the newest member of a REACT team, plainclothes police who "monitor career criminals and try to stop them before they hurt people." His team is assigned to one of the toughest areas, the seventy-seventh division in south central Los Angeles while drugs and drive-by shootings are common forms of "entertainment." Something has gone wrong with Thurman, and his fiancée, Jennifer Sheridan, wants Elvis to find out what. She offers $40 a month for the next 50 months to cover Elvis's fee, and he graciously accepts.
Jennifer is barely out of the office when Thurman and his clod of a partner, Floyd Riggens, show up. They try convincing Elvis that Thurman has a new girl friend and hasn't told Jennifer yet. They want Elvis to butt out. Why are they going to so much trouble? Surely, there are criminals for them to be tailing rather than Jennifer.
Despite evidence Elvis finds that Thurman is messing around with another woman, Jennifer believes that he still loves her. Having known Thurman for many years, she knows he must be desperate to pretend to be having an affair. She convinces Elvis to dig deeper. What he finds are out-of-control cops, nasty criminals, and extreme danger that touches all those who are connected to them.
As the story develops, Jennifer and Mark find themselves and their love tested beyond what they would have thought possible while Elvis and Joe struggle to help them keep their heads above water.
To me, this story is a monument to the fine Joseph Wambaugh novels about the police, updated to the current time. Any fan of his will love this book.
Although this is a crime and detection novel, it's also a story about love and commitment. I don't remember another book that develops all of those dimensions nearly as well. Unlike his earlier novels where the female characters grow while the male characters stagnate or make slower emotional progress, both Mark and Jennifer develop as people making the story a fuller and more rewarding one for the reader.
Can you physically and emotionally handle those dangers when they arise?
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little On The Preachy Side,
This review is from: Free Fall (Mass Market Paperback)Elvis Cole's humor is a little strained in this one, and his devil-may-care attitudes about jail, his own invincibility, and his dewy eyed views of all veterans, marines, ingénues and underprivileged youth get a mite tiresome. Thank the Lord for Joe Pike, who remains cynical and enigmatic.
A pretty young lady radiating wholesomeness (is there any other kind?) wants to hire Elvis to see why her fiancé, an LAPD copy, has been acting so distant toward her lately. Elvis finds her a quick, not too pleasant answer and the case is closed. Right? Not quite, or the story would end on page 22. Elvis has sparked the interest of a whole squad of LAPD plus some heavy-duty gangbangers. The action picks up; the escapades are just short of unbelievable while Elvis and Joe are on everyone's Most Wanted List.
Mr. Crais does some excellent description of South Central LA, bringing the mean streets to life and shows us it isn't just one vast killing ground. The action is fast, it's highly readable, but not on a par with other works by Robert Crais.
3.0 out of 5 stars ok, not spectacular,
This review is from: Free Fall (Mass Market Paperback)Robert Crais is doing his best to imitate Robert B. Parker in the Elvis series. Elvis = Spenser, Pike = Hawk, LA = Boston, you get the formula. The story was OK, and even got a little exciting in the end as Elvis and friends turn into ghetto versions of Rambo. I found it too hard to believe that Elvis managed to get out of trouble with the cops so easily.
5.0 out of 5 stars As exciting as free fall,
This review is from: Free Fall (Mass Market Paperback)Stalking the Angel was such a mess that I didn't want to read anything else by Robert Crais. My friend Roger insisted that I give Free Fall a try. I'm glad I did. This is one of the most exciting detective novels I have read.
Not flawless. Elvis's kicking hasn't improved much; his opponents are still on their feet after a volley of kicks. Crais still seems to think that eating heavily spiced food is a real macho deal. Joe Pike is just not real.
But gripes aside, this book is a load of fun to read. Dig in!!
5.0 out of 5 stars You Must Listen To What I Heard!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Free Fall (Audio Cassette)You poor nonbelievers. For those of you thinking this isn't one of his best then listen my friends to the audiobook. Didn't want to stop driving, drove around the block 5 times to finish a chapter, sat in the garage listening. Open your ears and close your eyes to the soundbites of Elvis.
4.0 out of 5 stars Free Fall,
By A Customer
This review is from: Free Fall (Mass Market Paperback)What if the bad guys had gotten hold of the Rodney King beating tape? That's the question at the end of the trail that starts when Jennifer Sheridan, worried that her cop fiancé Mark Thurman, of L.A.'s elite REACT crime-prevention squad, is hiding something from her, goes to laid-back p.i. Elvis Cole (Lullaby Town, 1992, etc.)--and in no time at all Cole has linked the five-man REACT team's fatal beating of drug suspect Charles Lewis Washington to Akeem D'Muere's Eight-Deuce Gang's determined attempt to stomp competing drug retailers. By the time the dust has cleared over the drug deal that Cole, his wired partner Joe Pike, and Washington's brother James Edward have tried to film, three men are dead, Cole and Pike are under arrest for murder, and Crais's rousing social-conscience fluff is just hitting its stride. After trading a little too obviously on his undeniable charm in the opening scenes, Cole delivers the goods in the kind of bravura performance only a pro can give.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Believeable but Entertaining,
This review is from: Free Fall (Mass Market Paperback)This is not the strongest of Crais' work (try LA Requiem for that), but it is solid entertainment, and a good, fast read.
While there is plenty of action, as is expected from Crais, he seems to be trying just a bit too hard in "Free Fall". Cole's wise-cracking is a little overdone, stretching credibility, as do some of the scenes, particularly the escape from jail. Also, unless I was not paying attention well enough, there seem to be some loose ends that are never resolved (like the red 36C?). The bad guys - inluding both the cops and the south-central LA gang-bangers - feel somewhat rushed in development and have little depth; more stereotyped than I've come to expect from Crais.
But the bodies keep piling up and the pages keep turning. On balance, if you're not expecting a classic, and don't want to do much thinking, "Free Fall" won't disappoint. A definite choice for a coast-to-coast flight or an afternoon on the beach.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Free Fall by Robert Crais (Mass Market Paperback - April 1 1994)
CDN$ 10.99 CDN$ 9.89