The Watchman: A Joe Pike Novel Hardcover – Feb 27 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
As the subtitle suggests, Joe Pike, the intriguing, enigmatic partner of L.A. PI Elvis Cole, takes center stage in this intense thriller from bestseller Crais (The Two Minute Rule). To pay back an old debt, Pike is coerced into protecting Larkin Barkley, a hard-partying young heiress whose life is in danger after a "wrong place wrong time" encounter that quickly escalates and spins out of control. The enemy is shadowy, violent and relentless—but the fierce, focused Pike, one of the strongest characters in modern crime fiction, is equal to the challenge. The breathless pace and rich styling are sure to appeal to readers of hard-boiled fiction in general, but since up to now Pike has mostly remained in the background, some fans of the Elvis Cole series (The Forgotten Man, etc.) may find the explicit picture that emerges of Pike at odds with the image they've constructed for themselves. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Larkin Barkley, a troubled L.A. woman from a wealthy family, finds herself under the protection of federal agents after emerging uninjured from a serious car accident. Something she saw warrants her death. The bad guys came close to success, probably with an assist from someone charged with her safety. Joe Pike, a former marine, LAPD officer, and mercenary, is hired to protect her on the word of his former police partner. Pike and the girl go underground after another attempt on her life leaves three would-be assassins dead. Pike then enlists his partner, private investigator Elvis Cole, to do the digging while he does the shooting. Cole targets a drug cartel's money-laundering network as the source of the death squads and identifies Barkley's father as the possible link. As the plot careens forward with nail-biting suspense, the similarities between Pike and Barkley become heartbreakingly clear. What could a taciturn killing machine have in common with a spike-haired, tattoo-on-her-ass valley girl? Every adult is a product of childhood, and Pike recognizes in his charge the same chronic emotional pain fueling his own lonely life. Saving her physical being is tough, but not as tough as saving her life. Fans of the Elvis Cole series have long wished for an installment focusing on sidekick Pike, and their wish is more than granted with this stunningly emotional thriller. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
To note that Joe Pike is the strong, silent type is to be redundant for those who have been reading Robert Crais's writing about Elvin Cole and Joe Pike. How do you take someone who rarely says more than three words at a time and build a novel around him? It's quite a challenge and Robert Crais almost makes it work perfectly.
If you are new to Joe Pike, Mr. Crais does a nice job of including a little back story so this book is a standalone opportunity for you to enjoy a fine action thriller.
At first blush, Larkin Barkley and Joe Pike couldn't be more different. She's rich, spoiled, willful, attention-seeking, and impulsive. He's a man of modest means, self-reliant, self-disciplined, attention-avoiding, and carefully calculating. But as you'll learn in the story, they share demons, perspectives, and instincts to protect others.
The book opens in brilliant fashion in a hail of bullets as Joe Pike finds himself under attack soon after moving into a new "safe" house where he's taken Larkin Barkley. Who's spilling the beans? Joe decides to slip the leashes that have been placed on him, and pretty soon he's hunting prey rather than being hunted.
Then we back up and find out how a billionaire's daughter finds herself the target of pistol-packing thugs. The young Ms. Barkley likes to race her high performance sports car at high speed down the empty L.A. streets in the middle of the night. This night, however, someone else is out and about, and she crashes into them. The two people in front are dazed, but appear to have no serious injuries. Their passenger bolts and runs down the street. The couple takes off also.Read more ›