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About Robert Crais
Robert Crais is the author of the bestselling Cole & Pike novels. A native of Louisiana, Crais moved to Hollywood in the late 70s where he began a successful career in television, writing scripts for such major series as Cagney & Lacey, Miami Vice and Hill Street Blues. In the mid 80s, following his success with the TV buddy genre, Crais created a series of crime novels based around the characters Cole & Pike. In addition, Crais has also written several bestselling standalone thrillers. Robert Crais lives in LA with his wife and family.
Here are the Elvis Cole novels in series order:
The Monkey's Raincoat
Stalking the Angel
L. A. Requiem
The Last Detective
The Forgotten Man
The Two Minute Rule
The First Rule
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Joe Pike didn't expect to rescue a woman that day. He went to the bank same as anyone goes to the bank, and returned to his Jeep. So when Isabel Roland, the lonely young teller who helped him, steps out of the bank on her way to lunch, Joe is on hand when two men abduct her. Joe chases them down, and the two men are arrested. But instead of putting the drama to bed, the arrests are only the beginning of the trouble for Joe and Izzy.
After posting bail, the two abductors are murdered and Izzy disappears. Pike calls on his friend, Elvis Cole, to help learn the truth. What Elvis uncovers is a twisted family story that involves corporate whistleblowing, huge amounts of cash, the Witness Relocation Program, and a long line of lies. But what of all that did Izzy know? Is she a perpetrator or a victim? And how far will Joe go to find out?
The blonde who walked into Cole’s office was the bestlooking woman he’d seen in weeks. The only thing that kept her from rating a perfect “10” was the briefcase on one arm and the uptight hotel magnate on the other. Bradley Warren had lost something very valuable—something that belonged to someone else: a rare thirteenth-century Japanese manuscript called the Hagakure.
Just about all Cole knew about Japanese culture he’d learned from reading Shogun, but he knew a lot about crooks—and what he didn’t know his sociopathic sidekick, Joe Pike, did. Together their search begins in L.A.’s Little Tokyo and the nest of notorious Japanese mafia, the yakuza, and leads to a white-knuckled adventure filled with madness, murder, sexual obsession, and a stunning double-whammy ending. For Elvis Cole, it’s just another day’s work.
Praise for Stalking the Angel
“Stalking the Angel is a righteous California book: intelligent, perceptive, hard, clean.”—James Ellroy
“Out on the West Coast, where private eyes thrive like avocado trees, Robert Crais has created an interesting and amusing hero in Elvis Cole.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Devotees of the rock ‘em, sock ‘em school should find [Stalking the Angel] tasty.”—The San Diego Union
WINNER OF THE ANTHONY AND MACAVITY AWARDS FOR BEST NOVEL • NOMINATED FOR THE EDGAR AND SHAMUS AWARDS FOR BEST NOVEL
Meet Elvis Cole, L.A. Private Eye. . . . He quotes Jiminy Cricket and carries a .38. He’s a literate, wisecracking Vietnam vet who is determined to never grow up.
When quiet Ellen Lang enters Elvis Cole’s Disney-Deco office, she’s lost something very valuable—her husband and her young son. The case seems simple enough, but Elvis isn’t thrilled. Neither is his enigmatic partner and firepower, Joe Pike. Their search down the seamy side of Hollywood’s studio lots and sculptured lawns soon leads them deep into a nasty netherworld of drugs, sex—and murder. Now the case is getting interesting, but it’s also turned ugly. Because everybody, from cops to starlets to crooks, has declared war on Ellen and Elvis. For Ellen, it isn’t Funtown anymore. For Elvis, it’s just a living . . . He hopes.
Praise for The Monkey's Raincoat
“Outstanding characters, tight plot, and scintillating prose style. . . . This fast-paced story speeds Elvis Cole to a chilling, heart-stopping ending.”—Mystery Scene
“Is Bob Crais good? Put it this way: if they're taking you out to put you against the firing squad wall, and you want to enjoy your last moments on earth, pass on the last cigarette and ask for an Elvis Cole novel.”—Harlan Ellison
“Far and away the most satisfying private eye novel in years. Grab this one—it's a winner!”—Lawrence Block
“The best private eye novel of the year . . . lots of action; bright, crisp dialogue; and sharply drawn characters.”—The Denver Post
“Robert B. Parker has some competition on his hands. . . . Elvis Cole is an appealing character and Crais's style is fresh and funny.”—Sue Grafton
“In Crais, a new star has appeared on the private eye scene—a dazzling first novel.”—Tony Hillerman
Larkin Conner Barkley lives like the City of Angels is hers for the taking. Young and staggeringly rich, she speeds through the city during its loneliest hours, blowing through red after red in her Aston Martin as if running for her life. Then suddenly she sees another car’s metal-on-metal explosion of a terrible accident and, dazed, finds herself the single witness in a secret federal investigation.
For maybe the first time in her life, Larkin wants to do the right thing. But in doing so she becomes the target for a relentless team of killers. And when the US Marshals and the finest security money can buy can’t protect her, Larkin’s wealthy family turns to the one man money can't buy―Joe Pike.
Pike lives a world away from the palaces of Beverly Hills. He’s an ex-cop, ex-Marine, ex-mercenary who owes a bad man a favor, and that favor is to keep the uncontrollable Larkin alive.
Pike commits to protecting the girl, but it becomes clear someone in their circle is selling them out. Taking matters into his own hands, Joe drops off the gird with Larkin and follows his own survival rules: strike fast, hit hard, hunt down the hunters. With the help of private investigator Elvis Cole, Pike uncovers a web of lies and betrayals, and the stunning revelation that even the cops are not who they seem. As the body count rises, Pike’s biggest threat might come from the girl herself, a lost soul in the City of Angels, determined to destroy herself unless Joe Pike can teach her the value of life...and love.
Elvis Cole is back...
Elvis Cole's relationship with attorney Lucy Chenier is strained. When she moved from Louisiana to join Elvis in Los Angeles, she never dreamed that violence would so easily touch her life—but then the unthinkable happens. While Lucy is away on business and her ten-year-old son, Ben, is staying with Elvis, Ben disappears without a trace. Desperate to believe that the boy has run away, evidence soon mounts to suggest a much darker scenario.
Joining forces with his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike, Elvis frantically searches for Ben with the help of LAPD Detective Carol Starkey, as Lucy's wealthy, oil-industry ex-husband attempts to wrest control of the investigation. Amid the maelstrom of personal conflicts, Elvis and Joe are forced to consider a more troubling lead—one indicating that Ben's disappearance is connected to a terrible, long-held secret from Elvis Cole's past.
Venturing deep inside a complex psyche, Crais explores Elvis's need for family—the military that embraced him during a troubled adolescence, his rock-solid partnership with Pike, and his floundering relationship with Lucy—as they race the clock in their search for Ben. The Last Detective is Robert Crais' richest, most intense tale of suspense yet.
When Nita Morales hires Elvis Cole to find her missing daughter, she's sure it's a ruse orchestrated by the girl and her boyfriend. She's wrong. They've been taken by bajadores—border bandits who prey on the innocent by buying, selling, and disposing of victims like commodities.
Cole and Joe Pike start an undercover investigation to find the couple, but their plan derails when Cole disappears, leaving Pike to burn through the murderous world of human traffickers to find his friend as well as the missing young people. But he may already be too late...
In an alleyway in Los Angeles, an old man, clutching faded newspaper clippings and gasping his last words to a cop, lies dying of a gunshot wound. The victim claims to be P.I. Elvis Cole’s long-lost father—a stranger who has always haunted his son.
As a teenager, Cole searched desperately for his father. As a man, he faces the frightening possibility that this murder victim was himself a killer. Caught in limbo between a broken love affair and way too much publicity over his last case, Cole at first resists getting involved with this new case. Then it consumes him. Now a stranger’s terrifying secrets—and a hunt for his killer—give Cole a frightening glimpse into his own past. And he can’t tell if it’s forgiveness or a bullet that’s coming next. . . .
“Robert Crais is a crime writer of incredible talent—his novels are not only suspenseful and deeply atmospheric but very hard to put down.”—Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code
“A brutal but exhilarating climax.”—USA Today
Elvis Cole and Joe Pike keep their promises. Even if it could get them killed...
Elvis Cole is hired to find a woman who’s disappeared, a seemingly ordinary case, until he learns the missing woman is an explosives expert and worked for a Defense Department contractor. Meanwhile, LAPD K-9 Officer Scott James and his patrol dog, Maggie, track a fugitive to a house filled with explosives—and a dead body. As the two cases intertwine, they all find themselves up against shadowy arms dealers and corrupt officials, and the very woman they promised to save may be the cause of their own deaths.
When Frank Meyer and his family are executed during a home invasion, the police begin investigating the secret life they're sure Meyer had. Joe Pike's on a hunt of his own: to clear his friend's name, and to punish the people who murdered him. What starts out as a simple trail gets twisted fast by old grudges, double crosses, blood vengeance, and a crime so terrible even Pike and his partner Elvis Cole have no way to measure it.
Elvis Cole is just a detective who can't say no, especially to a girl in a terrible fix. And Jennifer Sheridan qualifies: Her fiancé, Mark Thurman, is a decorated LA cop with an elite plainclothes unit, but Jennifer's sure he's in trouble—the kind of serious trouble that only Elvis Cole can help him out of.
Five minutes after his new client leaves his office, Elvis and his partner, the enigmatic Joe Pike, are hip-deep in a deadly situation as they plummet into a world of South Central gangs, corrupt cops, and conspiracies of silence. And before the case is through, every copy in the LAPD will be gunning for a pair of escaped armed-and-dangerous killers—Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.
“Elvis Cole provides more fun for the reader than any L.A. private eye to come along in years.”—Joseph Wambaugh
“Elvis lives, and he's on his way to being crowned the king of detectives.”—Booklist
The day starts like any other in L.A. The sun burns hot as the Santa Ana winds blow ash from mountain fires to coat the glittering city. But for private investigator Joe Pike, the city will never be the same again. His ex-lover, Karen Garcia, is dead, brutally murdered with a gun shot to the head.
Now Karen's powerful father calls on Pike (a former cop) and his partner, Elvis Cole, to keep an eye on the LAPD as they search for his daughter's killer--because in the luminous City of Angels, everyone has secrets, and even the mighty blue have something to hide. But what starts as a little procedural hand-holding turns into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. For a dark web of conspiracy threatens to destroy Pike and Cole's twelve-year friendship—if not their lives. And L.A. just might be singing their dirge.
Praise for L.A. Requiem
“One of the best crime novels I've ever read. Absolutely terrific!”—David Baldacci
“Darker, denser, deeper, and more satisfying than anything he’s written before.”—The Denver Post
“[A] whodunit with salsa and soul . . . [Crais] keeps his plot pounding along.”—People
Prominent restaurateur Teddy Martin is facing charges in his wife's brutal murder. But he's not going down without spending a bundle of cash on his defense. So his hotshot attorney hires P.I. Elvis Cole to find proof that Detective Angela Rossi tampered with the evidence.
Detective Rossi needs a way back to the fast track after falling hard during an internal investigation five years ago. But Cole needs to know if she's desperate enough to falsify the case against Martin in order to secure her own position.
As Cole and his partner Joe Pike work their way through a tangle of witnesses and an even greater tangle of media, they begin to suspect that it's not the police who are behind the setup.
The sixth book in the Elvis Cole series, Sunset Express is marked by Robert Crais's dark humor and edge-of-your-seat suspense.