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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?
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
Investigator Elvis Cole and his partner Joe Pike take on the deadliest case of their lives in the new masterpiece of suspense from #1 New York Times-bestselling author Robert Crais.
It seemed like a simple case—before the bodies started piling up...
When single-mother Devon Connor hires Elvis Cole, it’s because her troubled teenage son Tyson is flashing cash and she’s afraid he’s dealing drugs. But the truth is devastatingly different. With two others, he’s been responsible for a string of high-end burglaries, a crime spree that takes a deadly turn when one of them is murdered and Tyson and his girlfriend disappear.
They stole the wrong thing from the wrong man, and, determined to get it back, he has hired two men who are smart and brutal and the best at what they do.
To even the odds, Cole brings in his friend Joe Pike, but even the two of them together may be overmatched. The police don’t want them anywhere near the investigation, the teenagers refuse to be found, and the hired killers are leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. Pretty soon, they’ll find out everything they need to know to track the kids down—and then nothing that Elvis or Joe can do may make any difference. It might even get them killed.
It’s fire season, and the hills of Los Angeles are burning. When police and fire department personnel rush door to door in a frenzied evacuation effort, they discover the week-old corpse of an apparent suicide. But the gunshot victim is less gruesome than what they find in his lap: a photo album of seven brutally murdered young women—one per year, for seven years. And when the suicide victim is identified as a former suspect in one of the murders, the news turns Elvis Cole’s world upside down.
Three years earlier Lionel Byrd was brought to trial for the murder of a female prostitute named Yvonne Bennett. A taped confession coerced by the police inspired a prominent defense attorney to take Byrd’s case, and Elvis Cole was hired to investigate. It was Cole’s eleventh-hour discovery of an exculpatory videotape that allowed Lionel Byrd to walk free. Elvis was hailed as a hero.
But the discovery of the death album in Byrd’s lap now brands Elvis as an unwitting accomplice to murder. Captured in photographs that could only have been taken by the murderer, Yvonne Bennett was the fifth of the seven victims—two more young women were murdered after Lionel Byrd walked free. So Elvis can’t help but wonder—did he, Elvis Cole, cost two more young women their lives?
Shut out of the investigation by a special LAPD task force determined to close the case, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike desperately fight to uncover the truth about Lionel Byrd and his nightmare album of death—a truth hidden by lies, politics, and corruption in a world where nothing is what it seems to be.
Chasing Darkness is a blistering thriller from the bestselling author who sets the standard for intense, powerful crime writing.
Three years ago, a Seattle family ran for their lives in a hail of bullets. Hired by three kids to find their missing father, Elvis now must pick up the cold pieces of a drama that began that night. What he finds is a sordid tale of high crimes and illicit drugs. As clues to a man's secret life emerge from the shadows, Elvis knows he's not just up against ruthless mobsters and some very angry Feds. He's facing a storm of desperation and conspiracy -- bearing down on three children whose only crime was their survival . . ."
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.
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
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 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...
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
L.A. private eye Elvis Cole is hired by popular television star Jodie Taylor to delve into her past and identify the biological parents who gave her up for adoption thirty-six years before. Cole's assignment is to find out their biological history and report back.
It seems all too clear cut. But when he gets to Louisiana and begins his search, he finds that there's something much darker going on. Other people are also looking for Taylor's parents, and some are ending up dead.
And when Cole realizes that his employer knew more than she was telling, Voodoo River becomes a twisting tale of identity, secrets, and murder.