In his major New York Times bestseller, The Last Detective, Robert Crais returned to his signature characters, private investigator Elvis Cole and his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike. Now Crais delivers a stunning, edge-of-your-seat suspense novel that leads Elvis to the very thing he's always searched for- the dark secrets of his own life-as well as a brutal killer determined to stop him. Los Angeles, 3:58 a.m.: Elvis Cole receives the phone call he's been waiting for since childhood. Responding to a gunshot, the LAPD has found an injured man in an alleyway. He has told the officer on the scene that he is looking for his son, Elvis Cole. Minutes later, the man is dead. Haunted throughout his life by a lack of knowledge about his father, Elvis turns to the one person who can help him navigate the minefield of his past- his longtime partner and confidant, Joe Pike. Together with hard-edged LAPD detective, Carol Starkey, they launch a feverish search for the dead man's identity-even as Elvis struggles between wanting to believe he's found his father at last and allowing his suspicions to hold him back.
Crais's latest L.A.-based crime novel featuring super-sleuth Elvis Cole blends high-powered action, a commanding cast and a touch of dark humor to excellent dramatic effect. One morning at four, Cole gets a call from the LAPD informing him that a murdered John Doe has claimed, with his dying breath, to be Cole's father, a man Cole has never met. Cole immediately gets to work gathering evidence on the dead man-Herbert Faustina, aka George Reinnike-while cramping the style of the assigned detective, Jeff Pardy. Though Cole finds Reinnike's motel room key at the crime scene, the puzzle pieces are tough to put together, even with the unfailing help of partner Joe Pike and feisty ex-Bomb Squad techie Carol Starkey, who's so smitten with Cole that she can't think of him without smiling. Days of smart sleuthing work take the self-proclaimed "World's Greatest Detective" from a Venice Beach escort service to the California desert, then a hospital in San Diego, where doubts about Reinnike's true heritage begin to dissipate. Meanwhile, a delusional psychopath named Frederick Conrad, who is convinced that his partner in crime was killed by Cole, stalks and schemes to even the score. There's lots to digest, but this character-driven series continues to be strong in plot, action and pacing, and Crais (The Last Detective) boasts a distinctive knack for a sucker-punch element of surprise. Agent, Aaron Priest. (Feb. 15) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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January 31, 2006
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Excerpt from The Forgotten Man by Robert Crais
They called me to view the body on a wet spring morning when darkness webbed my house. Some nights are like that; more now than before. Picture the World's Greatest Detective, reluctant subject of sidebar articles in the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles magazine, stretched on his couch in a redwood A-frame overlooking the city, not really sleeping at 3:58 A.M. when the phone rang. I thought it was a reporter, but answered anyway.
"This is Detective Kelly Diaz with LAPD. I apologize about the time, but I'm trying to reach Elvis Cole."
Her voice was coarse, reflecting the early hour. I pushed into a sitting position and cleared my throat. Police who call before sunrise have nothing to offer but bad news.
"How'd you get my number?"
I had changed my home number when the news stories broke, but reporters and cranks still called.
"One of the criminalists had it or got it, I'm not sure. Either way, I'm sorry for calling like this, but we have a homicide. We have reason to believe you know the deceased."
Something sharp stabbed behind my eyes, and I swung my feet to the floor.