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Publisher's Summary

In The Watchman and The First Rule, Robert Crais put Joe Pike front and center for the first time, to remarkable effect: “A beautifully crafted piece of story-telling” (The Seattle Times); “A high-octane thriller... Pike’s unshakable belief in right and wrong provides a moral center” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel); “Joe Pike is a joy to watch, an urban Zen warrior priest righting wrongs. More Pike, please” (Chicago Sun-Times).
But when Joe Pike does return, it is to a case that will rock him to his core. Five years ago, Dru Rayne and her uncle fled from Louisiana to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina hit, but now they face a different kind of danger. A neighborhood protection gang savagely beats Dru’s uncle, but Pike witnesses it and offers his own brand of protection. Oddly enough, neither of them seems to want it—and neither do the federal agents mysteriously watching their storefront, men who appear quite willing to let the gang have its way.
None of that deters Pike—there’s something about Dru that touches him and he won’t back away, whether she wants his help or not—but as the level of violence escalates, and Pike himself becomes a target, he and Elvis Cole begin to discover some things. Dru and her uncle are not who they seem, and everything Pike thought he knew about them, their relationship to the gang, and the reasons they fled New Orleans—it’s all been lies. A vengeful and murderous force is catching up to them... and it’s perfectly happy to sweep Pike and Cole up in its wake.
Investigate another case with Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.
©2011 Robert Crais (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By S. Harvey on 01-21-11

Vintage Crais

This is vintage Crais so if you have enjoyed his earlier books you will enjoy this. Pike is his silent, effective self and the plot is engaging. Excellent narration.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Richard Delman on 01-13-18

Getting a bit formulaic, but still good.

Robert Crais can still write up a storm, and Luke Daniels can narrate. A long long time ago, maybe 25 years, I was sitting outside of a bookstore reading one of his first books, and I was laughing out loud. A woman came over and asked what I was reading, as there really aren't that many LOL authors. Who knew that reading was a way to meet women?
In any case, Crais's plots are beginning to get repetitive. Elvis and Joe Pike continue to be interesting characters, although Joe's strong-but-silent act is starting to wear thin. And I found myself having a hard time keeping the bad guys straight here: the Mexican drug dealers, el M, the Bolivian drug cartels, and maybe somebody else. A thing that I thought really awkward was Crais's attempt to portray auditory hallucinations. Daniel, the primary bad guy, hears the voices of two people, one male and one female, and they talk silly. Not to be technical here, but hallucinations are not cute, and they don't repeat themselves in some kind of singsong way. Luke makes a good stab at it, but all told I think Crais should stay away from that. It sounds very odd.
Who am I to argue with success, though? Elvis and Joe have sold one heck of a lot of books, so I'm sure that Crais can do without my opinions. And, after twenty five or so years of buying his books, I will continue to do that, because, who knows? The next one might be fantastic. I do miss the humor, though. In the beginning he was funny on almost every page, and now he seems to have become much more a thriller writer and less a fun guy. Elvis is still a smartass, of course, just not as wry as he used to be.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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