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.
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