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My bookmark almost fell out of Robert Crais' THE TWO MINUTE RULE about ten pages in. Just seemed too street-wise and hip-hoppy for my taste, but because my stack had dwindled I read on. And I'm glad I did. Okay, this story is improbable: convicted heroic (Huh?) bank robber turning to the former Feeb who arrested him to clear the name of the bank robber's dead cop son. Yeah, right...
But this story works. Seems the dead cop and three of his cohorts were searching for $16 million in missing bank loot, all off the record, of course. Somebody gunned them down. Was it the East L.A. gangs, as the cops are claiming? Then who shot the shooter? And who else is looking for the money? Are the cops the bad guys here? Convicted bank robber Max Holman, released from jail a day after his son was murdered, resolves to get to the bottom of this mystery. But everywhere he turns, he runs into cops, and nasty ones at that: cops trying to make him disappear; cops willing to set up and take down his only friend, a bank robbing buddy who maybe is going straight. Shut off from official help, Holman turns to Katherine Pollard, ex-Feeb, the agent who arrested him. Seems Pollard left the Feds to raise a young son. She's bored and under the thumb of a dominating mother. She craves the excitement she gave up and still has contacts in the agency, contacts who can access records the LAPD is hiding. But she's skeptical of Holman's claims, until some of them are proven true. Gradually, Pollard comes to believe Holman's son and the other cops were murdered by one of their own. But who? LAPD or FBI? As Pollard probes further, she joins Holman in the cross-hairs of a ruthless killer who'll do anything for $16 million.
As improbable as this plot may seem, Crais does a masterful job of making it stick. The pace is furious, the suspense palpable. Max Holman was nailed once by violating the two-minute rule. As the clock ticks down in this mystery thriller, he'll get another shot at it. THE TWO MINUTE RULE is enjoyable and a satisfying listen.
Christopher Graybill was outstanding with the delivery of the story
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