Elvis Cole is Back--In a Desperate Fight to Clear his Name...
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.
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
So I'm beginning to feel like all of the big names in pop thriller/crime fiction - Lee Childs, James Lee Burke, James Patterson, and now Robert Crais, are getting either bored or lazy, or have somehow managed to misplace the passion and fiery writing that placed them in their well deserved positions (well, except perhaps Patterson) on the big best seller lists. Yes, I'm a Robert Crais fan. The early Elvis Cole was smart, funny, and in your face - definitely an updated, more hip, and slightly more irreverent version of the venerable Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe and today's answer to the hard boiled LA that Chandler invented. And Joe Pike? In Crais' prime, can you think of a supporting cast member more menacing - a more cleverly and intelligently rendered butt-kicker - the hands down candidate for the guy you'd least want to have on the other side of a street fight - or any kind of fight? Leaves me yearning for "LA Requiem", "The Monkey's Raincoat", or Crais' outstanding...
Joe PIke is along as well and so is Carol Starkey, but this is Elvis' story. A putative suicide is found as the result of a fire, a man exonerated by Elvis in the past. Now it appears that the man was a serial killer and Elvis was responsible for providing him the freedom to kill others. Elvis goes to work, sorting things out. The result is a classic novel of detection, in which the protagonist knocks on doors, asks people questions, knocks on more doors, asks more questions and does not stop (no matter how many obstacles are placed in his path) until he has the answers he seeks.
While Elvis gets off a few good one-liners this is less the wisecracking Elvis Cole of the early novels and more the serious one of the more recent books. The plot is suitably complex, but the pace is perfect--a driving narrative that hurtles toward a plausible but unexpected conclusion. The ethos is pure Chandler, with apparent villainy in high places and a complete tour of L.A. from the...
Where's the spark? Elvis Cole is nothing close to his chirpy, irreverant self, Pike is a pale shadow of his usual formidable presence and Starkey seems like a caricature of herself. Towards the end, the book becomes mildly interesting when Cole finally figures out whodunit, but then Crais cheats his audience with the ending. After a break from Cole in which Crais penned two other novels, I'd a-thunk he'd have brought Elvis back well rested and in fine form, but Elvis Cole seems as bored as I was in this latest addition to the series.
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