Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong plot filled with good complications
Cons: Main characters still feel more caricature
The Bottom Line:
Finding a father
Opens Cole up to danger
Fast moving story
Tracking a Wayward Father
It never fails for the poor, unsuspecting PI. They think they are taking on an easy case when in reality what appears simple holds danger and twists. Of course, if it didn’t, we’d just have a short story instead of a novel. But it’s the case once again for Elvis Cole in Indigo Slam.
This book finds Elvis working for a trio of kids. They walk into his office one afternoon and hire him to find their father. The man has been missing for almost two weeks. While he’s left them behind before while pursuing a new job, this is the longest he’s ever been gone, and the trio have gotten worried. Elvis isn’t sure about working for them, especially since the oldest is fifteen and still too young to be caring for her siblings, but Elvis’s girlfriend Lucy talks him into it.
The trail quickly leads him from Los Angeles to Seattle, where Elvis realizes that the family was in witness protection three years ago. Does their past have anything to do with the father’s disappearance? Could Elvis stir up old danger by his investigation?
Of course, the answer to all of those questions is yes, but I will leave it to you to figure out exactly what is happening now and why. There are some good twists and lots of complications along the way to an exciting climax. The pace never lags along the way, either.
There are very few returning characters in this book, but the new cast of characters are interesting enough to keep your attention. I do still feel that Elvis and especially his partner Joe Pike are more caricatures instead of full and real characters, but that feeling is lessening as the series progresses.
The previous book left us with a couple of very mild cliffhangers. Lucy had just gotten a potential job offer that would move her to LA, and this book picks up on that, giving us a fun sub-plot as Elvis deals with the case. I’m very curious where this will go in future books. On the other hand, the ending of the previous book left Elvis very disillusioned and thinking of getting out of the PI business. There is no mention of any of that here, which I found very disappointing, especially since it could have fueled some nice character growth.
I have often complained in my reviews of Robert Crais’s books about his excessive foul language. I’m happy to say that wasn’t as issue for me here. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there was still foul language, but it fit the characters and the situations instead of feeling like he added it to pad his word count. This isn’t one of my normal cozies, but I wasn’t expecting it to be when I picked it up.
This is the second time I’ve listened to David Stuart narrate one of these books, and I found that he did an excellent job. In fact, I’d gotten used to his narration at this point, so his take on Elvis and Joe didn’t feel off like it had when I first started the last book.
I’m seeing some good growth in the writing as this series progresses, and I’m beginning to see why it is such a favorite series. I’m hoping that upward trend continues from Indigo Slam.