Friday, September 13, 2019

Book Review: A Dangerous Man by Robert Crais (Elvis Cole & Joe Pike #18)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fast paced story; enjoyable main characters
Cons: Some minor characters are extremely annoying; John Chen
The Bottom Line:
Kidnapped bank teller
Start this thrilling mystery
Hold on; it’s a ride

“We Know Your Secret.”

When I realized a new book in Robert Crais’s Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series was coming out this summer, I started focusing on his books so I’d be ready for A Dangerous Man when it came out.  It took me a little while to get it from my library, but it proved to be an exciting thrill ride.

This book in the series focuses on Joe Pike.  His trip to the bank for a routine deposit ends when he witnesses two men try to kidnap his teller, Isabel Roland.  Joe being Joe, he jumps into action and rescues her.  However, when the kidnappers are released from jail, they are both murdered.  Was kidnapping Isabel a crime of opportunity, or was she a target?  Is she safe?  Why would someone target her?

Joe witnessing a crime and getting involved in a set up we’ve seen before in this series, but from there the similarities end.  I didn’t expect the direction the plot took, and I was quickly hooked.  Mr. Crais uses multiple viewpoints to get effect to increase the tension as the book progresses.  At times, his overlap makes the timeline a little hard to follow, but that is a minor complaint overall and is understandable since he was working to make it easy for us to follow the view point of each chapter.

By this point in the series, PI’s and business partners Elvis and Joe are pretty well-defined characters.  Fans will be happy to spend time with them here, although there is little new we learn about them.  This is a thriller, and the emphasis is on the action, which the book delivers on perfectly.  I was hoping to get a little update on Elvis’s personal life, but that didn’t happen since he was the supporting player this time around.

One thing I have noticed in the books is that some of the supporting characters can be very annoying, doing the opposite of what any smart person would do.  Fortunately, that is kept to a minimum.  Unfortunately, some of the characters who have very little page time have very challenging personalities.  I’m not a fan of John Chen, the crime scene investigator that Joe and Elvis sometimes call on when they need his expertise.  Unfortunately, he’s present in this book and his usual immature self.  I have a feeling the characters that annoy me are supposed to be comic relief, but if so, I don’t get it.

Since this is a thriller, the language and violence is higher than the cozies I normally read.  Naturally, I expected that going in, but I was happy to see it was less than in some of Crais’s other novels.

As usual, I listened to the audio book narrated by Luke Daniels.  I am wondering if some of my issues with certain characters is how he chooses to narrate them as a few times I found myself thinking he was overacting a scene.  Those were minor occurrences, however.  For the most part, he did another fantastic job bringing the story to life and hooking me on the events as they unfolded.

Elvis and Joe have a huge following, and these fans will be thrilled with A Dangerous Man.  This is a page turned that is over all too quickly.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series.

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