Stephen King's article in Entertainment Weekly "What a Guy Wants" introduced me to Robert Crais. King includes Crais with Lee Child, Michael Connelly, and Richard Stark as the epitomy of escapism and "manfiction" entertainment.
I enjoyed this first book in Crais' series. The characters were fun, the prose was quick, witty, and comedic (reminds me of Nelson Demille's John Corey), and the story was average.
I love smart alec detectives! Elvis Cole is a wonderful character and Joe Pike is a great sidekick. This isn't brain surgery but that is why I read............to relax, try to solve the murder and laugh out loud at Elvis' cracks.
Really enjoyed this book! Written in gritty guy-type cop talk (very true to form--my husband is a cop), it has many unexpected twists in the plot and the main characters are quite realistic. It's written with a perverted sense of humor (PI's and cops, remember) and a great feeling of Hollywood and LA in general. This book is a keeper for me, and I'm ordering more of the Elvis Cole series.
This was my first Robert Crais book, and after a rocky start, I really enjoyed it. It's a quirky, off-beat sense of humor, but I found myself wishing I wasn't finished with it, which is always a good sign. I've already picked up another book by this author, and am glad to have found another series I like. Great story, loved the characters.
Genre: Private Investigator, #1 Elvis Cole mystery
First Line: "I'm sorry, Mr. Cole, this has nothing to do with you."
Several years ago people began mentioning Elvis Cole to me. Hmm...my last name, my mother's favorite singer.... I duly filed away the information. The people doing the mentioning probably thought I'd blown them off, to which I would reply: Just because I don't lay rubber the second you mention an author I might like doesn't mean I'm not paying attention. Sometimes I think part of my brain is an aquifer; it takes time for some of these authors to percolate down to the Do Something Level. I finally reached the Do Something Level with Elvis Cole, and now I've got a big smile on my face knowing what I've got in store for me.
Elvis Cole is a private investigator with a shadowy partner, Joe Pike. Joe isn't around all that much, which suits most people just fine. Let's face it-- the man scares people to death, and according to Elvis, "Pike thinks Clint Eastwood talks too much." Elvis has a life that suits him just fine. A Vietnam vet, his hero is Peter Pan, and he thinks very highly of Jiminy Cricket. (So do I. Jiminy taught me how to spell encyclopedia.) I also have to admit that the Pinocchio clock he has on his office wall fascinates me. Peter Pan...Jiminy Cricket...Pinocchio...when Ellen Lang walked into his office to hire him to find her missing husband and son, I knew that I was about to embark on a rather unusual investigation. I was led to a viper's den of criminals, drugs and sex, but I feared not, for Cole and Pike were with me.
By the time I finished, I had some new friends in Elvis and Joe. (I have a healthy respect for Joe, but he doesn't scare me. Yet.) The investigation itself isn't all that complex or unusual, but it moves quickly and taught me to pay attention to small clues and subtle nuances. The real reason why this book is such a standout rests squarely on the shoulders of Elvis Cole. It's as though, once he made it out of Vietnam in one piece and decided he wanted to be Peter Pan, his decision stripped away several layers of adult apathy and cynicism. This man can eat ice cream, watch an obnoxious customer torment the counter girl...and be incapable of pretending it isn't happening. When Mr. Obnoxious is persuaded to leave, Elvis leaves his business card with the girl. "If anyone ever bothers you...let me know."
And that's the strength of Elvis Cole--he cares. If that's what happens when a person decides to be Peter Pan, I say we should all start flapping our arms and taking flying lessons. In The Monkey's Raincoat, Robert Crais has set his stage with two superb characters in Cole and Pike, and I just happen to have Acts Two (Stalking the Angel) and Three (Lullaby Town) waiting in the wings.
Now if I could only find myself one of those Pinocchio clocks....
[A word of warning: anyone who has a low tolerance of violence may want to pass on this series.]
The first in the Elvis Cole series. Robert Crais is an LA author writing about LA Private Eye Elvis Cole. You will love his sidekick Joe Pike. Once I read this one...I had to read all the rest of the Cole series. Loved 'em all.
Not bad. Wise-cracking Elvis reminded me too much of Spenser for awhile, but by the end of the novel he distinguished himself, still not sure how or why. Mystery was simple but kept my inteerst. Looking forward to the rest in this very popular series raved about on the AOL M/T board.
Ellen Lang want to hire Elvis Cole and his partner Joe Pike to find her missing husband and son. Their hunt leads them on the grungy side of Hollywood studio lots and deep into a world of drugs, sex, and murder.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I hadn't read Mr. Crais's work before and liked it quite a lot. The book and characters reminded me a lot of Robert Parker's Spencer series. I will definately pursue this series.
Elvis was a pretty cool character and Joe Pike is interesting. I look forward to getting to know both of them better.
OK, let's run down the list. Wise-cracking LA private eye - check. Psychopathic lawless sidekick - check. Good friend on the local police force - check. Rescuing women and children from the clutches of an evil drug lord - check. So we've seen it all before. Old hat. Nothing original. So what makes reading Crais and his Elvis Cole series worthwhile? It's just plain good stuff - the heir apparent to Robert Parker and Elmore Leonard. If you're a fan of detective fiction, Robert Crais should be right there at the top of your list of must-read authors.
I really enjoyed this book. Robert Crais writes a wonderful story that flows well. Elvis Cole is a great character. Witty and smartmouthed, I enjoyed him. Joe Pike is a wonderful as well. His partner in the detective agency as well as a private mercenary with his own issues. Very complex and on the dark side. I will most definitely continue with this series and highly recommend it!
Interesting read. The protagonist is a PI named Elvis Cole who has a soft place for needy clients. His current client is Ellen Lang, whose husband is missing. Missing also is the couple's young son. Ellen assumes that Mort has taken the boy and abandoned her. When their home is trashed she assumes her husband has done it even as Cole tells her its a professional job. As Elvis investigates her husband's disappearance he encounters ruthless gangsters. What on earth has Mort, the husband, been doing? The situation becomes so tough that he calls his partner, Pitt, who owns a gun shop and part of the detective agency. Pitt is as tough as they come and the two set about investigating the case and retrieving the boy. It's brutal and violent but well done.
Ya gotta love Elvis Cole, "the world's greatest detective." When quiet Ellen Lang enters Elvis Cole's Disney-Deco office, she's lost something very valuable - her husband and young son. The case seems simple enough, but Elvis isn't thrilled. Neither is his enigmatic partner and firepower Joe Pike. Their search down the seamy side of Hollywood's studio lots and sculptured lawns soon leads them deep into a nasty netherworld of drugs and sex - and murder.
Enjoyed the book am now seeking out and finding all of the Robert Crais's books. Both hubby and self are reading them we are now through 2nd Elvis book several stand alones plus "The Watchman" the writing seems to get better as he continues to develop his characters.
I enjoy quilting while listening to books. The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais is one of my favorite books. I know of no better way to spend the day. Listening to stories about "Elvis Cole" is the ultimate! It's a fast paced book, filled with funny antics during serious moments. Loved it!
Elvis Cole is original; he' a wise-cracking private eye with a side-kick whose other name should be Rambo. However, it is Joe Pike. This is the first in the series but I've read several of the Elvis and Joe Pike books before.
I have a personal belief that the strength of the author can be seen by just how nice the villain is (versus the totally nonredeemable degenerate that most new writers create for their bad boy). Crais' former matador is charming and interesting -- as well as being a Mexican drug lord.
It was more interesting to see the Elvis - Joe Pike relationship, rather than wading through thousands of words to try to describe a very complex association.
This book is not as good as the later stories but sets up the characters for the future. Elvis is a cross between a sarcastic cynic and a psychologist. Elvis' thoughts carry the plot; he helps Joe Pike navigate a world where Joe seems to be a semi-alien.
1. The Monkey's Raincoat (1987)
2. Stalking the Angel (1988)
3. Lullaby Town (1992)
When quiet Ellen Lang enters Elvis Cole's Disney-Deco office, she's lost something very valuable -- her husband and her young son. The case seems simple enough, but Elvis isn't thrilled. Neither is his enigmatic partner and firepower, Joe Pike. Their search down the seamy side of Hollywood's studio lots and sculptured lawns soon leads them deep into a nasty netherworld of drugs and sex -- and murder. Now the case is getting interesting, but it's also turned ugly. Because everybody, from cops to starlets to crooks, has declared war on Ellen and Elvis. For Ellen, it isn't Funtown anymore. For Elvis, it's just a living. He hopes.