©1996 Robert Crais; (P)2004 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
"This hip, funny, and thought-provoking novel will delight Crais' growing legion of fans, and the fist-shaking, high-fiving conclusion offers at least the hope of ultimate justice when our system fails." (Booklist)
There’s not much I can say about this.
You're either a fan of Elvis Cole or you're not.
If you are, then you know you're getting the usual Elvis Cole story - There's Cole. There's Pike. There's a case. Nothing is as it seems but the boys will shoot their way to the truth.
Sunset Express isn't the weakest entry in the lengthy series but it wasn't a case/story so strong/interesting/unique/character developing that I'd read it again.
If you're a fan you'll read it no matter what, just like I did.
If you're not a fan of Elvis Cole, know that the series is the quintessential PI tale. If you look up a list of PI clichés, Cole will tick EVERY box (I’ve done it...) but Crais does it so unapologetically, giving you a straight up shot gumshoe that you'll love knocking it back every time.
If this is your first encounter with Cole, don't start here (Book #6). Don't even start at Book #1 (Monkey's Raincoat). Jump right ahead to Book #11 (The Watchman). That is where I started by accident and it had the benefit of being far in enough to be really well developed (both character and story) so I knew it was worth sticking through some of the weaker earlier entries when I went back to the beginning.
If you've hit a few Cole novels but aren't hooked yet, I'd also recommend jumping forward to #11 or so.
"Twistier than a roller coaster"
It looks like Elvis has hit the big time, brought into a high profile case by a higher profile lawyer - even his girlfriend is impressed. But, as you'd expect, all is not what it seems and before too long the job gets bigger as Elvis makes considerable breakthroughs... Any more would spoil it.
If, like me, you loved the hard bitten detectives from the pulp era or the tv detectives of the 80s then this will float your boat. Robert Crais nods respecfully in the direction of Dashell Hammett while Elvis Cole outclasses Jim Rockford and his partnership with Joe Pike makes Crocket and Tubbs look like amateurs.
The narrative drives at a good pace slowing occasionally for breath, bringing in a romance in the back story to throw the action into stark relief before rushing forward once again. The characters are well described, you love the good guys in spite of their flaws and you hate the bad guys, however smooth they appear. When the case cracks you will be delighted.
One word of caution; don't start here, start with and earlier book. You will kick yourself if you run out of the series too soon.
Crais fleshes out Elvis in each of his novels until one gets to know the character and his idiosyncrasies. A plot which continues at pace and which holds the interest.If you like the Elvis Cole books you'll enjoy this one!
Once more Robert Crais produced a splendid Elvis Cole novel. Easy to listen to and thrilling to the last bit. I can just recommend Elvis Cole novel/audiobooks. Simply terrific and big time enjoyable!
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