The organized criminal gangs of the former Soviet Union are bound by what they call the thieves' code. The first rule is this: A thief must forsake his mother, father, brothers, and sisters. He must have no family - no wife, no children - because only other criminals are his family. If any of the rules are broken, it is punishable by death.
Frank Meyer had the American dream - a wife and family he adored, a successful business - until the day a professional crew invaded his home and murdered everyone inside. The only thing out of the ordinary about Meyer was that - before the family and the business and the normal life - a younger Frank Meyer worked as a professional military contractor, a mercenary, with a man named Joe Pike. Frank was one of Pike's guys, and they faced death together in every rotten hellhole around the world.
The police think Meyer was hiding something very bad, because previous home invasions by the crew had targeted only criminals with large stashes of cash or drugs. Pike cannot believe it, and with the help of Cole, he sets out on a hunt of his own: to clear his friend, to punish the people who murdered him.
A trail that at first seems relatively simple, however, very quickly becomes complicated, as the two of them find themselves entangled in a web of ancient grudges, blood ties, blackmail, vengeance, double crosses, and cutthroat criminality, and at the heart of it all, an act so terrible even Pike and Cole have no way to measure it.
Investigate another case with Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.
©2010 Robert Crais; (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
While Crais' latest may not have all the humor of his earlier Elvis Cole novels, it's nonetheless engaging. First Rule keeps you guessing and entertained from the first chapter to the last. Pike is as enigmatic and deadly as ever. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It seemed rather lifeless. I think the book would be more interesting, but the low monotone of the read blends everyone and everything into a lull that loses people and details. I enjoyed Hostage, but this one will be hard to remember.
The series (Cole/Pike) has kinda gone downhill since The Forgotten Man. If you're a series fan, you'll enjoy the book well enough, but I think listening to this story was like watching a run-of-the-mill episode in a cop show. With Crais narrating, it felt kinda "low budget", too. There was no real tonal variation between characters, and for a story that called for linguistic variations, the lack was prominent.
Already have, because Lee Child is not prolific.
It's all good. Characters, the story, the delivery, the development - just all-around good.
Yes and already have. Making my way thru Crais's books a second time. There are a few I can not handle the narrator but this is not one of them. I think Crais as the narrator gives the reader a better look into Elvis/Joe. Since he wrote the book he knows how to convey to the reader/listener what his intentions were.
Maybe not on the edge but close.
Elvis and Joe and him. He conveys a part of himself thru his reading.
Joe with the baby.
I'll see ya in the smoke.
I may not know if a book is "Great" or not, but (refer to title). I liked this book, and I enjoy reading or listening to all of the Crais books. Sure, some I like more than others, but that just makes them seem more like individuals to me, as if a book were a being. Anyhow, I want to go on the record in support of Robert (do you go by Bob?) Crais narration on this book. I'm not absolutely positive, but this might be the only one of Bobs books I've listened to that had no mispronunciation of southern calif. place and/or street names. See, I like that too. Thank you Mr. Crais.
A Book Worm
Robert Crais' Cole/Pike series is one of the best ever. Without giving away too much about the story line....Joe Pike's is rarely wrong about a persons character. From the moment he heard of the murder of his former friend and his family, and the circumstances the police thought was behind the murder, Joe believed and was determined to prove the police wrong. Joe Pike lives by a set of rules...discipline, unwavering dedication and defending the innocent are at the top of the list... Turst me nobody defends the innocent like Joe Pike.
I really appreciated Robert's narration. It's refreshing to not have to wade through a lot of awful accents (this book has a lot of Serbian characters). He just told the story, and he did a wonderful job.
I've read all of 15 of the Cole/Pike nivels and they keep getting better and better.
I know from whence I speak.
Occasionally I re-listen to a book that seems to have faded in my memory. Recently, I pulled up The First Rule because I like the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series of novels it led me to and it's substance was evading me. I believe TFR is the first in the series and it focuses on Joe Pike, unlike most of the others that focus on Elvis. Author Robert Crais narrated whereas Patrick Lawlor read most of the others I had listened to. This second time around, I enjoyed it more than ever and it enhanced my enjoyment of subsequent Cole/Pike novels. The plot combines ruthless East European organized crime gangs, LA gangs, loyalty, friendship, betrayal. The bad guys met their match in Joe Pike whose raw tough guy talents drive this story rather than Elvis who leads the way in most of the others. I kind of liked the change of pace because I learned more about the stoic Pike's background and motivations. Crais's narration was particularly entertaining and, if he does another book centering on Pike, he would do well to perform the Pike role again.
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