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.
I've read and loved all of the Elvis Cole books and both Pike books. I'm done with Crais until Elvis is brought back. This book is cumbersome, dull-everything the Cole books are not. I can see where some would like it but not me.
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.
I am new to this series and not experiencing the books in order, you really don't need to. Elvis and his silent ( VERY silent ) partner Joe Pike are so different, but are just perfect together. Subject includes gruesome crime, but the author helps me get through it with his almost clinical descriptions - and then we get on with the solving/serving justice. I also really enjoy the switching back and forth with narrative perspective, Craig is masterful with this.
I thought "the Watchman" would be my favorite , but this one is every bit as good.
If you like this series I highly recommend the new ones with Scott James and his K-9 partner, Maggie. Thank you Mr Crais for writing such an engaging set of stories.
I enjoyed the book and felt it had some good twists in the storyline. Like the original narrator better but was really good. Would recommend to my friends.
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