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The Watchman: An Elvis Cole - Joe Pike Novel, Book 11 | [Robert Crais]

The Watchman: An Elvis Cole - Joe Pike Novel, Book 11

Pike commits himself to protecting the girl, but when they immediately come under fire, he realizes someone is selling them out.

As the body count rises, Pike's biggest threat might come from the girl herself, a lost soul in the City of Angels, determined to destroy herself - unless Joe Pike can teach her the value of life...and love.

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Publisher's Summary

Larkin Conner Barkley lives like the City of Angels is hers for the taking. Young and staggeringly rich, she speeds through the city during its loneliest hours, blowing through red after red in her Aston Martin, as if running for her life - until out of nowhere a car appears, and with it the metal-on-metal explosion of a terrible accident. Dazed, Larkin attempts to help the other victims. And finds herself the sole witness in a secret federal investigation.

For maybe the first time in her life, Larkin wants to do the right thing. But by agreeing to cooperate with the authorities, she becomes the target for a relentless team of killers. And when the U.S. Marshals and the finest security money can buy can't protect her, Larkin's wealthy family turns to the one man money can't buy: Joe Pike.

Pike lives a world away from the palaces of Beverly Hills. He's an ex-cop, ex-Marine, ex-mercenary who owes a bad man a favor, and that favor is to keep Larkin alive. The one upside of the job is reuniting with Bud Flynn, Pike's LAPD training officer, and a man Pike reveres as a father. The downside is Larkin Barkley, who is the uncontrollable cover girl for self-destruction - and as deeply alone as Pike.

Pike commits himself to protecting the girl, but when they immediately come under fire, he realizes someone is selling them out. In defiance of Bud and the authorities, Pike drops off the grid with the girl and follows his own rules of survival: strike fast, hit hard, hunt down the hunters.

With the help of private investigator Elvis Cole, Pike uncovers a web of lies and betrayals, and the stunning revelation that even the cops are not who they seem. As the body count rises, Pike's biggest threat might come from the girl herself, a lost soul in the City of Angels, determined to destroy herself - unless Joe Pike can teach her the value of life...and love.

Investigate another case with Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.

©2007 Robert Crais; (P)2007 Brilliance Audio

What the Critics Say

"Joe Pike, the intriguing, enigmatic partner of L.A. PI Elvis Cole, takes center stage in this intense thriller....The breathless pace and rich styling are sure to appeal to readers of hard-boiled fiction." (Publishers Weekly)
"Elvis Cole's mostly silent partner, Joe Pike, now has a book of his own. His character, manner, and ethic resemble that of Harry Callahan (Dirty Harry), and thanks to James Daniels, so does his voice." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (468 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.4 (198 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (198 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (18)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Andrew San Diego, CA, United States 06-18-09
    Andrew San Diego, CA, United States 06-18-09 Member Since 2004

    I read everything (from Victorian Romances to espionage). I even like kids books (i.e. Bloody Jack series).

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "A Quick Read! Both Drama and Action!"

    Joe Pike, ex-Sniper, ex-Policeman, ex-Mercenary... a complex, screwed-up character.

    The pace of this book is slowed down by the character development and relationships that develop between Pike and the rich 'hot' girl that he is protecting. I ended up liking both characters much more than a lot of action-hero characters like "Jack Reacher" books by Lee Child (I highly recommend Lee Child books for there extreme action). Pike and the 'babe' became more real and touching (you will actually feel for these characters).

    The plot was definitely not predictable. Especially in regards to the gratuitous sex between leading characters in most books and movies. Furthermore, the ending of the book was a bit sad.

    I purchased this book both on the reader reviews of both Amazon and Audible. "The Watchman" deserves it's favorable high ranking.

    I rounded up and gave the book 5 stars.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Stone San Diego 06-18-09
    Andrew Stone San Diego 06-18-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    545
    ratings
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    1
    Overall
    "A Quick Read! Both Drama and Action!"

    Joe Pike, ex-Sniper, ex-Policeman, ex-Mercenary... a complex, screwed-up character.

    The pace of this book is slowed down by the character development and relationships that develop between Pike and the rich 'hot' girl that he is protecting. I ended up liking both characters much more than a lot of action-hero characters like "Jack Reacher" books by Lee Child (I highly recommend Lee Child books for there extreme action). Pike and the 'babe' became more real and touching (you will actually feel for these characters).

    The plot was definitely not predictable. Especially in regards to the gratuitous sex between leading characters in most books and movies. Furthermore, the ending of the book was a bit sad.

    I purchased this book both on the reader reviews of both Amazon and Audible. "The Watchman" deserves it's favorable high ranking.

    I rounded up and gave the book 5 stars.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Think about this IL, United States 06-19-13
    Think about this IL, United States 06-19-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    482
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    230
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    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Can't say a bad word about it"

    This was my first read from the Elvis Cole-Joe Pike team, and I'll have to go back and start with the first book now. Found this one on sale, so thought I'd give it a try,and have to say that I really like the characters. Elvis Cole has all the humor, while Joe Pike is a bit mysterious. Both are devoted to their client, and have a real human side, that comes to light in different ways.
    It was a very interesting story, that keeps you guessing, and the narrator does a great job with differentiating the characters, while capturing their individual personalities.
    Yep, I'm going back to the Monkeys Raincoat, and start from there, to get to know these guys better.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 05-20-13
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 05-20-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "I love tough smart loner guys like Joe Pike."

    I had plot problems, but it was still a fun and engaging read.

    STORY BRIEF:
    Larkin, a wealthy single woman (think Paris Hilton) witnesses something. Bad guys want her dead. She is in safe houses under federal protection. Three times someone leaks the location to the bad guys who come with guns. So Joe Pike a former marine and police officer is hired to protect her. He keeps her safe. The federal authorities, local police, and her father are angry at Joe because they don’t know where Joe is keeping her.

    PLOT PROBLEMS:
    Three plot logic problems come to mind. 1: Why are they angry at Joe? He’s doing what he was asked to do. He’s keeping her safe when no one else could. 2. Larkin does two stupid things which put her life in danger and gives Joe a chance to show how smart and great he is. I loved what Joe did when those things happened. But I wish the author used something different to put her in danger - not her own stupid actions. One of them is in the SPOILER below. 3. Joe and two other competent military types are sneaking up on some bad guys, planning a surprise attack. Another guy (not a military type) insisted on going with them and walked up to the bad guy’s front door, ruining the surprise. Of course, again this showed how good Joe was when things went wrong.

    I don’t mind stupidity if it’s the way a normal person does stupid things - like me - for example being tired, misinformed, or emotionally distraught. But here I felt the author was doing it to move the plot. I prefer the bad guys being smart to move the plot, not the good guys being stupid.

    BUT STILL FUN:
    I liked that this was 3rd person. The author wrote several Elvis Cole stories in 1st person. I did not enjoy those as much.

    Some readers will like the relationship part. Larkin has problems because her daddy doesn’t give her the right kind of attention. Joe helps her see things differently. They become close - but no sex. He’s older than she. For some reason Joe having a soft heart wasn’t done well. He said he loved her (to himself), but I wasn’t seeing or feeling it.

    The narrator James Daniels was good.

    SPOILER:
    Larkin is hiding from a bad guy who wants to kill her. She calls the bad guy for some unknown reason about helping her daddy. (Her phone call was not shown.) The bad guy then comes, picks her up, drives away, and holds her hostage to get what he wants.

    GENRE: action mystery suspense

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 09-22-10
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 09-22-10 Member Since 2007

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

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    "Fast & furious & not very deep"

    I've only read the first Elvis Cole book, in which Pike was a minor character, so I wasn't sure what the characters would be like in the reverse position. Overall, the story was fast and furious. It wasn't particularly deep, or even very violent (though there is a lot of "talk" about being violent, but mostly it was just people getting shot)...

    I wanted a replacement for Lee Child's Reacher series - and Pike nearly fits the bill. He's quiet and doesn't waste time being nice or talking when he can just act and get stuff done. I think the "relationship" between him and the woman he was protecting was just too jarring. The story wasn't long enough or deep enough to justify them having a "developing" relationship of any type, and, on top of that, the reader was lead to believe that the girl was young-ish, and Pike is middle aged, so it was creepy on that note.

    All in all, not a bad book, and I'd read more in this series if they were on sale. The narration is well done.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula In the Heart Land of America 05-30-10
    Paula In the Heart Land of America 05-30-10 Member Since 2006

    The Sisters Review

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    "A great addition to an already great series"

    Read the Elvis Cole series before you rad this book. I enjoy the Elvis Cole mystery series and never really gave much thought to his silent partner.

    Watchmen has changed that completely. We are now presented with the human side of Joe. Elvis Cole plays a supporting role in this novel giving the novel a little brevity.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelbey Clovis, NM, United States 10-31-08
    Kelbey Clovis, NM, United States 10-31-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Be Like Pike..."

    The Watchman was outstanding! Robert Crais is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I was initially concerned with how short his books are, but I have come to realize that he is not short-changing his readers at all. He simply produces fast-paced, intelligent, and fun to read thrillers. I'm glad he devoted a book solely to Joe Pike. Pike reads a little like Dirty Harry with a soul. To bad the world doesn't have many "real" guys just like him.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mari Farmington, MN, United States 11-17-08
    Mari Farmington, MN, United States 11-17-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Great listen."

    This was one of the best books that I have listened to in quite a while. The narrator is extremely good and makes the characters believable. The story had kept you interested and wasn't predictable like so many are.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Olathe, KS 08-23-14
    Paul Olathe, KS 08-23-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Joe Pike Story!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, great story featuring one of my favorite characters across any media, and the performance by the narrator was great!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not so much on the edge, but definitely held my attention, the pace was fast, it never really dulled.


    What about James Daniels’s performance did you like?

    He has a great voice that is easy to listen to, and his performance of Joe Pike is great.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely!


    Any additional comments?

    I read the book first and I loved it, but the audiobook made me like it even more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Divide, CO, United States 10-27-13
    Thomas Divide, CO, United States 10-27-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Told from a different angle"
    What made the experience of listening to The Watchman the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the change of having Joe Pike as the central character. We actually experienced the story with him, as opposed to having him just pop into the story from time to time. This was a really refreshing change that furthered my understanding of Joe Pike's personality.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Crais readers have spent plenty of time seeing the world from Elvis Cole's point of view, so I have a good bead on how he sees himself. In this book, I really enjoyed seeing Elvis Cole from the point of view of others.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I actually almost did. While listening to this book, I took a wrong turn in the back roads of the Colorado mountains. So I decided to go exploring. This book made an outstanding companion for that time on the road.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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