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Publisher's Summary

When Ellen Lang's husband disappears with their son, she hires Elvis Cole to track him down. A quiet and seemingly submissive wife, Ellen can't even write a check without him. All she wants is to get him and her son back - no questions asked.

The search for Ellen's errant husband leads Elvis into the seamier side of Hollywood. He soon learns that Mort Lang is a down-on-his-luck talent agent who associates with a schlocky movie producer, and the last place he was spotted was at a party thrown by a famous and very well-connected ex-Matador. But no one has seen him since - including his B-movie girlfriend.

At the same time the police find Mort in his parked car with four gunshots in his chest - and no kid in sight - Ellen disappears.

Now nothing is what it seems, and the heat is on. It's up to Elvis Cole and his partner, Joe Pike, to find the connection between sleazy Hollywood players and an ex-Matador.

Investigate another case with Elvis Cole.
©2008 Robert Crais (P)2008 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"Robert B. Parker has some competition on his hands....Elvis Cole is an appealing character and Crais' style is fresh and funny." (Sue Grafton)"Is Bob Crais good? Put it this way: if they're taking you out to put you against the firing squad wall, and you want to enjoy your last moments on earth, pass on the last cigarette and ask for an Elvis Cole novel." (Harlan Ellison)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • John
  • Hammond, ON, Canada
  • 06-18-08

Good book for the first in the series.

I really like this style of detective novels. The PI has a smart mouth and guts and know how to back it up.

The plot had some unexpected turns which gave me the impression that the author was trying to stretch the books length more than actually following an outline.

In the end everything was tied up in a nice neat bow.

I will definately be getting the other books in this series.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Slaughtered by sickeningly awful reader

I purchased this because I'd liked the previous Elvis Cole so much, but what a difference the reader can make! I can't even comment on the writing or the plot because the reader ground both of them down into the sewer. You've got a protagonist who's quietly confident, reserved, competent, so sure of himself and his boundaries that he doesn't ever have to be pushy. So, producers, OF COURSE you hire a reader who portrays him as whiny, know-it-all, desperate for attention and approval, and pompous. Good choice. This reader was such a horrible, incongruent, pushy dweeb that I couldn't bear it. What a disgusting and avoidable mess the publishers made of this!

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wrong Voice for the Character

I got online to see if anyone else found the narrator distracting. I was glad to see it wasn't just me. The narrator has a fine voice, just not for this first person story. As another reviewer mentioned, the main character, Elvis Cole, comes across whiny. I thought he was more of a quirky tough guy. He sounds like a quirky IT professional with a gun (I'm an IT professional, I know what we sound like).

I'm trying to power through this audiobook. I haven't finished it yet, but I also haven't listened in a week since it's not all that enjoyable.

The other problem, and maybe it's less of a problem when reading the book or with a different narrator, is that the character seems a little too full of himself. But it's possible that I'm hearing a whiny, yet conceited, character and if it were just a conceited character it wouldn't be so bad.

I got into this book because I love Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch novels and I read that the two authors did a bit of a cross-over by having each others characters make cameo appearances in one of their respective novels. But so far I'm just not enjoying Elvis Cole. Maybe I'll try another novel in the series to see if that is better.

I gave it two stars. Not wretched, but certainly sub-par.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Patricia
  • Pembroke Pines, FL, United States
  • 02-01-12

Narrator is not suitable for character

Unfortunately because I listened to L.A. Requiem, before purchasing this book my expectations were that the narrator would portray the kind of "tough guy" persona that we expect from a "private eye". This narrator is too gentle with a sing,sing voice that has become so irritating that after only a few chapters into the book, I cannot contimue on with listening to it. I don't understand why they change narrators with series books. Don't they understand that the narrator becomes the character. Audible should have a refund policy for these types of circumstances.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tom
  • raleigh, NC, USA
  • 04-30-10

Abysmal recording quality

The enhanced recording frankly sounds like a poor attempt to resurrect an old, stretched cassette tape pulled out of the mud and run through the dishwasher a couple of times. The narrator is of commensurate (lack of) quality. Disappointing enough to prompt this "review."

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

not for me

I really, really tried to get into this book but it was useless. I hate to criticize narrators but it was so hard to imagine a 30 something character with that voice.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • portland, OR, USA
  • 02-18-10

Great book Terrible Narration

Book 5 Stars Narration 1 star. I suggest you read this one

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 01-14-14

Okay. Just Okay.

This wasn't as good as L.A. Requiem that got me interested in Elvis Cole. Wuddaya want in a detective thriller? All the stereotypes are here fitted together. I've found some of Crais works are better than others. This one's OK. Worth the time I listened while beating my body at the gym. Haven't read Crais? Get Witness or L.A. Requiem first, then maybe this one. I'll read more of his stuff but I sort of wish they'd hired MacLeod Andrews or Ron McClarty to read The Monkey's Raincoat as well as they've done other Crais books. Oh well, this was the first i the series… live and learn, huh?

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bob
  • Scappoose, Oregon, United States
  • 01-08-11

Big Fan of Elvis, But The Narrator Gets One Star

Crais is awesome...but the person who hired the narrator and thought that it was recordable should find another job. The narration and quality of the recording is so horrible that I'm afraid I've had enough...I don't even want to listen to it - and I really hate not finishing a book, but life is too short to listen to bad books. Pass on this me. Read it perhaps - but do yourself a favor and do not listen to this Lawlor guy.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Meet Elvis Cole

The first installments in Robert Crais' Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Private Investigator series, and also the first that I've read, was in my opinion a very good book. I really liked the character of Elvis Cole. From his quick one liners to his collection of Disney paraphernalia and his overprotective "father" instincts toward his clients, Elvis Cole is a very likeable guy. Bring in his partner Joe Pike, the strong silent type, and you have the perfect match. The story was very good, if somewhat far fetched at the end, but I read it for entertainment and not the psychology of criminal behavior. I will definitely read more in this series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful