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Publisher's Summary

In The Watchman and The First Rule, Robert Crais put Joe Pike front and center for the first time, to remarkable effect: “A beautifully crafted piece of story-telling” (The Seattle Times); “A high-octane thriller... Pike’s unshakable belief in right and wrong provides a moral center” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel); “Joe Pike is a joy to watch, an urban Zen warrior priest righting wrongs. More Pike, please” (Chicago Sun-Times).

But when Joe Pike does return, it is to a case that will rock him to his core. Five years ago, Dru Rayne and her uncle fled from Louisiana to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina hit, but now they face a different kind of danger. A neighborhood protection gang savagely beats Dru’s uncle, but Pike witnesses it and offers his own brand of protection. Oddly enough, neither of them seems to want it—and neither do the federal agents mysteriously watching their storefront, men who appear quite willing to let the gang have its way.

None of that deters Pike—there’s something about Dru that touches him and he won’t back away, whether she wants his help or not—but as the level of violence escalates, and Pike himself becomes a target, he and Elvis Cole begin to discover some things. Dru and her uncle are not who they seem, and everything Pike thought he knew about them, their relationship to the gang, and the reasons they fled New Orleans—it’s all been lies. A vengeful and murderous force is catching up to them... and it’s perfectly happy to sweep Pike and Cole up in its wake.

Investigate another case with Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.
©2011 Robert Crais (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Vintage Crais

This is vintage Crais so if you have enjoyed his earlier books you will enjoy this. Pike is his silent, effective self and the plot is engaging. Excellent narration.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Carl
  • West Palm Beach, FL, United States
  • 01-27-11

Best Joe Pike Novel Yet

The Joe Pike novels up till now have been kind of shallow and hokey but fun. This one actually has a involved exciting plot as well as the fun simplistic Dirty Harry type action. Recommend it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lora
  • MERIDIAN, ID, United States
  • 01-25-11

Great Book

Great book, great narrator. I have read all of Crais and this is one of the best! Too short, I could have listened 3 or 4 more hours.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Craig
  • windsor, CO, United States
  • 06-25-11

Pike grows on you

Crais' character Joe Pike grows on you. Tough guy loaner who has a heart and needs people more than he portrays or wishes to. A good listen. Fun, but don't expect super in depth writing. In the thriller/action dept. it has some good parts. Story development and character development are above average but fairly predicable and simple. I would recommend it but more for an easy, fun listen. Don't expect too much and you will enjoy this for what it is, a good story told well.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Pike gets a woman ... kinda.

I like Elvis Cole ... but Joe Pike is minimalist cool. I thought the pace of this story was better then the first two. The usual twist at the end was unexpected. The biggest downside to the book is we are losing the mystery of the character ... which was a highlight of the Cole Series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kirk
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 01-09-12

It's fine

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you're a fan of Robert Crais and the Elvis/Pike series, then I would recommend. I wouldn't recommend starting with this one if you've never read any of the series before.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Pike's motivation for helping the endangered people is not all that convincing --even when you're inside Pike's point of view. But the action is good, and as always the details about plotting out an assault or defense is interesting. Pike has his charms as the POV, especially his cool internal monologue when he's punching people/breaking their arms. The basic problem with these books when told from Pike's point of view is that Elvis Cole is the funny one, and without him being the main focus, they're not as entertaining.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bonnie
  • United States
  • 07-14-11

The Sentry

I love All of the Elvis Cole Novels and this is one of the best. Joe Pike is a favorite character and he comes alive in this book. Could not get out of the car. Great read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I love Joe Pike and Elvis Cole!!

Reading a Robert Crais hard-boiled novel is always a cinematic experience, and The Sentry follows that tradition seamlessly with a compelling list of zany characters all depicted with wonderful vividness. The dialogue is bullet-fast, witty, and never flags, culminating in a story both riveting and original. It really doesn't get much better in meaty thrillers than this. The audio production adds a special dimension akin to sitting and listening to a great old storyteller, who knows how to make the characters come alive. Luke Daniels does a specular job as the narrator. Well produced and performed masterfully. Joe Pike and Elvis Cole keep me coming back for more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Robert???s Best?

I???m listened to all 14 Elvis Cole ??? Joe Pike books??????this could be the best.

Luke Daniels does a great job of making the characters in the Sentry come alive. The story moves at a quick pace and has just the right amount of both Joe and Elvis and as always, Elvis??? cat. (That???s my kind of cat)

It???s nice to see that Robert Crais still has good story lines for Elvis and Joe.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 03-25-11

The Sentry

Luke Daniels did a good job reading this story. I like the silent Joe Pike he is the opposite of Elvis Cole. The story moves right along and some good nail biting moments. This is an easy listening book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful