The Monkey's Raincoat

An Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Novel, Book 1
Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (1,429 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Elvis Cole provides more fun for the reader than any L.A. private eye to come along in years."--Joseph Wambaugh

WINNER OF THE ANTHONY AND MACAVITY AWARDS FOR BEST NOVEL • NOMINATED FOR THE EDGAR AND SHAMUS AWARDS FOR BEST NOVEL

Meet Elvis Cole, L.A. private eye....

He quotes Jiminy Cricket and carries a .38. He's a literate, wisecracking Vietnam vet who is determined never to grow up.

Praise for The Monkey's Raincoat

"Outstanding characters, tight plot, and scintillating prose style.... This fast-paced story speeds Elvis Cole to a chilling, heart-stopping ending."--Mystery Scene

"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

"Far and away the most satisfying private eye novel in years. Grab this one - it's a winner!"--Lawrence Block

"The best private eye novel of the year...lots of action; bright, crisp dialogue; and sharply drawn characters."--The Denver Post

"Robert B. Parker has some competition on his hands.... Elvis Cole is an appealing character and Crais's style is fresh and funny.--Sue Grafton

"In Crais, a new star has appeared on the private eye scene - a dazzling first novel.--Tony Hillerman

©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

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    440
  • 4 Stars
    442
  • 3 Stars
    316
  • 2 Stars
    118
  • 1 Stars
    113

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    352
  • 4 Stars
    300
  • 3 Stars
    192
  • 2 Stars
    85
  • 1 Stars
    112

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    393
  • 4 Stars
    292
  • 3 Stars
    216
  • 2 Stars
    65
  • 1 Stars
    59

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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!

50 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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."

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book Terrible Narration

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


17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

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 one...trust me. Read it perhaps - but do yourself a favor and do not listen to this Lawlor guy.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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?

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

First book...series gets a lot better

In 2020 this book and it's technology are quite dated, so any born after 1975 won't get it. The series gets much better as Crais develops Cole's LA world. The most recent books featuring Joe Pike are really good and so are the several spinoffs about characters introduced in the Cole series (one or two are top notch).

Admittedly it's Spencer and Hawk outwest, even using a few of the plot points in the first Spencer book. The first five or so of the Spencer novels are hard to beat, as Parker was a master until he and his successors started churning them out for the money, so Crais not being as good as Parker is setting a pretty high bar.

Elvis isn't as funny as Spencer, but like the books, he gets better. The cat stays about the same. Listen to the series in order and you'll be pleased with with the improvement and the time spent.

1 person found this helpful