“The Promise” by Robert Crais (Putnam, $27.95) is the latest novel in his
bestselling series starring private eye Elvis Cole and his sidekick, Joe
They’re joined by LAPD Officer Scott James and his K-9 partner Maggie in
the follow-up to “Suspect”.
This time out, Cole, who modestly bills himself as “The World’s
Greatest Detective”, gets hired by Meryl Lawrence. She wants Cole to
track down Amy Bryslen, a co-worker who has just vanished.
Breslyn is a chemical engineer with a background in explosives. Her
journalist son was killed by a bomb seven months earlier in Nigeria.
She’s distraught and has taken $460,000 from a corporate bank account.
Cole follows up on a few leads that Lawrence gives him and quickly finds
himself in deep trouble.
He’s checking out a small house in Echo Park where a friend of Breslyn’s
is supposed to live. A fugitive from the police runs into the house; he’s soon dead.
A violent killer called Mr. Rollins was in the house but leaves as police
Cole is a witness, he saw the man running out; James and Maggie see the
fleeing suspect but can’t track him down.
When a large cache of explosives are found at the house, the plot quickly
becomes more complicated.
Targeted by police who think that Cole is deeply involved, the quirky
private investigator calls Pike and his mercenary friend John Stone in to
Meanwhile, nasty Mr. Rollins is trying to eliminate James and his dog;
the pair are taken off the case but continue to work with Cole and Pike.
While you may need a scorecard to track of all of the characters, the
author does an excellent job shifting viewpoints frequently. Some
chapters are deftly relayed as situations seen from a dog’s viewpoint!
Ulterior motives abound and there’s continuous deception – but Crais
never disappoints the reader. It’s a fast-paced novel could easily be
torn from tomorrow’s headlines – contemporary crime fiction at its best!
If you haven’t read any other Crais novels, it’s not too late to start –
he’s written excellent stand-alone novels and many others in the Elvis
Cole/Joe Pike series.
Crais, who also scripted many Hollywood tv shows, was part of MSU’s
Clarion Writer’s Workshop in the 1970’s.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, has reviewed crime
novels and Michigan books regularly since 1987.
Find this book and other great titles
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.
Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan
This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on December 13, 2015.