The Sentry

[Amazon Link]

Robert Crais is on my very short buy-in-hardcover list, and this is his latest. (Update: but the Amazon link has been updated to point to the paperback.) It's billed as a "Joe Pike novel", but Pike's partner, Elvis Cole, is also around to assist.

While gassing up his Jeep, Joe's attention is diverted by a ruckus at a local sandwich shop: a couple of minor thugs are attempting a shakedown of the proprietor and his lovely niece. Joe, of course, makes short work of the bad guys. But something about the niece catches his eye, and they seem to have at least the beginnings of a Meaningful Relationship.

But (fortunately for the reader) things aren't that simple. Uncle and niece have been on the run from a psychotic hired killer for years. They almost immediately go missing, with no explanation. Joe enlists Elvis in the hunt—will they find the fleeing couple before the bad guy does?

When I first started reading Crais, Elvis was a relatively cheerful private eye, always quick with a clever wisecrack. I miss that; now he's somber and haunted. (Conversely, in the earlier novels Joe Pike was a stoic and opaque force of nature, seemingly without emotion. I miss that too: Crais has made him more normal.)

Without spoiling things too much: in this book, I'm a little bothered that the prodigal efforts of Joe and Elvis do not really manage to resolve things satisfactorily. There's an impressive body count of both good guys and bad, but it's not clear that things would have been much worse if Joe had simply walked away in Chapter One.

Last Modified 2017-12-03 7:07 AM EDT