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Ah, a new Robert Crais novel. Life is good. And (at last), the World's Greatest Detective, Elvis Cole, and his stoic sidekick Joe Pike are solving someone else's problem, not enmeshed in ones of their own. Elvis's absent love, Lucy? Thanks to the magic of Kindle's search function I can tell you that her name does not appear in the book.

Elvis is hired by Nita Morales, who's concerned that her daughter Krista has gone AWOL with her mysterious boyfriend Jack. And she's gotten a ridiculously low ransom demand, communicated by Krista in a way to let Mom know that something strange is going on.

But since there's a prologue, we know that Krista and Jack have been Taken, rounded up with a bunch of illegal immigrants by murderous thugs.

Will Elvis figure things out? Well, sure: he's the WGD. But, thanks to the book's Pulp Fiction-style disjointed storytelling, we also learn early on that he falls into peril himself, leaving Joe Pike (assisted by relatively new character Jon Stone) to do some detecting on his own in order to rescue his buddy. As it turns out, Joe's pretty good at it.

Although Elvis's wisecracking powers seem to be diminished from the early novels, he does get off an excellent one on page 303. (No spoilers here.)

Last Modified 2012-09-24 4:58 AM EDT

URLs du Jour


We almost have a theme today. That's unusual. bearcat

  • OK, so I very seldom type these next eight words: there's a good article at the Huffington Post, by ex-Reason guy Radley Balko, talking about Keene, New Hampshire's hankering to get a … a … tank. For its Police Department.
    It's not quite a tank. But the quaint town of 23,000 -- scene of just two murders since 1999 -- had just accepted a $285,933 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to purchase a Bearcat, an eight-ton armored personnel vehicle made by Lenco Industries Inc.
    It's opposed by a coalition of hippies and libertarians. But even if you're neither, it's difficult to read the article without coming to the conclusion the government has way too much money.

  • Philip Klein discusses Rick Santorum's anti-libertarianism.
    To be clear, it's one thing to make a moral case for protecting the right to life of the unborn, which Santorum does passionately. But it's another thing to argue, as he did in an interview last October, "One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea." Well, there's a reason why no president has talked about these things -- because the president has absolutely no business lecturing Americans about their sex lives. If there's a discussion to be had about sexual promiscuity in society, it should be left to churches and other private institutions.
    It's one thing to be squishy on libertarian issues; it's another to be actively hostile. If the GOP nominates Santorum they will be nut-kicked in November, hard. And they will deserve it.

  • Of course, when we're talking about things the government has absolutely no business doing, but does anyway
    A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

    The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.

    Once again: if some level of government is sending a functionary to inspect "all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom", then it has way too much money.

  • Somewhat relevant to the above item is Bryan Caplan's musings about "free-range parenting", and the fact that you can get into Big Legal Trouble if you differ from some busybody-with-a-badge about the correct way to raise your kids. Specific example: a 5-year-old was left in an air-conditioned pickup, with a DVD and a cell phone, while dad was in a store for about 30 minutes. Dad got convicted of child endangerment, because … well, what could have happened?

    The conviction was overturned. Caplan observes, sagely:

    … [P]ower-mad bureaucrats probably outnumber kidnappers and serial killers at least a thousand to one.
    … and that's our theme of the day.

Last Modified 2017-12-02 4:49 PM EDT