The Promise

[Amazon Link]

It has been over two years since Robert Crais's last novel (Suspect), and over three years since we have heard from the World's Greatest Detective, Elvis Cole (Taken). I put in my order for this one back in April, and it magically appeared on my Kindle last Tuesday. And, gobble, gobble, gobble, it's all done. Hope I won't have to wait another couple years for the next one.

Yes, I'm kind of a Crais fanboy.

We are introduced to a very shady character, "Mr. Rollins", who's in the business of selling stolen goods to the highest bidder. He is dealing with Amy and Charles; Amy has produced something he really, really wants to buy.

But things get complicated for Rollins when a lowlife courier for one of his associates leads the cops to the house he's using, including the heroes of Suspect, Scott James and the World's Greatest K-9 German Shepard, Maggie. Also—Dickensian coincidence—Elvis is on the scene: Meryl Lawrence, Amy's boss, has hired Elvis to track down Amy, which has taken him to Rollins's doorstep too.

The result is a murderous mess. Elvis becomes a suspect for the cops merely for being in the area. Scott and Maggie are targeted, because they've seen the mysterious Rollins. Amy, it becomes apparent, has reasons of her own for falling in with a criminal crowd. And (this is pretty standard for Crais books) there are more than zero dirty folks working for the ostensible good guys. And generally, other people Are Not Who They Seem.

People who find Joe Pike, Elvis's deadly sidekick, the best thing about this series will be disappointed; he's here, but doesn't do much. Elvis is also not as much of a wisecracking laff riot as he used to be. A relative newcomer to the books, Jon Stone, displays surprising depth of character.

I wouldn't recommend reading this as someone's first Crais book; read his previous 19 novels first.