A Dangerous Man

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The new Elvis Cole/Joe Pike novel from Robert Crais. Mr. Crais is on my short "buy" list for novelists.

Young Isabel is a bank teller, but (thanks to the opening scene) we know that she comes from a family with a deep dark secret. Unfortunately, this means that she's a target of bad guys: a couple of minions grab her on her way out of the bank, shove her into their car, and drive off!

Terrible, right? Unfortunately for the minions, Isabel is a teller at Joe Pike's bank. And Joe's a witness to the abduction. So the abductors are subdued in short order (in gratifying Joe Pike fashion), and Isabel is rescued.

But (as it turns out) it doesn't end there. Because Isabel has no idea why she was kidnapped. And she remains in peril, because those guys were just minions. So Joe, and his partner, the World's Greatest Detective, Elvis Cole, must uncover the secrets in Isabel's past, and protect her from future violence.

That last bit is a bit difficult, because Isabel isn't that smart about following Pike's advice about avoiding peril.

Series writers invariably go into "maintenance" mode, and this book is an example of that. Cliffhangers are neither resolved nor introduced. The protagonists' characters do not develop. It's pretty much a generic outing for Joe and Elvis. But enjoyable nonetheless.

I do have a gripelet: like Jack Reacher, Elvis and Joe seem to attract trouble like a black hole attracts matter; the whole plot here hangs on the mere coincidence of Joe being in the right place at the right time. Maybe they inhabit an alternate universe where evil plots are developing all around, just stand around for a bit, keep your eyes open, and one will happen right in front of you!