Voodoo River

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Consumer note: no actual voodoo content in this book.

Author Robert Crais really hit his stride here, however, in this fifth book in his Elvis Cole series. He's hired by TV star Jodi Taylor to track down the mystery of her birth parents, who gave her up for adoption in Louisiana 36 years back. The records are sealed, so Elvis is off to Louisiana to find another way to figure things out.

He does, of course. Around page 60, that mystery's solved. Shortest Elvis novel ever? No, of course not. His investigation stirs up a hornet's nest, because it threatens to reveal a bunch of criminal behavior and corruption, both long-buried and present-day. It's also revealed that Jodi (and her agent) were less than forthcoming in hiring Elvis. And, as an extra complication, Elvis falls for Lucy Chenier, Jody's Louisiana lawyer. (Spoiler: Lucy shows up in a few more books after this, but eventually disappears.)

As always, Elvis's partner, Joe Pike, shows up to to improve the odds of survival. An elaborate scheme is hatched to take down the bad guys, which goes wrong pretty badly. (Helped out by a cop who might as well have a "Corrupt Sellout" name tag. You can see his role pretty clearly from his very first appearance. Unfortunately Elvis doesn't.)