The First Rule

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I have the hardcover, which I devoured when it came out back in 2010. But now it's one more feat accomplished on my "Reread Robert Crais" project. For better or worse, my memory for plot details tend to fade to zero with time, so it's like reading a brand new book! What I said back then still applies, slightly edited:

This novel concentrates on one of Crais's continuing characters: Joe Pike. Crais introduced Pike years back as the sidekick to Elvis Cole, the World's Greatest Detective. (That's what he calls himself, but it's arguably true.) Pike was the stoic but deadly yang to Elvis's chatty, wise-cracking yin; he'd be called in when Elvis needed stealthy backup and massive amounts of well-aimed firepower. Recently, Pike has come into his own; in this novel, Elvis is the sidekick. And doesn't do any wisecracking here, it's a pretty serious mission.

Specifically: The premise is a truly horrific crime: a home invasion where (seemingly) all inhabitants are brutally murdered. Unfortunately for the bad guys, the head of household was once a member of Pike's "team": a semi-mercenary group of consultants tasked with security in various world hot spots. And (worse) one of the victims is a kid who had been named after Pike.

What follows is a pretty good detective novel, interlaced with episodes of quick action and a few dizzying plot twists. You don't want to mess with Pike, or his friends.

Also appearing here: Jon Stone, who's on the side of the good guys, but clearly damaged goods.