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The Last Detective (2003)

af Robert Crais

Serier: Elvis Cole (9)

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1,530248,628 (3.79)23
Kriminalroman fra Los Angeles-området med privatdetektiven Elvis Cole. Han elsker sin kæreste Lucy Chenier, men deres forhold sættes på en hård prøve, da hans job medfører overhængende fare for hendes søn.
Nyligt tilføjet afArina42, Yammie, privat bibliotek, zinawm

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Elvis Cole has been taking care of his girlfriend Lucy's 10-year old son Ben for a couple of days while she has been out of town. The same afternoon that Lucy is coming back, Ben disappears. We soon find out that he was kidnapped while playing in the small canyon behind the house.

The Los Angeles police are called in, but in parallel Elvis Cole and his partner Joe Pike conduct an investigation of their own. There are almost no leads at all, but Elvis and Joe go to work on what little they have. To complicate things further, Lucy's wealthy ex-husband Richard flies in with investigators of his own.

This is a real page-turner novel, with good detective work by Elvis and Joe. A kidnapping case makes for a good thriller, and the sense of urgency here is heightened by the chapter titles, each stating the hours and minutes that Ben has been missing for.

This was the first novel by Robert Crais that I've read, and it left me wanting to read more by him.

As it happens, this book has a lot of similarities with The Hard Way by Lee Child, which I read not long ago. Both books are kidnapping dramas, featuring ex-military men as the investigators (and both of them feature atrocities committed in Africa). In both of them, the protagonists track the kidnappers by working the few clues available - something that in my mind is done very well in both books. And they both feature action-packed final show-downs (they wouldn't be thrillers if they didn't).

I liked both of them, but with a slight edge for THE HARD WAY. So if you liked this one, check out THE HARD WAY by Lee Child as well. ( )
  Henrik_Warne | Dec 13, 2020 |
Seen it too many times on film ( )
  brone | Apr 29, 2018 |
This is not one of Robert Crais' better offerings. Perhaps the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series is running out of steam.

The introduction of Lucy Chenier and her son Ben in Voodoo River was a positive development that gave Elvis Cole a chance to grow beyond the typical one-night-stand detective common in pulp thrillers (e.g., Jack Reacher and Virgil Flowers). Although authors seldom know what to do with the family of their protagonist (e.g., Ridley Pearson's Lou Boldt), some do occasionally feature a family member in a way that creates an independently interesting character. A good example is Letty Davenport, the daughter of Lucas Davenport featured in Wicked Prey. Unfortunately, Crais' treatment of Lucy and Ben has not risen above the status of a lame plot device.

Lucy and in this book Ben have been used by Crais in an unsuccessful attempt to create a heightened sense of tension. The effort has been unsuccessful because readers have never been given a reason to believe that Lucy or Ben would be harmed. The novels are structured in such a way that the only feasible outcome is that Cole and Pike will succeed. That is the case in The Last Detective. Lucy is on a business trip to San Diego and Ben is kidnapped while staying with Lucas. Lucy, is panic stricken and blames Lucas. Her feelings spill over to Joe, who is also told in no uncertain terms that his presence in her life is unwelcome. How could this story possibly end without the unfairly accused Cole and Pike saving the day?

Crais' other plot elements are growing boringly routine. The police show little initiative and Cole and Pike quickly discover critical information while the primary role of the officials is to impede their investigation. We are led to believe that the kidnappers are extraordinarily efficient killers, despite the fact that the primary activity of two of them is terrorizing a ten year old boy. The climax features yet another battle to the death in which the outnumbered Cole and Pike manage to kill the kidnappers. This time it is Elvis' turn to be seriously injured when, desperate to save his life, he grabs the blade of a knife. Crais seems to lack the necessary background or imagination to know the almost certain outcome of such a behavior is the death of Elvis Cole.

Having decided that Lucy and Ben have outlived their usefulness, in the penultimate scene Lucy decides to leave Los Angeles. She is moving to a location where Ben can lead a normal life. I guess readers are supposed to overlook the fact that most of the abnormality she and Ben have experienced in Crais' novels has originated from the very place to which they are moving. Go figure!

Will Cole now become a one-night-stand detective, will he meet his next "true love," or will he spend the next couple of novels as a sad and lonely guy, lamenting the loss of his one true love? I don't know but I welcome the opportunity to see what Crais can come up without Lucy, Ben, and Richard Chenier as plot devices in the story. ( )
  Tatoosh | Nov 27, 2016 |
From Amazon:

P.I. Elvis Cole’s relationship with attorney Lucy Chenier is strained. Then the unthinkable happens. While Lucy is away on business and her ten-year-old son Ben is staying with Elvis, the boy vanishes without a trace. When the kidnappers call, it’s not for ransom, but for a promise to punish Cole for past sins he claims he didn't commit. With the LAPD wrestling over the case, and the boy’s estranged father attempting to take control of the investigation, Cole vows to find Ben first. But Cole’s partner, Joe Pike, knows more about this case than he has said. Pike lives in a world where dangerous men commit crimes beyond all reckoning. Now, one of those men is alive and well in L.A.—and calling Elvis Cole to war.

My Thoughts:

Be prepared for the darker tone we saw in the previous books. There is little for Elvis to wisecrack about; no one has brought him a case to strategically solve, instead he's vilified as the party responsible for the kidnap of Ben Chenier. Crais gives us strong dialogue and emotion, change ups in the story's point of view, some blind alleys and some down right insightful detective work. Layers of Elvis' past evolve, and, for the first time, we see Joe Pike as vulnerable and unsure. The writing is first rate, the action is nonstop, and there are many surprises...just what we have come to expect from Robert Crais. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
A fairly well-written book, except for the fact that the guilty party was easily guessed quite early on--and that was before it was revealed to the reader in a scene not witnessed by the characters in the book.
Cole's girlfriend's son is kidnapped and Cole, with Pike, races against time to try and figure out who dunnit. Because he is so intimately involved with the case other's try to shut him out, but he is determined to bring the little boy home.
( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
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Kriminalroman fra Los Angeles-området med privatdetektiven Elvis Cole. Han elsker sin kæreste Lucy Chenier, men deres forhold sættes på en hård prøve, da hans job medfører overhængende fare for hendes søn.

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