Review: A Dangerous Man by Robert Crais

a-dangerous-man-9781471157615_lgRobert Crais is one of the most dependable names in thriller-lit, and Joe Pike and Elvis Cole are two of its most indelible protagonists. A Dangerous Man is the eighteenth in the series — but newcomers won’t feel left behind — and its setup is deliciously unpretentious: Pike is parked outside a bank when Isabel Roland, a young teller, is plucked off the street by two men in an SUV. Pike — ex-marine, turned-vigilante — intervenes (obviously), less by choice, more by instinct, and rescues the young woman, only for her to be kidnapped again days later. Looping in his partner, Cole, the duo amass a sizeable body count as they search for Isabel and uncover the reason why she’s a target.

A Dangerous Man is taut, slick and action-packed; a Jack Reacher style page-turner, but with the fat trimmed.  There are few thrillers writers that cut to the chase quite as quickly as Crais and able to maintain the same velocity for three hundred pages. I enjoyed it, immensely; until I got to the end and started thinking about it, specifically in relation to the Bechdel test and realised every woman in the book is a victim, and their page-time is dedicated almost entirely to being chased, kidnapped, or discussing the attractiveness of Pike. It’s anachronistic, unnecessary, and a blemish on an otherwise consummate thriller. Recommended, but with reservations.

ISBN: 9781471157622
Format: Paperback / softback
Pages: 352
Imprint: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publish Date: 18-Jul-2019
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Review: The Wanted by Robert Crais

the-wanted-9781471157509_lgI fell into a week-long reading lull recently; started a couple of things but just couldn’t get into them, so set them both aside, half-finished, left to die. To get myself back in the groove, I reached for one of the sure-thing’s in my reading stack; my term for the books I know I’ll smash through quickly, genre fiction, usually thrillers. In this case it was Robert Crais’ The Wanted,  which provided the kick-start I needed. Because few writers are capable of crafting thrillers as lean, mean and propulsive as the creator of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.

In The Wanted, Elvis Cole is hired by Devon Connor to investigate her teenage son’s sudden profligacy. There’d been hints he was up to no good, and the sight of a Rolex strapped to his wrist confirms it. Initially Devon just wants to know precisely what her son is up to; she presumed some sort of criminal activity, drugs maybe, but the truth is far worse. Tyson’s gotten himself involved with a duo of burglars who specialise in high-end thefts. But they’ve stolen from the wrong person, and now Tyson and his comrades find themselves hunted by two wisecracking, murderous killers. Even worse — they might be dirty cops.

Its pace is reckless, its action is plentiful. The Wanted provides primitive pleasures, but they’re genuine ones. Crais has refined his formula with each successive book, and his latest is one of his best. In these final weeks of summer, The Wanted deserves a place in your beach bag.

ISBN: 9781471157509
Format: Paperback (234mm x 153mm x 24mm)
Pages: 336
Imprint: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publish Date: 28-Dec-2017
Country of Publication: United Kingdom