Monday, March 30, 2020

Joe Pike and Elvis Cole Attempt to Rescue a Young Kidnap Victim in This Novel from Robert Crais

This entry in the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series is billed as "An Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Novel," but really it's a Pike novel with Elvis in a supporting role. It opens when Pike makes a routine trip to the bank. As he leaves, he sees two men abduct Isabel Roland, the young teller who has just assisted him, as she walks out of the bank headed to lunch.

Naturally, Pike gives chase and rescues Izzy. The two kidnappers are arrested and briefly jailed, but no sooner are they out than they are found murdered. Pike will be questioned about this but manages to convince the police, at least for the moment, that he was not involved in the killings.

Meanwhile, poor Isabel disappears, and it quickly becomes apparent that she's been kidnapped again. The original kidnappers are dead and so there's obviously a lot going on beneath the surface here. Why would this young bank teller be a target for a group of desperate criminals? Pike calls on Elvis who puts his detective skills to work trying to figure out why anyone would be after Izzy while Joe attempts to rescue her again. And, as often happens in these books, things are going to get pretty bloody and violent before justice is served, Elvis and Joe-style.

This was a fairly light, quick read that seemed to be missing some of the heft and complexity of earlier books in the series. The plot is pretty straightforward and there's plenty of action--an enjoyable read, but in my view, not one of the better books in a long-running series. 3.5 stars sounded up.

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