Read L.A. Requiem by Robert Crais Online


Robert Crais (Free Fall, Monkey's Raincoat) returns with his eighth Elvis Cole mystery, L.A. Requiem, a breakneck caper that leaves the wise-cracking detective second-guessing himself. Cole's partner, the tight-lipped, charm-free Joe Pike, gets a call from his friend Frank "Tortilla" Garcia. Not only is Garcia a wealthy businessman, he's a political heavyweight and fatherRobert Crais (Free Fall, Monkey's Raincoat) returns with his eighth Elvis Cole mystery, L.A. Requiem, a breakneck caper that leaves the wise-cracking detective second-guessing himself. Cole's partner, the tight-lipped, charm-free Joe Pike, gets a call from his friend Frank "Tortilla" Garcia. Not only is Garcia a wealthy businessman, he's a political heavyweight and father of Karen, Joe's ex. Frank sends the gumshoe duo out to find his girl, but the boys are beaten to the punch by the men in blue: Karen is found in a park with a bullet in her brain. The two stay on the case, but when another murder points to Pike as a suspect, things take a turn for the worse. The boys on the force are all too willing to put Pike away -- he has a checkered past. When Cole attempts to save Pike, he finds a lot more than he bargained for....

Title : L.A. Requiem
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9782266120920
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 539 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

L.A. Requiem Reviews

  • Carol.
    2019-04-17 03:42

    I can't stop reading Crais.In this one, our hero Elvis Cole is pulled into a case by long-time partner, Joe Pike. Despite seven earlier books, this is the first story that has Pike initiating an investigation. A very influential and wealthy father of an ex-girlfriend wants Joe to find her after she's gone missing. Elvis, much to his dismay, is pulled away from helping Lucy settle into her new L.A. apartment in order to help his closest friend."The Santa Anas continued to pick up as we drove north to the second Jungle Juice. Palm trees, tall and vulnerable like the necks of giant dinosaurs, took the worse of it. The wind stripped the dead fronds that bunched beneath the crowns and tossed them into streets and yards and onto cars."Out of all the books I've read so far, this one most follows a traditional mystery format. Shortly after the woman goes missing, she's found dead. For a number of reasons, it becomes Joe and Elvis' primary mission to identify and capture her killer. The investigation takes a number of turns, a couple of which were entirely unpredictable. After decades of mystery books, I always enjoy it when a book manages to realistically surprise me, or at the very least, raise the eyebrows. Of course, as the story progresses, aspects become less plausible. I had trouble believing the character of the murderer, when they became known, and found the combination of cunning and reckless crazy implausible. As it was all in way of a positive outcome, I'm forgiving."We asked the people at the flower shop if they had seen anything, but they hadn't. We asked every shopkeeper in the strip mall and most of the employees, but they all said no. I hoped they had seen something to indicate that Karen was safe, but deep down, where your blood runs cold, I knew they hadn't."Character development is solid, with the bulk of it fleshing out Joe and his history. I found myself appreciated the background, as most of the observations Elvis makes about his best friend tend to be consistent (why, why must he always describe the tattoos and the sunglasses?) and underwhelming. In fact, I'm not sure how much of the Joe backstory is actually known by Elvis. Regardless, it added a lot to the story, and I'm sure future books, even if the general psychology of the individual (as Poirot likes to say) was unsurprising. But I appreciate congruence, that the back-story fits the man we've come to barely know. Elvis' characteristic moments of humor that continue to provide lighter moments, as does the surly attitude of Elvis' cat. I don't know if I can say I enjoyed the direction Elvis' and Lucy's relationship took, but it felt largely organic, reminding me of their first encounters in Voodoo River.Overall, an enjoyable, diverting read. Took me right out of this rainy fall day to the hot, smoky atmosphere of L.A. Bravo. Thankfully, Crais has already written a few encores.

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-04-08 06:43

    A woman Joe Pike used to be involved with is murdered and her father hires Elvis Cole and Joe Pike the find the killer. Things take a dark turn when it turns out the woman was murdered by a serial killer and that serial killer appears to be... Joe Pike? As I've mentioned in pretty much ever review I've done for an Elvis Cole book so far, I thought he was a Spenser ripoff for the first book or two. This one leaves my initial impression in the dust like a drag racer trying to set a world land speed record on the salt flats. For me, this was the pinnacle of the series so far.It started off ordinary enough but soon tore the doors off. The mysterious Joe Pike's past was explored, revealing much without killing all the mystery. Elvis's relationship with Lucy is strained near the breaking point so soon after she turned her life upside down to be with Elvis in LA. Elvis is forced to make some difficult decisions on his friend's behalf. Great stuff.The new supporting characters were interesting. Krantz, with his ties to Joe Pike's past, made him one of the most interesting, even though he's a huge tool. I also really dug Samantha Dolan.Crais had me going a couple times on this one. I had no idea who the killer was until he was revealed and even though I knew logically the killer wasn't Pike, I questioned myself a few times. For the first time in the series, I found Elvis and Lucy's relationship believable, maybe because it was coming apart. Joe and Elvis's relationship is still far more believable, as was Elvis' despair in the last thirty or so pages of the book, wondering if Pike was alive and if Lucy was still his.That's about all I can say without revealing too much. L.A. Requiem is the best book yet in the Elvis Cole series. If you like the series up to this point, you'll love this one.

  • Kemper
    2019-04-01 11:41

    What’s this? Joe Pike has a personal history? And emotions? I was thinking he was just another Bad Ass Friend of the lead in a crime novel. Is this even allowed?Elvis Cole gets a call from Joe asking for help. Elvis is shocked when he finds wealthy Frank Garcia treating Joe like a son and begging him to find his missing daughter Karen. Even more shocking, Joe used to date Karen and admits to Elvis that he broke her heart. The two detectives start looking, but the LAPD quickly shows up to break the news that Karen was murdered.Frank uses all his money and political juice to get Elvis and Joe into the police investigation so they can make sure the cops are doing everything possible, but the lead detective is an old enemy of Joe’s. Things quickly get messy.This another high quality story about Elvis and Joe, and Crais gets personal this time out. Through flashbacks we learn a lot about Joe’s background including his ugly childhood, why he had to leave the LAPD and why the cops still hate him years later. It adds a lot of welcome depth to a character who could sometimes seem on the cartoonish side. Once again, the only piece I was left cold on was Elvis’s relationship with his girlfriend Lucy. I’m not even sure why I don’t like her. Crais does a nice job of building up a believable reason for tension and conflict between the two. It’s a dilemma where you can see both sides so I should have felt torn by it, but I was just left hoping that Elvis will finally dump her for good.

  • Anthony Vacca
    2019-03-29 03:41

    L.A. Requiem is a breath of fresh, cordite-soaked air for a series that was treading into some seriously-stale territory. Crais wisely eschews the formula of his last seven books and does not have best bud private eyes Elvis Cole and Joe Pike stumbling into a mystery that eventually leads them into several gunfights with the stereotyped criminal gang of your choice. But my bitching aside, the real achievement of this book is that Crais decided it was time to quit playing off how much of a mysterious badass Joe Pike is and finally let's the reader get several long, hard looks behind those shades Pike's always wearing.Even though the novel is narrated (mostly) by series lead Elvis Cole, this book is as much Pike's as it is his. When the father of an old flame calls up Pike to help find his missing daughter, it's not another twelve pages before she turns up with a bullet in her head. And since the girl's father turns out to be a rich pain in the ass with some serious political sway, the L.A. task force assigned to the murder investigation soon realize that it would behoove themselves to let Elvis and Pike sit-in on the investigation. And, yeah, the detectives on the task force are royally pissed about the situation.To make matters worse, the lead detective happens to be a weaselly yet mostly-honest cop who has a lingering hard-on to put Pike in prison. And also Elvis finds himself increasingly attracted to a female cop on the force, which is not exactly ideal considering our hero's longtime squeeze, Lucy, has just moved across the country with her kid to start a new life near Elvis.Crais let's the events move along at a slow boil until the halfway mark, and then everything kicks into overdive as Pike finds himself trying to outrun a murder rap, and Elvis finds himself having to make split-second decisions about what things in his life he holds dearest. All the while, a deranged but sly killer keeps upping the body count as [let's keep this pronoun gender neutral (SUSPENSE!)] sets about airing out some old and grim grievances.L.A. Requiem is a definite departure from the last four books, and fits more tonally with the aura of melancholy and darkness that were present in the first three books of the series. Crais makes uses of multiple flashbacks which (successfully) answer many of the questions readers may have had about Joe Pike, as well as (less successful) shifts in POV so that the reader gets quick glimpses into the killer's mind, which (kind of clumsily) up the tension.But gripes aside, Crais really stepped up his game in this entry. L.A. Requiem is darker and denser than any of the other books up to this point. It's also sadder than the other books, with a cast of supporting characters that are more layered than usual. Plus, it's a true joy to watch Crais push Elvis to his limits like never before. As much as we learn about Pike in this novel, we learn just as much about the man who's narrating the story.

  • Greg
    2019-04-02 05:31

    According to a blurb, Robert Crais is the descendant of Ross MacDonald, who is the literary heir to James Cain, who is the direct inheritor of Raymond Chandler's crown. People who write reviews professionally love saying shit like that, and as in most cases they are wrong. James Ellroy is the heir to Chandler's position. Everyone else is just writing some genre fiction, like Chandler Ellroy is creating art of the the dirt and shit that make up Los Angeles. I'd agree that these other guys maybe are the heirs to Dashiell Hammett, a fine writer but not someone who really makes books fucking sing. Maybe I shouldn't have started with the 8th book in the series. Maybe I should demand that whomever left this book for free at B&N five years ago have also left the first seven books. I don't know if it would have made much of a difference though. The plot was four star worthy. I was engaged in what was going on. If only the characters didn't have to speak. If only the characters could be a little less cookie-cutter in their good and bad qualities. The book was entertaining though, and if I find other books by Crais really cheap I might buy them for a quick roll in the literary hay, but I won't be planning on calling back the next day. But I don't think the book will mind being treated that way.

  • Tim
    2019-04-19 04:37

    While this does provide a nice glimpse into Pikes formative years, a rather muddled, long, drawn-out ending fails to enhance this story, almost to the point of depression. 6 of 10 stars

  • Wendy
    2019-03-23 07:54

    Loved this 8th book of his Elvis Cole series! My favourite of the series so far!

  • Johnny
    2019-04-10 03:57

    My brothers are so cruel. All of them have, at one time or another, given me a novel late in a series (Doug gave me a Robert Vardeman fantasy novel that was #3 in the series and, naturally, I had to buy the first two and fill out the rest of The Cenotaph Road series. James introduced me to Martha Grimes' Richard Jury series with Jerusalem Inn (somewhere around #5 or #6). And now, my brother David gives me #8 in a series.) Well, you'd better believe I'm going to read the first seven and probably any others that he writes.To me, Crais' writing is crisper than Wambaugh's and right up there with Connolly's (my favorite). It isn't as disturbing as Ellroy's (which are well-written enough to keep me coming back like a morbid curiosity seeker to a train wreck--I hate myself for enjoying Ellroy, but I do) or quite as nuanced as Dunning's novels. To paraphrase a cliche, he had me at "the a.c. jacked to meat locker."The only reason I didn't give this book a 5-star rating was because I felt Crais was somewhat ham-handed with his red herring. I can't say more than that without spoiling the mystery, but he was very careful with his red herring--so careful that it wasn't a surprise when the hook was bared. But did I feel like he knew Southern California from San Gabriel to Mulholland to Santa Monica and all the way to Palm Springs and 29 Palms? I spent my college years and a few more in Southern California and this book had me going crazy with the Santa Ana winds and longing for Dodger Stadium (Ironic, since my first loyalties were to the Giants and the Angels--of course, the Angels played in Dodger Stadium/Chavez Ravine when I first started rooting for them).The book handled the LAPD right. I knew some LAPD and LA Sheriff's Department guys. This book reads like stories they would tell--especially the stories about crummy cops who were promoted because they knew where to plant their lips and the secondary story line about the female detective who accumulated about as much respect as Rodney Dangerfield's stand-up routine. And one of the main characters, Joe Pike, reminds me so much of an FBI agent I once met. I was only a peripheral witness in a fraud case, but when Crais describes those cold blue eyes and that humorless expression, I see that FBI agent in my mind's eye--time traveling right back, coincidentally enough, to Los Angeles. And when the main protagonist and narrator, Elvis Cole, takes a drive across familiar roads to clear his head and proclaims that he loves L.A., it reminded me of some special drives I had taken in some of those same areas just to get away from some bad situations and clear my head.The mystery itself was handled very well. One finds oneself truly debating whether this perpetrator is merely a serial killer or has a design. I was several chapters into the book before I made up my mind on that one, even though I was pretty sure early on. I like it when an author makes me doubt my original assumptions.

  • J.P.
    2019-03-25 07:58

    The best novel by Robert Crais that I've read so far. We get background on the stone face behind the shades otherwise known as Joe Pike plus a finely done story that also features Elvis Cole. Typically well written although you can easily tell twice near the end of the book who is and isn't going to buy the farm. The verbal exchanges between the cops are practically worth the price of the book alone. If you haven't read anything previously by the author this is an excellent place to start. 4 1/2 stars.

  • David
    2019-04-21 08:55

    L.A. Requiem is the book in which Robert Crais elevated his game from being simply a great mystery writer to a great writer. The previous books in the Elvis Cole series center around wise-cracking detective Elvis Cole, a smart, moral guy who solves cases. They are usually funny, have good plots and are enjoyable to read. L.A. Requiem has all of these characteristics, but is a much more powerful book than other Crais efforts. Like its predecessors, Requiem has a good plot: a woman from Elvis' partner, Joe Pike's past is murdered, and Joe and Elvis are tasked with finding the killer. Things quickly move from just a present-day investigation, as slowly, resentments from events long-past are brought into the mix. It is this element that makes the book so good.The character of Joe Pike has always been a highly original and entertaining one. However, this book takes the time to delve into his boyhood and history in the military in ways that really bring depth to the character. We find out why Joe is persona no grata with the LAPD as well as learn how his childhood affected his present day persona. It is great writing.At the same time, deeper themes beyond simply moving the plot forward stream throughout the book. Friendship, revenge, humiliation and forbidden love are tied up in the events of the book in ways that make the reader really care about the characters. Lucy Chenier is back, but Elvis also strikes up a friendship with a brash female detective named Samantha Dolan, who is a powerful character. The mousey and resentful Harvey Krantz is another great character.All of this combines to make the book work on many levels. The mystery unfolds logically and builds over the chapters of the book. Maybe some readers could guess who the killer was, but I was surprised. It builds to a powerful climax and the afterward is powerful as well. L.A. Requiem is not only a good mystery, it works as art. You can read it for fun, but you may find that it makes you feel and think a bit more than you expected to when you picked it up.

  • Joyce
    2019-04-18 04:56

    An older Crais that I missed somewhere along the line. It was great reading and actually gave the reader some so Joe Pike's background. The plot is well constructed and fascinating. Cole and Pike are as noir as one could hope. The LA cops (Robbery/Homicide) are as difficult and less than likable as one would expect. Cole and Pike do solve the case, but how engrossing the process is!

  • Darcy
    2019-04-11 06:50

    Man, this one got really personal for Elvis and Joe and had me on the edge of my seat.Joe gets called into help look for a missing old girlfriend. What seems like it will be easy turns into a nightmare for Joe and Elvis by proxy. Joe's history growing up is brought out for us to learn why Joe is the way he is. His past will have you shaking your head and wondering how Joe is as normal as he is. We also get to see Joe as a young cop. Through both of these sets of flashbacks you can see Joe's moral code cement together and why once you are a friend of Joe's there isn't anything he won't do for you or to protect you.Elvis helps out by dealing with the police as that isn't an option for Joe. Even with his good reputation Elvis gets crapped on time and time again. Slowly Elvis gets some help from one of the cops. But this help brings new problems.Elvis runs into issues with Lucy too along the way. I found myself getting mad at Lucy, she kept playing the "girl" card, wanting things to be about her and got mad when Elvis didn't pick her. Elvis was also disappointed with Lucy in that she couldn't understand why he kept leaving to "do the right thing". Something Lucy should have understood as she meet him while working on a case and his sense of moral right and wrong was the same then.At the end of the book things are at a big crossroads for everyone. Some people know that they can depend on their "family", others not so much, and along the way everyone paid a high price. It will be interesting to see how things go for our characters in their personal lives from here on out.

  • Mike
    2019-03-24 05:54

    An old girlfriend of Joe Pike's is missing, and her father asks Joe and Elvis to help find her. She's found - dead - and the hunt is on. This is the tip of an iceberg that adds up to five more bodies. The question is it a serial killer or murder for a reason?All the boy's jobs are dangerous, but Crais ups the ante with jail time for one or both of our heroes a distinct possibility, because of a decades-long dispute between Joe and a higher up in the police department.A good buddy story, with Elvis having to choose between helping his best friend, and his love interest transplanted from Louisiana.

  • Steve Haywood
    2019-03-26 05:50

    What starts out as a simple missing person's case for private detective Elvis Cole quickly becomes a lot more complicated when her body is discovered with no clues as to who committed the crime. Asked by the girl's father to investigate, things get distinctly more murky when it appears she is the latest victim of a serial killer. It doesn't help matters either that the victim is his co-detective Joe Pike's ex-girlfriend, nor that the police seem determined to obstruct them at every turn.This is the eighth book in the author's series featuring the investigating exploits of private eye duo Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. Over the years I've read all of the previous books in the series and enjoyed them all - Elvis Cole is a great character, very distinctive and quirky, not your usual private detective fare. None of the previous books are as good as this one however, they are good stories but this one goes deeper and links the story with their past, particularly Joe Pike who has remained something of an enigma until now. In this book you get under the hood so to speak, finding out why he is the way he is and how he got to where he is today.If you've read previous Elvis Cole novels then you should definitely read this, hopefully you will agree with me that it is his best yet. You'll also benefit from knowing something of the characters histories and relationships which will add something to the book. If you haven't read any of his previous novels though, I would still recommend this book. You don't need any prior knowledge to read and enjoy it, and I think this would be a great place to start. If you really like it and want to read more, you can always go back and start at the beginning with The Monkey's Raincoat, or just go forward as he's written quite a few after this one too.Overall, a great crime fiction read. I haven't read any in a while, and this has got me right back into them. 5/5.

  • Jane Stewart
    2019-03-27 06:32

    4 stars for the Joe parts. 2 stars for the Elvis parts. Some plot issues were not well thought out.This is book 8 in the Elvis Cole series with two main characters Elvis and Joe Pike. The Elvis parts were done in first person. I did not care about Elvis. The Joe parts were done in third person and were excellent. I enjoyed reading about Joe and his back story. I would have preferred the entire book be third person.I had a minor problem with two characters: Eugene Dirsh and Edward Deej. The names were too similar and I had a hard time keeping them straight - especially as an audiobook.There were references to sex about four times. Three were hinted at or referred to with no details, for example “she was in his bed as he woke up.” The other was described as “we made love on the couch.” There was nothing more detailed than that.I don’t mind suspending disbelief when something is fun. But here it wasn’t fun enough, so the plot problems annoyed me. For example, Joe took large bullets to the chest and walked away. The FBI were involved in the case and then sort of vanished. The author never completed that thought. Another problem is described in Spoiler below. It was the major climactic scene and made me angry. (view spoiler)[ If a cop is going to inform someone that they are no longer a suspect and charges are being dropped, why would that cop take a swat team to deliver the message? Why not call the guy’s attorney or associates? The cop was hoping for violence. It didn’t make sense.(hide spoiler)]The narrator was Ron McLarty. I can’t remember how I felt about him. I think he was fine.DATA:Narrative mode: 1st person Elvis. 3rd person Joe. Unabridged audiobook length: 13 hrs and 35 mins. Swearing language: moderate including religious swear words. Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: about 4. Setting: current day Los Angeles, California. Book copyright: 1999. Genre: mystery suspense, PI mystery.SERIES:I’ve read the following books in the Elvis Cole series.2 ½ stars. The Monkey’s Raincoat, Book 13 stars. L.A. Requiem, Book 8

  • Mark Baker
    2019-04-14 11:55

    Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are asked to find Karen Garcia, a former girlfriend of Pike’s. Her father is concerned, but the police aren’t taking him seriously. Unfortunately, her body turns up, and Cole and Pike find themselves working the case. With Pike’s connection to the victim and interacting with his former co-workers in the LAPD, the partners find themselves in a tough situation. How will the events of the past influence the current investigation?I’ve long complained that the main characters, especially Pike, felt too flat as characters. This book goes a long way to filling us in on Pike, although the result was a little cliché, which may just be a factor of the book’s age. The story was strong and kept moving forward quickly, although a few things go glossed over at the end, and Crais can’t help himself – he has to stick in a due ex machina. The love letter to LA at the end is beautifully written, especially for those of us who live here. Overall, a good book well worth reading.Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  • Harry
    2019-04-13 09:47

    Ok, a few rambling thoughts on Robert Crais. Who is this guy, where'd he come from, how'd he get so popular? Well the first thing to know is that Crais is not from California at all. He is a native of Louisiana, grew up in a blue collar family, and read his first crime novel The Little Sister when he was 15. And that's all it took. Chandler gave him his love for writing. Other authors that have inspired him were Hammett, Hemingway (seems like that's true of all the crime writers), Parker, and Steinbeck (huh?).How'd he get so popular? In short: television and L.A. Requim. Robert Crais has a very impressive resume as a screenwriter for such television series as Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice (damn, I loved that show too!), Cagney & Lacey. But what hits home the most with Crais himself is his work on the 4 hour mini series Cross of Fire which is about the Ku Klux Klan and is probably more relevant to his home state of Louisiana than it is to Hollywood. Following a growing dissatsifaction of a screen writer's constraints, Crais began writing novels. L.A. Requim, which is the 8th Elvis Cole novel, is what landed him as an author that defied all genres and in it outsurpassed even the legendary Ross Macdonald.Enough about Crais, the guy's good. So, what about Elvis Cole? Naming someone Elvis had to have been a fairly deliberate decision. To me the name seems iconic, Warholish, Disneylandish, a bit theatrical if not cynical. In fact his novels and trinkets therein are suffused with cultural icons: Spider Man mug, Jiminy Cricket (latent fantasy of wanting to be Peter Pan?), and his yellow Corvette. Even his slogan seems hamstrung with Hollywood's obsession with icons: Elvis Cole is The world's Greatest Detective! But in reality there's nothing ridiculous about Cole: he's tough, honest, ponders morality and ambiguity and hypocrasies while staring out the balcony window in his office.Yes, he's cynical, a smart ass, a comic relief in many ways...but behind the seeming humor lies a Dan Wesson .38, the Vietnam War, martial arts and his biggest gun of all: Joe Pike. Joe Pike, the avenging angel, is a tool used sparingly by Crais. Use him too much and you wonder why he isn't the main character (we know Crais has struggled with this as he produced 4 separate novels featuring Pike as the hero); use him too little and you start wondering why the big guns aren't being pulled out by Elvis. What you want to do is increase the anxiety level of the reader towards the hero, not get the reader frustrated with him. Crais handles this expertly...and uses Pike to increase the anticipation in readers.The Elvis Cole novels should be considered hard boiled detectives primarily in that Crais deviates from the traditional Romantic tradition found in detective stories and crime fiction by introducing Cole as a detective with a decidedly cynical attitude towards the emotions (i.e. apprehension, horror, terror, and awe such as are found in other crime and thriller stories). And yet, we find sprinkled throughout the books insightful observations of the world as seen through Elvis's eyes. In the following passage, Elvis observes the effects of dry brush fires raging through L.A.:Picture the detective at work in his office, fourth floor, Hollywood, as the Devil's Wind freight-trains down from the desert. Though dry and brutally harsh, the desert wind is clean. It pushes the smog south to the sea and scrubs the sky to a crystalline blue. The air, jittery from the heat, rises in swaying tendrils like kelp from the seabed, making the city shimmer. We are never more beautiful than when we are burning.Like I said, it really came together following the publication of his 8th Elvis Cole novel. Pike his side kick, Lou Poitras (Cole's detective friend) gruffy as ever, shifting view points, a relaxation of Cole's zany all came together following L.A. Requim. So, believe me. All in all, you will not be disappointed with the Elvis Cole series. There are a lot of these novels so sit back and enjoy! I most certainly did.As with all series reviews, this one covers all the Elvis Cole books. So if you've read this review of mine than you've read 'em all.

  • Truman32
    2019-04-08 05:29

    With L.A. Requiem, we’re about midway through Robert Crais’s Elvis Cole detective series. This series—if you haven’t been reading-- is about the nicest person in the world and his partner, Joe Pike, who is also super pleasant (unless you are a bad guy, in which case he might kill you). The nicest person in the world happens to be a detective by the name of Elvis Cole, which is an advantageous occupation because it allows him to spread his niceness over the downtrodden and victimized of Las Angeles like a gooey yet healing layer of Nutella on a fresh croissant. Seriously, it’s no joke about how nice Elvis Cole is. He lives to help folks with absolutely no ulterior motives. If Cole’s niceness was a pepper he’d be at a searing 15,000,000 Scoville units. If his niceness was a sweater it would be made from fuzzy rescued kitten fur, grandma hugs and baby giggles. And while this might limit the dimensions of this character, it is actually a strength of the series. Cole and Pike are the moral compass that never falters in a sea of selfish and (occasionally) incompetent police, surly killers, and generally ill-mannered criminals. And let’s be honest, if I am ever in trouble and I have the choice of a literary detective to bail my behind out of the fire—I’m going with the kind and sympathetic guy who still gets the job done over the drunk, the rebellious anti-authoritarian, or the self-righteous with anger issues, detective any day.L.A. Requiem starts with the discovery of Karen Garcia’s body. The extra hole in her head is the cause of death. Karen was Joe Pike’s ex-lover, and her distraught father (Frank Garcia, the successful tortilla superstar) asks Joe and Elvis to monitor the police investigation. He wants them to make sure everything possible is being done and that they give him updates on how the investigation is proceeding. But things are not as they seem. Karen is actually the fifth corpse murdered this way—all seem unconnected. The jackass in Robbery Homicide leading the investigation is a jabroni named Krantz, an ex-Internal Affairs detective who harbors a long ago hate for Pike who he considers a dirty cop. The police are antagonized by Cole and Pike’s presence—even the civilian worker who delivers the mail is irked at their involvement. And then more bodies begin to pile up. There is a suspect, but is he the guilty party or are the police chasing the wrong man?L.A. Requiem is an important addition to the series. Much more than a “case of the week” plot, Crais drills down into the mythology of the characters—notably Pike. We finally see some of this mysterious character’s past—it’s harsh and brutal and explains in many ways why he acts the way does. We also get some forward momentum on the relationship front of Elvis and long-time girlfriend Lucy Chenier. In past books, the Lucy parts have had an unfortunately sedative effect on the action, similar to three Ambiens chased with a large helping of Jack Daniels. This time around we have randy female detective Samantha Dolan thrown into the mix and it provides a small bit of velocity.Crais provides another winning book here with a heart-pounding plot, wisecracking detectives, and hardboiled prose. A great read.

  • Rob Kitchin
    2019-04-18 07:29

    Without wishing to offend either author, LA Requiem reminded a lot of Michael Connelly's LA stories, especially those concerning Harry Bosch. The writing style, setting and focus seemed very similar to me - LA, Robbery-Homicide, serial killer, investigators who are Vietnam vets. This is no bad thing as I think both are very fine writers, rather just an observation. LA Requiem rattles along at quick, steady pace. Crais writes with an assured hand. The story is well crafted, with a nice layering of various subplots and back story that add to the overall narrative rather than detracting from it. Crais paints a good sense of place, the characters are well penned, and the story builds to a nice climax. There were a few elements that unsettled me a little, however. Maybe it's because I don't live in the US, but I had a hard time believing that two private investigators could get any meaningful access to a serial killer investigation, especially not through a councilman (perhaps maybe something more significant like a governor I could have gone along with). The Samantha Dolan character didn't quite seem to ring true, especially in her quest for Cole. And regardless of any material evidence relating to Pike, the fact that he escaped from incarceration would have legal consequences. Despite the niggling doubts about credibility, LA Requiem is an enjoyable read and I'll be looking out for other Elvis Cole books.

  • GS Nathan
    2019-04-12 06:57

    A fine book with appropriately crafted twists. The tension of the choice Cole has to make - between his partner and friend Pike, and his girlfriend - is set up very well. The story of murder and the mystery behind it is also quite gripping. But there are false tones throughout the book, there are diversions and, most importantly, the resolution, the denouement, is not satisfying or dare I say, believable at all. It is like a Tamil movie, all shots fired and the hero gets hit, but still gets up to kill the villain and then disappear into the desert and so on. Come on Crais, you can do better than that.But still, I sort of liked the book. Written well, and there is a stage when it absolutely grips you and you don't realize the pages flying by. That is when you know you have hit a good one.

  • Shannon
    2019-04-10 08:55

    Probably my favorite Cole/Pike novel to date. The detectives are retained by successful businessman whose daughter dated Pike when he was a police officer - the daughter is dead and Cole/Pike try to find the culprit. They stumble onto a serial killer who appears to be killing at random. You find out more in this book about how Pike became Pike and really, Pike could've gone either way - psychopath or what he is now which is probably close to a psychopath but with good reason? In this case Pike is reunited with many of the players from the incident that caused him to leave the force. Mysteries are solved and people die . . . oh, and Lucy's in this one and the only thing I can say about her is that, she's supposed to be really smart and all and she's totally thrown by Cole's job and the things he and Pike have had to do in their past as well as their current jobs? Really? hmmm

  • Justin
    2019-04-07 07:28

    Number 8. The first one I read. As a stand alone story, its great. However, when I went back and read the series, I realized this book is far more then a quick ass piece of noir detective fiction. This novel brings Joe Pike, Elvis' partner and protector, to the fore front. His ex girlfriend is murdered, and the leading suspect in none other then Pike himself, which is impossible, as Pike has an airtight alibi when the murder took place. Another great example of how Crais can take a near superhuman character, in this case Pike, and make him human, and actually create a viable world andf a viable reason for Pike to be the way he is. A great novel, but be warned, the tone starts getting dark in this book, and only gets darker in the next two.

  • James Fearn
    2019-04-06 09:34

    Elvis Cole is one of those characters that I like. I especially love the sarcastic quips that he delivers in the book as he corresponds with the other characters in the book. Joe Pike, Elvis' partner, is a tough dude who, we find out, has been through quite a lot in his life. Now to compound matters one of his exes is murdered and he becomes enwrapped in the plot. Now his partner must try to unwind the matter and solve the crime.The result of this book is quite a cliff hanger and the book never truly resolves, leaving the reader on the edge of their arm chair ready for the next book. This one was lots of fun.

  • Karen Fyke
    2019-04-05 07:50

    This is about the 7th of the series wherein Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are partners in a detective agency. It's good that I read this one first, because in it we discover Joe's past that causes him to be what he is. There's a faint resemblance between this series and the Parker series, but the action in this one isn't as humorous and the book takes longer to read. The funniest biplay was when Cole tells someone to "call me Elvis," and the other character says, "I don't think I can do that."

  • JoeNoir
    2019-04-20 07:56

    A classic. One of the finest private eye novels ever written. With this novel Robert Crais raised the bar on his mystery/crime thrillers to true literature. Highly recommended. This book is one of the two greatest late twentieth century private eye novels, the other being Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane.

  • Beth
    2019-04-08 11:50

    This is the best of the Elvis Cole series by far. Robert Crais portrays the dark side of life in sunny California very nicely, and he has developed Elvis Cole into more than just a wisecracking tough guy. Great plot and great supporting characters, as well. And, we finally find out something more about Joe Pike (I think I'm in love, by the way).

  • Fred Clifford
    2019-04-04 05:55

    The very best crime fiction book I have ever read, and I have read hundreds. Only Stiegg Larssens books and possibly John Harts Iron House and The Last Child are in the same stratosphere. Don't start it unless you have time to finish!

  • Tom
    2019-03-30 05:54

    lots of Joe Pike in this one, digging into his back story. the usual excellent level of plotting for an Elvis Cole story - very good

  • Jim A
    2019-03-27 09:54

    One of the better Cole/Pike novels by Crais. A lot of Joe Pike's backstory in brought out in this book. Add a very good story and it's another winner from Crais.

  • DD
    2019-04-09 11:46

    I heart Joe Pike.