Books by Robert Crais

Robert Crais is the bestselling author of The Last Detective, Hostage, Demolition Angel, and L.A. Requiem, as well as seven previous novels featuring Elvis Cole. For additional information about the author and his novels, visit

A DANGEROUS MAN  by Robert Crais
Released: Aug. 6, 2019

"A taut, exceptional thriller."
If you've always wished Lee Child's Jack Reacher had a little more balance in his life—but the same formidable talents—you'll love Joe Pike and the latest book in this long, superb series (The Wanted, 2017, etc.). Read full book review >
THE WANTED by Robert Crais
Released: Dec. 26, 2017

"In his 21st book, Los Angeles ace Crais (The Promise, 2015, etc.) extends his streak of sharp, enjoyable thrillers."
In the latest Elvis Cole book, a teenager involved in a series of high-end burglaries is pursued by a murderous, wisecracking duo—possibly dirty cops—hired to recover a stolen laptop. Read full book review >
THE PROMISE by Robert Crais
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Not Crais' deepest or thorniest mystery but another solid outing with a host of involving characters."
Los Angeles private investigator Elvis Cole is joined by K-9 cop Scott James and his battle-scarred German shepherd, Maggie, in the search for a woman out to avenge the killing of her son in a suicide bombing in Nigeria. Read full book review >
SUSPECT by Robert Crais
Released: Jan. 22, 2013

"A solid, muscular thriller, well-spun."
Veteran thriller-maven Crais (Taken, 2012, etc.) returns with a pleasingly perplexing storyline fresh from the headlines. Read full book review >
TAKEN by Robert Crais
Released: Jan. 24, 2012

"The result is to loosen the logical links that connect one set piece to another and recast the whole story as if it were a string of trailers for a dozen hellacious summer movies."
A kidnapping drops Elvis Cole and Joe Pike into the maelstrom of human smugglers. Read full book review >
THE SENTRY by Robert Crais
Released: Jan. 11, 2011

"'War is what I do,' Pike tells Azzara when they first square off. Roger that, and prepare the body bags."
Having taken on the Serbian mob (The First Rule, 2010), soldier of fortune Joe Pike is ready for a slickly plotted encounter with drug-dealing Bolivians and their strongmen. Read full book review >
THE FIRST RULE by Robert Crais
Released: Jan. 10, 2010

"Righteous vengeance, a reckless pace, a stratospheric body count and just enough surprises to keep you turning the pages. The pleasures may be primitive, but they're genuine."
Joe Pike cuts a wide swath through L.A.'s Serbian mob in his quest to avenge an old member of the team he headed. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2008

"Some of the twists are more convincing than the last one, which leaves a few loose ends. But it's great to see Cole (The Forgotten Man, 2005, etc.) back in action."
The shooting of an apparent serial killer allows the LAPD to close the books on seven murders—but private eye Elvis Cole won't have it. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2006

A bank robber turns detective to avenge the son who's always hated him, in this turbocharged suspenser from Crais (The Forgotten Man, 2005, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 15, 2005

"A potent mix of sound detection, black humor, cut-and-run action, sensitive-male flapdoodle, and half a dozen first-class surprises. Welcome back, Elvis. "
Veteran LA private eye Elvis Cole, whose return in The Last Detective (2003) after his creator stalked bigger game (Hostage, 2001, etc.) suggested a bad case of gigantism, puts it all together in the murder of his own father. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 18, 2003

"Elvis on steroids. Strictly for the Russian-judge contingent."
Before he hit the big time with Hostage (2001), Crais made his name with seven novels about wisecracking but ever tougher L.A. shamus Elvis Cole. Now his old hero's overheated return suggests that somebody can't go home again. Read full book review >
HOSTAGE by Robert Crais
Released: Aug. 7, 2001

"Film rights have already been sold to MGM. If you wait for the movie, you'll see Bruce Willis, and you won't miss a thing."
Efficient, forgettable formula suspense in the Desperate Hours mold from a writer who's done much better work. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2000

"Crais spikes this predictable, foolproof yarn with so many surprises and such a masterly command of pace that you'll find yourself checking the clock every ten pages. Make sure it's not digital. "
After eight entertainingly laid-back mysteries starring Elvis Cole (L.A. Requiem, 1999, etc.), Crais tightens the screws to the max in this white-hot crossover thriller about a cop on the trail of a serial bomber. Read full book review >
L.A. REQUIEM by Robert Crais
Released: July 1, 1999

Crais bids to break out of his successful Elvis Cole formula'streamlined plotting, smiling charm, slick action, happy endings—with Elvis's ambitious seventh case. This one begins as quiet as you please, with Elvis's unofficial partner Joe Pike asking him to help find the missing daughter of Joe's friend, tortilla king Frank Garcia. Not even the news that Karen Garcia has been shot dead sets it apart. What's new are Crais's persistent glimpses into closemouthed Joe's violent past as an abused child, a Marine on reconnaissance, and an LAPD officer who left plenty of enemies behind when he left the force. Now that powerful Frank Garcia wants Joe and Elvis given permission to tag along with the cops and report back to him on the case, all the bad blood between Joe and his ex-colleagues boils over. And when a second killing seems to have Joe's name on it, L.A.'s finest are only too eager to haul him in. Meantime, things have gotten complicated for Elvis too: Samantha Dolan, the tough Robbery-Homicide cop assigned to babysit him, wants to follow him all the way home, a plan that doesn't sit well with Lucy Chenier, the Baton Rouge attorney who switched homes and jobs to be with Elvis. As the tension ratchets up, even Elvis (Indigo Slam, 1997, etc.) seems to notice that his trademark unvoiced wisecracks are out of key, and he shuts them down long enough to go after the real killer before Joe can get packed off to the big house where all the inmates are who'll just love to greet him. The killer, by design, is a nonentity—one of the few letdowns in a taut, suspenseful case that opens up scars that easygoing Elvis never looked into before. Read full book review >
INDIGO SLAM by Robert Crais
Released: June 1, 1997

Three years after the witness relocation program hustled his family out of Seattle seconds away from some men with guns, Clark Hewitt is on the run again—but this time he hasn't taken his family with him. So his eldest daughter Teri, 15 going on 40, leads her two siblings into Elvis Cole's office waving a fat sheaf of bills in Cole's face as a retainer for tracking down her father. In a way, the case is a no-brainer. It doesn't take Cole (Sunset Express, 1996, etc.) long to establish that Clark has gone back to Seattle, and by the time he reports to the children, their dad's already returned. But everything Cole's found out in his search spells trouble: Clark is a druggie and a counterfeiter who'd turned state's evidence against Russian mobsters who are now bent on killing him and his kids, and he can't turn to the feds this time because he's gone back to printing funny money. Things are no better on Cole's own home front. His girlfriend, Baton Rouge attorney Lucy Chenier, is angling for a job that'll keep her as close to Cole's body as she is to his heart, but her powerful ex-husband steps in just in time to queer the deal. Cole will have to keep him, the feds, and the Russians at bay long enough to cruise into a Disneyland finale that screams movie movie movie. Sure, Cole works his easy charm to the max. But since he's riding Crais's twistiest and best sustained plot with all the panache of John Travolta, it's a pleasure to see him enjoying his work more than any other p.i. in California history. Read full book review >
SUNSET EXPRESS by Robert Crais
Released: April 11, 1996

LAPD Detective Angela Rossi says she recovered the hammer that killed Susan Martin from her husband's shrubbery, but Teddy Martin's lawyer, Jonathan Green, says Rossi planted it there, and hires Elvis Cole (Voodoo River, 1995, etc.) to find holes in her story. For once, though, Elvis is stymied. Though LeCedrick Earle insists Rossi set him up too five years ago, Earle's own mother tells Cole he can't he trusted; and there's no other evidence that Rossi's rotten. So Cole, still working with the Big Green Defense Team, turns to following up callers to Green's hotline, and this time he hits the jackpot much too fast: A witness puts him on to a pair of lowlifes who talked about kidnapping some rich bitch and had photos of Susan Martin in their apartment. Only trouble is, the lowlifes have been dead for three weeks. It's a setup, of course, and Cole, already disoriented by the adoring media attention he's been getting ever since breaking open the case against Martin, now finds himself switching sides to go up—along with his sunglassed sidekick Joe Pike and his newest belle Lucy Chenier—against Martin, Green, and Co. But Green isn't a lawyer for nothing; he knows every trick about distancing himself and his client from the crime by avoiding incriminating papers and shredding incriminating witnesses. How is Cole ever going to bag such a slick pair? That's the question, sports fans, and if Cole's answer isn't quite as satisfying as he'd like, he has as grand a time as Travis McGee fighting the forces of evil. Crais's sixth is one of his smoothest. Read full book review >
VOODOO RIVER by Robert Crais
Released: June 2, 1995

Missing-persons specialist Elvis Cole (Free Fall, 1993, etc.) thinks his fifth case is right up his alley: locate the blood family of white-hot TV actress Jodi Taylor, adoptive and concerned about her long-term medical history. So Elvis plunges into the Louisiana bayous, racing against another local shamus, and soon finds not only the bashful parents, but a secret about Jodi that nobody told him when he was first hired. So far, so good: the first half of this tale is so cunningly tailored to Elvis's strengths — the cocky confidence, the droll humor, the aw-shucks authority — that reading it is like scrunching into a comfy featherbed. But just as it seems the case is winding down, Elvis stumbles onto an elaborate plot to smuggle illegals into the country. Jodi, who's been promised confidentiality, has a hard time dealing with this development, and no wonder: Except for some shared characters, this second plot has nothing to do with what she thought was her book. It's a lot less tricky and inventive, too, though a lot more violent. Half a masterpiece is better than none, but you've gotta feel for poor Jodi, abandoned still again just when she thought she finally had it made. Read full book review >
FREE FALL by Robert Crais
Released: June 1, 1993

What if the bad guys had gotten hold of the Rodney King beating tape? That's the question at the end of the trail that starts when Jennifer Sheridan, worried that her cop fiance Mark Thurman, of L.A.'s elite REACT crime-prevention squad, is hiding something from her, goes to laid-back p.i. Elvis Cole (Lullaby Town, 1992, etc.)—and in no time at all Cole has linked the five-man REACT team's fatal beating of drug suspect Charles Lewis Washington to Akeem D'Muere's Eight-Deuce Gang's determined attempt to stomp competing drug retailers. By the time the dust has cleared over the drug deal that Cole, his wired partner Joe Pike, and Washington's brother James Edward have tried to film, three men are dead, Cole and Pike are under arrest for murder, and Crais's rousing social-conscience fluff is just hitting its stride. After trading a little too obviously on his undeniable charm in the opening scenes, Cole delivers the goods in the kind of bravura performance only a pro can give. Read full book review >
LULLABY TOWN by Robert Crais
Released: March 16, 1992

Lullaby Town is Chelam, Connecticut, where L.A. shamus Elvis Cole (The Monkey's Raincoat, 1987—not reviewed) goes in search of Karen Shipley, divorced ten years earlier by boyish filmmaker Peter Alan Nelsen, who's since developed deep pockets (courtesy of a string of action hits beginning with Chainsaw) and a conscience of sorts. Just when it looks like EMs has found Karen and her son, Toby, all too easily, Karen turns out to be laundering money for the Mafia, and the story takes off like a two-stage rocket. It'll take all of Elvis's wise-guy savvy to pry Karen loose from those other wise-guys without condemning her to the witness-protection program or the East River. Elvis is as sharp as a West Coast Spenser, but without Speaser's nasty/noble attitudinizing—and this story is pure pleasure from the very first page. Read full book review >