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.
The case begins with an after-hours phone call from Detective Kelly Diaz. The LAPD have found a shooting victim who begs them with his dying breath to call his son, Elvis Cole. It’s quite a shock to Elvis, who’s never met his father—although he’s certainly put in his time looking for him—and doesn’t know his name. Nor is he about to learn it from the corpse, the cops, or even the motel-room key he providentially finds at the crime scene. Could Herbert Faustina, the alias under which the victim registered at the Home Away Suites, really be the father Elvis never knew? Elvis’s partner, Joe Pike, is on the case. So is Det. Carol Starkey, the ex–Bomb Squad tech stuck on oblivious Elvis, who calls her only to ask more favors. And so, to more violent effect, is gas jockey Frederick Conrad, intent first on covering up the dark secret he shared with his missing boss and then on avenging the murder he’s convinced was committed by the World’s Greatest Detective.
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.