Book review: The Wanted by Robert Crais

Saturday, December 30, 2017 Permalink

I am extremely ashamed to admit that *I think* The Wanted by Robert Crais is the first book I’ve read in his Elvis Cole series.

I was going to say I have no idea why, but if I’m completely honest I guess I’ve perhaps conjured up some image of a wannabe Elvis Presley in my mind and have thought he’d be kinda naff (apologies to fans of Elvis or Elvis look-alikes but I Just. Don’t. Get. It: the allure of Elvis so many years later, or the whole Vegas culture), but our private detective wasn’t at all like that.

Elvis Cole was younger than I expected and I actually really really liked him!

Book review: The Wanted by Robert CraisThe Wanted
by Robert Crais
Series: Elvis Cole #17, Joe Pike #6
Published by Simon & Schuster UK
on January 1st 2018
Source: Simon & Schuster
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: 1471157482, 9781471157486, 9781471157509
Pages: 400

Seventeen-year-old Tyson is a normal teenaged boy – he’s socially awkward, obsessed with video games, and always hungry. But his mother is worried that her sweet, nerdy son has started to change… and she’s just found a $40,000 Rolex watch under his bed. Suddenly very frightened that Tyson has gotten involved in something illegal, his mother gets in touch with a private investigator named Elvis Cole and asks him to do some digging.

Cole uncovers a connection between Tyson and eighteen unsolved burglaries in LA’s ritziest neighbourhood. Tyson spooks and runs.

And then the bodies start turning up…

Elvis very much reminded me of Spenser – the smart talking old school gumshoe / PI in the Robert B Parker series of the same name. (Umm…. Spenser, in case you were confused!)

It was kinda strange but also a huge relief that Crais doesn’t spend a huge amount of time on backstories. There’s reference to Elvis’s current romantic relationship (though he attracts some attention in this outing as well) but we don’t actually spend a lot of time in his personal life. Many of the series I read are very much character-driven, but – on this occasion anyway – it wasn’t the case.

Indeed, this book is centred around its very engaging plot. And Crais offers up one that’s complex and comes complete with a myriad of bad guys and threads for us to follow. It’s not really a ‘whodunnit’; it’s more about Elvis’s investigation than hinging on a great ‘reveal’ at the end. It sounds wanky but this is very much about the journey rather than the destination. #sorrynotsorry

That’s not to say there’s no closure, because there is. And we get enough insight into the players involved – Elvis, his client Devon, her son Tyson, and her son’s friends – to care about their fate.

The book’s also well-paced and I was loath to put it aside as we got closer to a conclusion. There is the age-old ‘race against time’ to save the goodies, but it’s certainly not clichéd or predictable.

If / when I have time I’d love to go back and read this series (in order) in its entitreity because it’s a while since I’ve come to something part-way through, that makes me want to learn more about our series’ main characters and confident in the quality and consistency of the various mysteries and whodunnits that help us get there. So often authors reveal previous cases – rendering reading them redundant, or make readers feel as if they’ve arrived late to a party and missed the introductions. (Also Elvis’s partner Joe Pike sounds really intriguing and I’m certainly keen for more info on this elusive marine / special forces type!)

The Wanted by Robert Crais will be published in Australia by Simon & Schuster and available in early January 2018.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. 



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