Monday 19 May 2014

Suspect by Robert Crais

I have been reading Robert Crais's books since the first one came out. He writes a series about a Los Angeles detective called Elvis Cole and his sidekick Joe Pike.  Then he wrote a few books where Joe Pike was the featured protaganist.  They work as a team and Joe Pike is particularly fun to read. Joe is the kind of guy, big, brawny, doesn't say  much, keeps his sunglasses on and kicks butt so to speak.  If we all had Joe Pike in our life things would be rosy.

The things I like about the series of books is you get a real feel for Los Angeles area and the outer suburbs. Someone wrote once (I don't remember where I read it) that if you read crime books you get a great feel for the geography of the area.  This is certainly true with these books.

So when I picked up this book as a recently released Kindle and not badly priced I was disappointed to find out it wasn't a Joe Pike or Elvis Cole book.

This book is okay. Just okay, not good, not bad.  The story was so predictable I knew the whole thing and the end pretty soon. See if you can figure out the end without reading the book. Here goes:

American K-9 soldier in Afghanistan with his dog. Bomb blows up and snipers start to follow when they are ambushed. Soldier dies, dog wounded.

Flash forward to police detectives sitting in their parked cruiser. Policeman, police woman. Bad guys come careening around the corner to make a hit on another car near them. They fly into action, gunfire ensues and police woman is shot. As she is yelling at policeman to not leave her he goes for help and he gets shot too. She dies with the words, "Don't leave me."  in his ears.

Now flash forward and policeman is moved forward to the K-9 unit. Guess who the new dog is. Yup, the Afghanistan dog and now named Maggie.   She has PTSD and so does he.  They go forward working together and the case is about the men who shot and killed the policewoman.

They have a lot of problems related to the PTSD and they both have a few health problems after being shot.   I don't know why I didn't put this book down except I was very tired and felt like reading and it was the only thing I knew I could absorb. I kept on reading it thinking my predictions would fail.   More gunfights, more sneaking around the Los Angeles area, more beating up witnesses and a happy ending for both policeman and Maggie, as the dog is now called.  I did need to check that Maggie would be okay. I didn't care so much about the policeman.  The character of the dog was wonderful. She was everything you'd want a dog hero to be,  of course. Could read minds, be protective, gentle, funny. I did like the dog. Of course, I would.

This book is written quite well but it is the story that lets it down. The characters are well written too. It is the silly story of which I have not given away.  It is a book to read only on a plane trip or at the beach. Because you never really lose your place when you look at the sailboats out  on the water or stop to eat your meal on the plane.

It was good for an afternoon of lying in bed feeling worn out and not wanting to read any of the pile of books beside the bed that would require more thought. The happy ending was feel good. But you knew from the start it would have a happy ending and all the problems would be solved. Sometimes we just need a book with an ending like that. Time to move on now.


  1. I love Joe Pike and Elvis Cole, too, and am eagerly waiting for a new one. I've read one of Crais' non-Pike or Cole books, can't remember which one, and wasn't impressed either.

    I love the photo you posted of the German Shepard's face. What intelligence and soul!

    1. Hi Joan, A woman after my own heart. Love Elvis and Joe and german shepherds. He is a beautiful soul isn't he. Wish he was mine. ha ha I think authors should stick to what they do best. Fingers crossed for a new one soon.


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