Readers can’t go wrong with Crais

  Elvis Cole, the world’s greatest detective, is back in action in Robert Crais’ newest novel, “Chasing Darkness.”
  I’ve been reading the Elvis Cole series since the mid-’90s, and I’ve never been disappointed in a single one of the 12 books. In fact, this is a series that I’ll buy in hardcover as soon as it comes out, rather than waiting for the paperback edition to present itself a year down the road. That alone says a lot about the quality of the storytelling here and the author’s writing.
  In “Chasing Darkness,” Los Angeles P.I. Elvis Cole has to deal with the possibility that he got a serial killer (Lionel Byrd) off the hook several years before when he was hired by the man’s lawyer to find evidence of the client’s innocence with regards to a murder. Now, Byrd is dead and the evidence that is found with his body suggests that he might have killed a large number of young women over the years, and the police and the victims’ families are blaming Cole for the additional deaths that occurred after Byrd’s release from police custody. Cole, however, doesn’t believe that Byrd was the killer, and the only way for him to prove this is to find the real murderer.
  Even with the help of LAPD officers Carol Starkey and Lou Portias, Cole is going to have a difficult time following the necessary leads because the task force that’s been set up to investigate the serial killings is keeping him out of the loop. If that isn’t bad enough, the evidence and witnesses are disappearing as fast as Cole becomes aware of their existence, causing him to believe that the killer is still at work and that he may be a person of prominence in the local community.
  Elvis Cole will definitely have his work cut out for him as he attempts to stay alive and to clear his name at the same time. Of course, he’ll have the help of his partner, Joe Pike.
  That Crais is a much better writer today than he was a decade ago is beyond question. His writing style took a giant leap with the publication of “L.A. Requiem” a few years ago, bringing his work to the attention of a much larger reading audience and to a spot on The New York Times best-seller list. His prose creates images in the reader’s mind that linger long after the book is finished. His characters are filled with the energy of actual people who have to find a way through the utter chaos of life and to hopefully grow through the trial and tribulations that are placed in front of them.
  Cole is still his sarcastic self in “Chasing Darkness,” but a more serious side of his personality comes out as he deals with the family members who hold him responsible for the deaths of their children and siblings. The ever silent and dangerous Joe Pike is still at Cole’s side, but he plays a much smaller role this time around. The few scenes that Pike is in, however, are powerful and almost steal the show from our hard-working and wisecracking detective. If I needed someone to cover my back, I’d definitely want Joe Pike there to do it. Cole feels the same way!
  Needless to say, “Chasing Darkness” is another excellent novel in this outstanding series. Why Hollywood hasn’t scooped up the film rights to the Cole/Pike books is beyond me. These novels are perfect for the big screen. They’re entertaining, witty, fun, thought provoking, and sometimes deadly serious. So, if you’re looking for some high-quality reading for the remaining weeks of the summer, pick up “Chasing Darkness,” or go back and buy “L.A. Requiem” in paperback, or maybe even “The Last Detective.” You can never go wrong with a novel by Robert Crais.      

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