When quiet Ellen Lang enters Elvis Cole's Disney-deco office, she's lost something very valuable - her husband and young son. The case seems simple ...Show synopsisWhen quiet Ellen Lang enters Elvis Cole's Disney-deco office, she's lost something very valuable - her husband and young son. The case seems simple enough, but Elvis isn't thrilled. Neither is his enigmatic partner and firepower Joe Pike. Their search down the seamy side of Hollywood's studio lots and sculptured lawns soon leads them deep into a nasty netherworld of drugs and sex - and murder. Now the case is getting interesting, but it's also turned ugly. Because everybody, from cops to starlets to crooks, has declared war on Ellen and Elvis.Hide synopsis
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I read this book 20 years ago and remembered it fondly enough to pick it up again this year. In fact, I decided to read the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike novels in chronological order this summer.
What I discovered was a real treat. The Monkey's Raincoat is actually only a fair novel. You can tell it was his first with a less polished style and a heavy reliance on dated cultural references that makes reading the novel now a little harder.
But stick with it and then continue on. What you will see is both a real development of a writer and of the characters Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. Somewhere along the way, Crais really develops his skills and by the time I hit L.A. Requiem, I thought, this is a damn fine story and the characters became fully fleshed out and compelling.
Subsequent books are a little uneven, but the writing quality is still high, and with every book, I fall in love with Elvis and Joe a little bit more.
You might, however, skip Crais' stand-alone novels. Demolition Angel was good, but the others seem like a miss after the Cole and Pike books.
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