Robert Crais Books In Order

Elvis Cole & Joe Pike Books In Publication Order

  1. The Monkey’s Raincoat (1987)
  2. Stalking the Angel (1989)
  3. Lullaby Town (1992)
  4. Free Fall (1993)
  5. Voodoo River (1995)
  6. Sunset Express (1996)
  7. Indigo Slam (1997)
  8. L. A. Requiem (1999)
  9. The Last Detective (2003)
  10. The Forgotten Man (2005)
  11. The Watchman (2007)
  12. Chasing Darkness (2008)
  13. The First Rule (2010)
  14. The Sentry (2011)
  15. Taken (2012)
  16. The Promise (2015)
  17. The Wanted (2017)
  18. A Dangerous Man (2019)

Scott James & Maggie Books In Publication Order

  1. Suspect (2013)
  2. The Promise (2015)

Standalone Novels In Publication Order

  1. Demolition Angel (2000)
  2. Hostage (2001)
  3. The Two Minute Rule (2006)

Anthologies In Publication Order

  1. Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe (2011)
  2. The Best American Mystery Stories 2012 (2012)

Elvis Cole & Joe Pike Book Covers

Scott James & Maggie Book Covers

Standalone Novels Book Covers

Anthologies Book Covers

Robert Crais Books Overview

The Monkey’s Raincoat

When Ellen Lang’s husband disappears with their son, she hires Elvis Cole to track him down. A quiet and seemingly submissive wife, Ellen can’t even write a check without him. All she wants is to get him and her son back no questions asked.

The search for Ellen’s errant husband leads Elvis into the seamier side of Hollywood. He soon learns that Mort Lang is a down on his luck talent agent who associates with a schlocky movie producer, and the last place he was spotted was at a party thrown by a famous and very well connected ex Matador. But no one has seen him since including his B movie girlfriend.

At the same time the police find Mort in his parked car with four gunshots in his chest and no kid in sight Ellen disappears. Now nothing is what it seems, and the heat is on. It’s up to Elvis Cole and his partner Joe Pike to find the connection between sleazy Hollywood players and an ex Matador.

‘Far and away the most satisfying private eye novel in years. Grab this one it’s a winner!’ Lawrence Block

‘Is Bob Crais good? Put it this way: if they’re taking you out to put you against the firing squad wall, and you want to enjoy your last moments on earth, pass on the last cigarette and ask for an Elvis Cole novel.’ Harlan Ellison

‘Robert B. Parker has some competition on his hands…
. Elvis Cole is an appealing character and Crais’ style is fresh and funny.’ Sue Grafton

Stalking the Angel

Bradley Warren had lost something very valuable, something that belonged to someone else: a rare thirteenth century Japanese manuscript called the Hagakure. Everything PI Elvis Cole knew about Japanese culture he’d learned from reading SHOGUN, but he knew a lot of crooks and what he didn’t know, his sidekick Joe Pike did. Together, Cole and Pike begin their search in LA’s Little Tokyo, the nest of the notorious Japanese mafia, the Yakuza and find themselves caught up in a white knuckled adventure filled with madness, murder and sexual obsession. Just another day’s work for Elvis Cole…

Lullaby Town

Hollywood’s newest wunderkind is Peter Alan Nelson, the brilliant, erratic director known as the King of Adventure. His films make billions, but his manners make enemies. What the boy king wants, he gets, and what Nelson wants is for Elvis Cole to comb the country for the airhead wife and infant child the film school flunkout dumped en route to becoming the third biggest filmmaker in America. It’s the kind of case Cole can handle in his sleep until it turns out to be a nightmare. For when Cole finds Nelson’s wife in a small Conneticut town, she’s nothing like what he expects. The lady has some unwanted and very nasty mob connections, which means Elvis could be opening the East Coast branch of his P.I. office…
at the bottom of the Hudson River.

Free Fall

Elvis Cole is just a detective who can”t say no, especially to a girl in a terrible fix. And Jennifer Sheridan qualifies: Her fiance, Mark Thurman, is a decorated LA cop with an elite plainclothes unit, but Jennifer”s sure he”s in trouble the kind of serious trouble that only Elvis Cole can help him out of. Five minutes after his new client leaves his office, Elvis and his partner, the enigmatic Joe Pike, are hip deep in a deadly situation as they plummet into a world of South Central gangs, corrupt cops, and conspiracies of silence. And before the case is through, every cop in the LAPD will be gunning for a pair of escaped armed and dangerous killers Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.

Voodoo River

L.A. private eye Elvis Cole is hired by popular television star Jodie Taylor to delve into her past and identify the biological parents who gave her up for adoption thirty six years before. Cole’s assignment is to find out their biological history and report back. It seems all too clear cut. But when he gets to Louisiana and begins his search, he finds out there’s something much darker going on. Other people are also looking for Taylor’s parents; and some are ending up dead. And when Cole realizes that his employer knew more than she was telling, Voodoo River becomes a twisting tale of identity, secrets, and murder.

Sunset Express

Prominent restaurateur Teddy Martin is facing charges in his wife’s brutal murder. But he s not going down without spending a bundle of cash on his defense. So his hotshot attorney hires P.I. Elvis Cole to find proof that Detective Angela Rossi tampered with the evidence. Rossi needs a way back to the fast track after falling hard during an internal investigation five years ago. But Cole needs to know if she s desperate enough to falsify the case against Martin in order to secure her own position. As Cole and his partner Joe Pike work their way through a tangle of witnesses and an even greater tangle of media, they begin to suspect that it s not the police who are behind the setup.

Indigo Slam

Life in the California sun suits Elvis Cole until the day a fifteen year old girl and her two younger siblings walk into his office. Then everything changes. Three years ago, a Seattle family ran for their lives in a hail of bullets. Hired by three kids to find their missing father, Elvis now must pick up the cold pieces of a drama that began that night. What he finds is a sordid tale of high crimes and illicit drugs. As clues to a man’s secret life emerge from the shadows, Elvis knows he s not just up against ruthless mobsters and some very angry Feds. He s facing a storm of desperation and conspiracy bearing down on three children whose only crime was their survival…
.

L. A. Requiem

Los Angeles is a city of perpetual reinvention. Inviting, with a promise of infinite hope, it can also be a glittering landscape of debilitating isolation. The city’s lost souls take comfort in its promise the notion that tomorrow could be the day to start all over again, to transform oneself into someone else. Someone more powerful, more beautiful, more daring. At the core of L.A. Requiem is Joe Pike, a former cop with a past as dark and foreboding as his demeanor. His only stable relationship is with his partner of twelve years, Elvis Cole, a talented and quick witted PI with skeletons in his own past. When Pike’s former lover is found dead at a reservoir in the Hollywood Hills, the duo is brought in by the woman’s father to monitor the police investigation. But Pike’s no stranger to the men and women in the LAPD’s elite Robbery Homicide Division, at least one of whom has been harboring a long buried desire for revenge. With a rich cast of characters reminiscent of Raymond Chandler’s classic The Long Goodbye, L.A. Requiem is the apotheosis of Crais’s writing career a gripping novel that envelops Cole and Pike in an ever tightening web of conspiracies, secrets, and mortal passions that threatens to destroy their friendship, and leave one, or both, dead.

The Last Detective

Elvis Cole is back…
With his acclaimed bestsellers, Hostage a New York Times Notable Book and Demolition Angel, Robert Crais drew raves for his unstoppable pacing, edgy characterizations, and cinematic prose. Now, in The Last Detective, Crais returns to his signature character, Los Angeles private investigator Elvis Cole, in a masterful page turner that probes the meaning of family and the burdens of the past. Elvis Cole’s relationship with attorney Lucy Chenier is strained. When she moved from Louisiana to join Elvis in Los Angeles, she never dreamed that violence would so easily touch her life but then the unthinkable happens. While Lucy is away on business and her ten year old son, Ben, is staying with Elvis, Ben disappears without a trace. Desperate to believe that the boy has run away, evidence soon mounts to suggest a much darker scenario. Joining forces with his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike, Elvis frantically searches for Ben with the help of LAPD Detective Carol Starkey, as Lucy’s wealthy, oil industry ex husband attempts to wrest control of the investigation. Amid the maelstrom of personal conflicts, Elvis and Joe are forced to consider a more troubling lead one indicating that Ben’s disappearance is connected to a terrible, long held secret from Elvis Cole’s past. Venturing deep inside a complex psyche, Crais explores Elvis’s need for family the military that embraced him during a troubled adolescence, his rock solid partnership with Pike, and his floundering relationship with Lucy as they race the clock in their search for Ben. The Last Detective is Robert Crais’ richest, most intense tale of suspense yet.

The Forgotten Man

In his major New York Times bestseller, The Last Detective, Robert Crais returned to his signature characters, private investigator Elvis Cole and his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike. Now Crais delivers a stunning, edge of your seat suspense novel that leads Elvis to the very thing he’s always searched for the dark secrets of his own life as well as a brutal killer determined to stop him. Los Angeles, 3:58 a.m.: Elvis Cole receives the phone call he s been waiting for since childhood. Responding to a gunshot, the LAPD has found an injured man in an alleyway. He has told the officer on the scene that he is looking for his son, Elvis Cole. Minutes later, the man is dead. Haunted throughout his life by a lack of knowledge about his father, Elvis turns to the one person who can help him navigate the minefield of his past his longtime partner and confidant, Joe Pike. Together with hard edged LAPD detective, Carol Starkey, they launch a feverish search for the dead man s identity even as Elvis struggles between wanting to believe he s found his father at last and allowing his suspicions to hold him back. With each long buried clue they unearth, a frightening picture begins to emerge about who the dead man might have been and the terrible secret he s been guarding. At the same time, Elvis has no way of knowing he has awakened a sleeping monster. The further he goes in his investigation, the closer he draws to a merciless killer who is violently connected to the unidentified man s past. This psychopath believes Cole is hunting him, and he goes on the attack to find Elvis before Elvis can find him. Summoning all the powerful elements that have made Robert Crais one of the preeminent crime writers today, The Forgotten Man is a spectacular tour de force of suspense and intrigue.

The Watchman

Larkin Conner Barkley lives like the City of Angels is hers for the taking. Young and staggeringly rich, she speeds through the city during its loneliest hours, blowing through red after red in her Aston Martin as if running for her life. Until out of nowhere a car appears, and with it the metal on metal explosion of a terrible accident. Dazed, Larkin attempts to help the other victims. And finds herself the sole witness in a secret federal investigation. For maybe the first time in her life, Larkin wants to do the right thing. But by agreeing to cooperate with the authorities, she becomes the target for a relentless team of killers. And when the U.S. Marshals and the finest security money can buy can t protect her, Larkin’s wealthy family turns to the one man money can t buy Joe Pike. Pike lives a world away from the palaces of Beverly Hills. He s an ex cop, ex Marine, ex mercenary who owes a bad man a favor, and that favor is to keep Larkin alive. The one upside of the job is reuniting with Bud Flynn, Pike s LAPD training officer, and a man Pike reveres as a father. The downside is Larkin Barkley, who is the uncontrollable cover girl for self destruction and as deeply alone as Pike. Pike commits himself to protecting the girl, but when they immediately come under fire, he realizes someone is selling them out. In defiance of Bud and the authorities, Pike drops off the grid with the girl and follows his own rules of survival: strike fast, hit hard, hunt down the hunters. With the help of private investigator Elvis Cole, Pike uncovers a web of lies and betrayals, and the stunning revelation that even the cops are not who they seem. As the body count rises, Pike s biggest threat might come from the girl herself, a lost soul in the City of Angels, determined to destroy herself unless Joe Pike can teach her the value of life and love.

Chasing Darkness

Elvis Cole is Back In a Desperate Fight to Clear his Name…
It’s fire season, and the hills of Los Angeles are burning. When police and fire department personnel rush door to door in a frenzied evacuation effort, they discover the week old corpse of an apparent suicide. But the gunshot victim is less gruesome than what they find in his lap: a photo album of seven brutally murdered young women one per year, for seven years. And when the suicide victim is identified as a former suspect in one of the murders, the news turns Elvis Cole’s world upside down. Three years earlier Lionel Byrd was brought to trial for the murder of a female prostitute named Yvonne Bennett. A taped confession coerced by the police inspired a prominent defense attorney to take Byrd’s case, and Elvis Cole was hired to investigate. It was Cole’s eleventh hour discovery of an exculpatory videotape that allowed Lionel Byrd to walk free. Elvis was hailed as a hero. But the discovery of the death album in Byrd’s lap now brands Elvis as an unwitting accomplice to murder. Captured in photographs that could only have been taken by the murderer, Yvonne Bennett was the fifth of the seven victims two more young women were murdered after Lionel Byrd walked free. So Elvis can’t help but wonder did he, Elvis Cole, cost two more young women their lives? Shut out of the investigation by a special LAPD task force determined to close the case, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike desperately fight to uncover the truth about Lionel Byrd and his nightmare album of death a truth hidden by lies, politics, and corruption in a world where nothing is what it seems to be. Chasing Darkness is a blistering thriller from the bestselling author who sets the standard for intense, powerful crime writing.

The First Rule

From the New York Times bestselling author who sets the standard for intense, powerful crime writing comes a blistering thriller featuring Joe Pike and Elvis Cole. The Watchman put Joe Pike, Elvis Cole’s strong, taciturn partner, front and center, and not only won Robert Crais new audiences but remarkable reviews. The South Florida Sun Sentinel said ‘Robert Crais elevates crime fiction’ and now with The First Rule he does it again. The organized criminal gangs of the former Soviet Union are bound by what they call the thieves’ code. The First Rule is this: A thief must forsake his mother, father, brothers, and sisters. He must have no family no wife, no children. We are his family. If any of the rules are broken, it is punishable by death. Frank Meyer had the American dream until the day a professional crew invaded his home and murdered everyone inside. The only thing out of the ordinary about Meyer was that before the family and the business and the normal life a younger Frank Meyer had worked as a professional mercenary, with a man named Joe Pike. The police think Meyer was hiding something very bad, but Pike does not. With the help of Cole, he sets out on a hunt of his own an investigation that quickly entangles them both in a web of ancient grudges, blood ties, blackmail, vengeance, double crosses, and cutthroat criminal ity, and at the heart of it, an act so terrible even Pike and Cole have no way to measure it. Sometimes, the past is never dead. It’s not even past. The First Rule is the most astonishing novel yet from the master of the crime thriller.

The Sentry

In The Watchman and The First Rule, Robert Crais put Joe Pike front and center for the first time, to remarkable effect: A beautifully crafted piece of story telling The Seattle Times; A high octane thriller…
Pike’s unshakable belief in right and wrong provides a moral center South Florida Sun Sentinel; Joe Pike is a joy to watch, an urban Zen warrior priest righting wrongs. More Pike, please Chicago Sun Times. But when Joe Pike does return, it is to a case that will rock him to his core. Five years ago, Dru Rayne and her uncle fled from Louisiana to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina hit, but now they face a different kind of danger. A neighborhood protection gang savagely beats Dru s uncle, but Pike witnesses it and offers his own brand of protection. Oddly enough, neither of them seems to want it and neither do the federal agents mysteriously watching their storefront, men who appear quite willing to let the gang have its way. None of that deters Pike there s something about Dru that touches him and he won t back away, whether she wants his help or not but as the level of violence escalates, and Pike himself becomes a target, he and Elvis Cole begin to discover some things. Dru and her uncle are not who they seem, and everything Pike thought he knew about them, their relationship to the gang, and the reasons they fled New Orleans it s all been lies. A vengeful and murderous force is catching up to them…
and it s perfectly happy to sweep Pike and Cole up in its wake.

Taken

Crais has never written a book with the power and intensity of Taken. When Nita Morales hires Elvis Cole to find her missing adult daughter, she isn t afraid, even though she’s gotten a phone call asking for ransom. She knows it s a fake, that her daughter is off with the guy Nita will call only that boy, and that they need money: Even smart girls do stupid things when they think a boy loves them. But she is wrong. The girl and her boyfriend have been Taken by bajadores bandits who prey on other bandits, border professionals who prey not only on innocent victims, but on one another. They steal drugs, guns, and people buying and selling victims like commodities, and killing the ones they can t get a price for. Cole and Pike find the spot where the couple were Taken. There are tire tracks, bullet casings, and bloodstains. They know things look as bad as possible. But they are wrong, too. It is about to get much worse. Going undercover to find the couple and buy them back, Cole himself is Taken, and disappears. Now it is up to Joe Pike to retrace Cole s steps, burning through the hard and murderous world of human traffickers to find his friend. But he may already be too late. Thrilling, emotional, passionate, with some of the best characters and well crafted writing in all of crime fiction, Taken is further proof that Crais just keeps getting better Publishers Weekly.

Demolition Angel

4 Cassettes, 6 hrs. Performance by Patricia KalemberWith the most unforgettable female lead character since Clarice Starling, Demolition Angel is a blistering stand alone thriller from the freshest bestselling voice in crime fiction. Carol Starkey is struggling to pick up the pieces of her former life as L.A.’s finest bomb squad technician. Fueled with liberal doses of alcohol and Tagamet, she’s doing time as a Detective 2 with LAPD’s Criminal Conspiracy Section. Three years have passed since the event that haunts her a detonation that killed her partner and lover, David ‘Sugar’ Boudreaux. Fragments from the same explosion sliced through Starkey’s protective Kevlar, scarred her beyond repair, and left her outside looking in at the life she left behind. Now she can’t bear her reflection in the mirror, and hasn’t been with another man since Sugar left her bed the morning they rolled out to the bomb site. When a seemingly innocuous bomb call turns into a devastating murder scene, Carol catches the case and embarks on an investigation of a series of explosions that reveal intentions far more disturbing than one shot acts of anarchy. The bombs are designed expressly to kill bomb technicians, and as the one tech who survived the deadliest of blasts, Carol is in for the most intense fight of her life. Against the dazzling and lonely backdrop of contemporary Los Angeles, Robert Crais has crafted a work of ingenious depth of character, matched with a transcendent narrative velocity. Demolition Angel is sure to take its place among the finest thrillers of the modern age.

Hostage

The bestselling author of Demolition Angel and L.A. Requiem returns with his most intense and intricate thriller yet. As the Los Angeles Times said, Robert Crais is a crime writer operating at the top of his game. His complex heroes and heroines, his mastery of noir atmosphere, and his brilliant, taut plots have catapulted him into the front rank of a new breed of thriller writers. Hostage proves his earlier success was no fluke. It’s an unstoppable read. An ex con with delusions of grandeur and his tagalong brother unwittingly team up with a psychopath one wrong word away from meltdown. When their late afternoon joyride turns into a random act of violence, they take a family Hostage in the affluent bedroom community of Bristo Camino. Enter Chief of Police Jeff Talley, a stressed out former LAPD SWAT negotiator who is hiding from his past. Plunged back into the high pressure world that he desperately wants to forget, Talley soon learns that his nightmare has only begun. The Hostages are not who they seem, and the home contains secrets that even L.A. s most lethal and volatile crime lord, Sonny Benza, fears. As Talley tries to hold himself together and save the people inside, the full weight of Benza s wrath descends on him, putting the police chief and his own family at risk. Soon, all involved are held Hostage by the exigencies of fate and the only one capable of diffusing the standoff is the least stable of them all. Hostage is a blistering stand alone thriller with superb characters in crisis, multistranded plotting, and pitch perfect Southern California sensibility. From the Hardcover edition.

The Two Minute Rule

Ask anyone on the wrong side of the law about The Two Minute Rule and they ll tell you that’s as long as you can hope for at a robbery before the cops show up. Break The Two Minute Rule and it s a lifetime in jail. But not everyone plays by the rules

When ex con Max Holman finally gets out of jail, freedom doesn t taste too sweet. The only thing on his mind is reconciliation with his estranged son, who is, ironically, a cop. But then he hears the devastating news: His son and three other Los Angeles police officers were gunned down in cold blood the night before Holman s release. When the hit is exposed as a revenge killing and the question of police corruption is raised, it becomes a father s last duty to clear his son s name and catch the killer. With all the elements that have made Robert Crais one of the very best crime novelists today, The Two Minute Rule is gripping, edgy suspense from the author who sets the standard when it comes to surprising plot twists and powerful characters.

Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe

Authorized by the estate of the late Raymond Chandler, this volume reveals the missing life history and detective adventures of Philip Marlowe, one of the 20th century’s most enduring and beloved characters. Marlowe is the quintessential American detective: cynical yet idealistic; romantic yet full of despair; a gentleman capable of rough violence. The final story in the volume is Raymond Chandler’s last Marlowe adventure:The Pencil. The stories run chronologically through the career of Marlowe, from 1935 through 1960. These are classic Marlowe tales of betrayal, mistrust, and double dealing on the seamy side of Los Angeles.

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