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Book Talk: Robert Crais, ‘A Dangerous Man’

Fans of Robert Crais will welcome back Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. Elvis is the skilled detective and Joe is the muscle, Jack Reacher style. The dialogues between them is comfortably familiar, very similar to the type of back-and-forth that we see on television. That’s not a coincidence. Crais used to write for TV shows like L.A. Law, Miami Vice, and Hill Street Blues.

In “A Dangerous Man” (2019, 369 pages in paperback), Pike is not just a sidekick, he’s a central character. The story opens with Pike walking out of a bank and noticing two men in a car who seem to be concentrating too intently on Isabel, a bank teller who is taking a break for an early lunch. When one of the men gets out and pushes Isabel into the car, Pike follows in his jeep. When the car comes to a stop, Pike easily dispatches the men and rescues Isabel. For the remainder of the novel, this seems to be Pike’s primary job: protecting Isabel.

Pike makes sure that the kidnappers get arrested, but when they are released (presumably on bail), the real drama begins. Isabel has disappeared, and Pike is determined to find her. To do that, he needs the help of his buddy, Elvis Cole. As the plot unfolds, it is revealed that the employer of the kidnappers believes that Isabel holds the secret to the whereabouts of $19 million that her mother stole from him more than two decades ago. Since then, and without her knowledge, Isabel has lived with her parents in a witness protection program.



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