Previous reviews are at Mack Pitches Up

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The First Rule by Robert Crais

Frank Meyer worked for Joe Pike as a military contractor until he fell in love and left the life of a mercenary for a steady job, a wife, kids, and a house in the suburbs. His wife insisted that he cut himself off entirely from his past life but that didn't stop Pike from caring about him. A home invasion, one of a string, leaves Frank and his entire family dead. The police think that Frank might have been operating his import business as a cover for illegal activities but Pike knows that he was a straight citizen and begins his own search for the people responsible.

Robert Crais is one of the writers that automatically go on my TBR list when a new title is announced. If you're a Crais fan-boy, you know that his main character is the wise-cracking, world's greatest detective, Elvis Cole. Carol Starkey, a member of the bomb squad until she got blown, up makes occasional appearances. And then there is Cole's partner, ex-marine, ex-mercenary, silent and deadly, Joe Pike. This is the second book where Joe Pike takes the lead with Elvis Cole providing backup. With Cole in the background, The First Rule is darker, without the humor you get with Elvis. But that's OK, Pike is very different from Cole and deserves to have his story told his way.

The story is good and I enjoyed the way the way Crais shifted the plot elements from a home evasion gone bad to something larger and more complicated. More than that, we get more of Pike's back-story and we see more of the people who were part of his life as a mercenary. There is one final element that I have to dance around because it is too good to spoil so I'll just say that it is an aspect of Pike's nature that surprised me and in a good way.

What does The First Rule refer to? Think Keyser Söze. That's all I'm willing to say.

Here are two reviews of The First Rule that I enjoyed.

Review of the First Rule at Bookgasm.
Review of The First Rule at The Drowning Machine.