Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Promise by Robert Crais


I’ve read all of the Elvis Cole detective novels by Robert Crais. About a year ago he published Suspect, a stand-alone novel featuring police officer Scott James and his K-9 partner Maggie. That was a fantastic book. The Promise is another Elvis Cole novel with Scott James and his K-9 partner Maggie featured as secondary characters. Joe Pike, Cole’s partner, is also featured in a secondary role. That was a mistake, because Pike should have played a larger role. I enjoyed The Promise and I do recommend it for Robert Crais fans and new readers just discovering his books. By no means is this the best Elvis Cole novel, but it’s still good. The action is toned down quite a bit here, but the suspense level is high throughout. Crais plots a thrilling tale of deceit and loyalty. Cole is hired to find a grief stricken mother, but what he discovers is a plot to contact a terrorist organization that leads him down a deceptive path where motivations and identities are not what they seem. Scott James and his K-9 partner Maggie remain enticing characters and it’s obvious we’ll see more of them. Several subplots in this book appear designed to set-up additional stories in the series. These include the villain, Mr. Rollins, and Jon Stone, one of Joe Pike’s talented friends. As such, The Promise feels incomplete to me. If Crais is attempting to set-up a series of connected books featuring a long, complex plot I might suggest he study the now famous “Helen Trilogy” by Preston and Child, and perhaps even study Lester Dent’s Doc Savage page-turning plots. Just a thought. Robert Crais’s books are among the few I purchase in hardcover as I have reached the age where my book budget is planned carefully. The Promise is good, but his next one will determine if I categorize future titles as strictly paperback purchases.

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