Have you read this? Read it. FUNNY STUFF!
Remember how the best part of the Nero Wolfe series is Archie Goodwin--- well, actually Archie’s amazingly sarcastic lines?---- get ready to love Elvis Cole ( if you don’t already love Elvis Cole)
I have read Robert Crais sporadically; but had never gone to the beginning of the series and this is a strong debut and so edgy; even for its initial publication...And while Elvis Cole isn’t EXACTLY like Archie Goodwin, it’s that sparkly sarcastic quipping and delineating observation of character that drives the book at breakneck speed.
Elvis has a Jiminy Cricket collection and wants to be Peter Pan. He’s funny. So funny. So fresh. I immediately thought of Spenser; but found Joe Pike to be more appealing (if as reserved on the talking front) as Hawk.
There are a couple of things I especially like about Robert Crais. First, his background is in screenwriting so there is a palpably tangible tension to his action that plays very much like a film rolling in your mind’s eye. Secondly, and somewhat famously, though often offered, Crais has refused to sell the rights to the Pike/Cole novels as he continues to write them---preferring his readers to have their own imaginative conceptualization of his characters. While this is somewhat contradictory of one who has worked so steadily in the television market, it just shows that he recognizes the dichotomy between imagination and adaptation and further proves that he is not willing to sell out. For me, this shows a lot of authorial integrity.
I am just about finished Taken: which is night and day from Monkey’s Raincoat: and the most recently released Pike/Cole novel. It burns rubber this book flies by so fast; but Crais whittles down prose with intention, he knows what descriptors to leave in and where the mind can easily paint a canvas he refuses to fill in.
Now, for a couple of quotes from Monkey's Raincoat I laughed at and loved:
"It's easy to sound good. All you have to do is leave in the parts where you act tough and forget the parts where you get shoved around."
“I took a deep breath and smiled sweetly. “I’m going to check around outside,” I said. It was either that, or hit them with a chair”
“The rich black of the canyon was dotted with jack-o’-lantern lit houses, orange and white and yellow and red in the night. Where the canyon flattened out into Hollywood and the basin beyond, the lights concentrated into thousands of blue-white diamonds spilled over the earth.”
“I woke up just before nine the next morning and caught the tail end of Sesame Street. Today’s episodes was brought to us by the letter D. For Depressed Detective”