Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pike shines in starring role in The Sentry

Book Twelve: The Sentry by Robert Crais

Joe Pike began his literary life as a sidekick. He was Robin to Elvis Cole's Batman. Suddenly, in the span of three books all that's changed.

Pike is now a leading man. And his star power has never been more in evidence than in The Sentry, the newest thriller from author Robert Crais.

As the novel opens, Pike saves a restaurant owner from a severe beating by two gang members.  As a result of his timely intervention, Pike meets the restaurant owner's niece.  They share a quiet moment, she confides in him -- sharing a picture of her daughter -- and Pike asks if he can see her again. She says yes, but that meeting doesn't happen again until very late in the novel.

The young woman and her uncle vanish. Pike believes they've been kidnapped by gang members seeking retribution. But, as with any good thriller, things aren't what they seem. Pike and Cole soon discover that the couple aren't fleeing an L.A. gang, but a psychopathic killer who is working for a Bolivian drug cartel.

There are many twists and turns en route to the finale, delivered with typical brio by Crais. 

Fans of Elvis Cole, and there are many, will be pleased to know that he's very much a part of The Sentry. He's clearly not the star of the show, but his appearance is far more than a cameo.

Cole plays a key role late in the novel as deadly events unfold. And, with his wise cracks and steady patter, Cole is the perfect contrast to the silent, lethal Joe Pike.

The Sentry is another stellar effort from Robert Crais.

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