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The First Rule (Joe Pike Novels)by Robert Crais
Synopses & Reviews
From the New York Times-bestselling author who sets the standard for intense, powerful crime-writing comes a blistering thriller featuring Joe Pike and Elvis Cole.
The Watchman put Joe Pike, Elvis Cole's strong, taciturn partner, front and center, and not only won Robert Crais new audiences but remarkable reviews. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel said Robert Crais elevates crime fiction and now with The First Rule he does it again.
The organized criminal gangs of the former Soviet Union are bound by what they call the thieves' code. The first rule is this: A thief must forsake his mother, father, brothers, and sisters. He must have no family-no wife, no children. We are his family. If any of the rules are broken, it is punishable by death.
Frank Meyer had the American dream — until the day a professional crew invaded his home and murdered everyone inside. The only thing out of the ordinary about Meyer was that — before the family and the business and the normal life — a younger Frank Meyer had worked as a professional mercenary, with a man named Joe Pike. The police think Meyer was hiding something very bad, but Pike does not. With the help of Cole, he sets out on a hunt of his own — an investigation that quickly entangles them both in a web of ancient grudges, blood ties, blackmail, vengeance, double crosses, and cutthroat criminality, and at the heart of it, an act so terrible even Pike and Cole have no way to measure it. Sometimes, the past is never dead. It's not even past.
The First Rule is the most astonishing novel yet from the master of the crime thriller.
"When garment importer Frank Meyer and his family are executed in their Los Angeles home at the start of bestseller Crais's adrenaline-fueled second thriller to feature PI Joe Pike (after The Watchman), LAPD detectives soon connect Meyer to Pike, who knew each other from their days as military contractors. Pike is convinced that Meyer, who left soldiering to start a family, wasn't dirty, even though his murder is the seventh in a series of violent robberies where the victims were all professional criminals. Determined to clear his friend's name, Pike discovers that Frank's nanny and her family have ties to Eastern European organized crime. With the help of PI partner Elvis Cole (the lead in Chasing Darkness and eight other books), Pike engages in a dangerous — and not always legal — game of cat and mouse with some of the city's most dangerous crooks. Pike emerges as an enigmatically appealing hero, whose lethal skills never overshadow his unflappable sense of morality." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Crais, whose last Joe Pike novel, The Watchman (2007), hit the New York Times bestseller list, likely has another on his hands here. After years as second banana to Cole, Pike has claimed center stage for his own." Booklist
"Righteous vengeance, a reckless pace, a stratospheric body count and just enough surprises to keep you turning the pages. The pleasures may be primitive, but they're genuine." Kirkus Reviews
"Not a word is wasted in this suspenseful, hair-raising page-turner.... Crime master Crais...is at his best here." Library Journal
"It's a good plot, and Crais keeps it spinning with his accustomed skill. He's a stylist; his action scenes are not so much written as choreographed." Washington Post
Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are joined by Suspect heroes Scott James and his K-9 partner, Maggie, in the new masterpiece of suspense from the #1 New York Timesbestselling author.
Loyalty, commitment, the fight against injustice—these are the things that have always driven Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. If they make a promise, they keep it. Even if it could get them killed.
When Elvis Cole is hired to locate a woman who may have disappeared with a stranger she met online, it seems like an ordinary case—until Elvis learns the missing woman worked for a defense contractor and was being blackmailed to supply explosives components for a person or persons unknown.
Meanwhile, in another part of the city, LAPD officer Scott James and his patrol dog, Maggie, enter an abandoned building to locate an armed and dangerous thief, only to discover far more than they expected: The fugitive is dead, the building is filled with explosives, and Scott and Maggie are assaulted by a hidden man who escapes in the chaos, all as a bloodied Joe Pike watches from the shadows.
Soon, Scott and Maggie find themselves targeted by that man, and, as their case intertwines with Elvis and Joes, joining forces to follow the trail of the missing woman as well. From inner-city drug traffickers to a shadowy group of Afghan war veterans with ties to a terrorist cell, the people they encounter on that trail add up to ever-increasing odds, and soon the four of them are fighting to find the woman not only before she is killed . . . but before the same fate happens to one of them.
The explosive new masterpiece of suspense from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author.
LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well. Eight months ago, a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty—until he meets his new partner.
Maggie is not doing so well, either. A German shepherd who survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before losing her handler to an IED, her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s.
They are each other’s last chance. Shunned and shunted to the side, they set out to investigate the one case that no one wants them to touch: the identity of the men who murdered Stephanie. What they begin to find is nothing like what Scott has been told, and the journey will take them both through the darkest moments of their own personal hells. Whether they will make it out again, no one can say.
About the Author
Robert Crais is the 2006 recipient of the Ross Macdonald Literary Award. He is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including The Two Minute Rule, The Forgotten Man, and L.A. Requiem.
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