Title: The Wanted (Elvis Cole #17)
Expected publication: 1 January 2018
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2
Step aside Batman, make way for BatCole.
Seventeen-year-old Tyson is a normal teenaged boy – he’s socially awkward, obsessed with video games, and always hungry. But his mother is worried that her sweet, nerdy son has started to change… and she’s just found a $40,000 Rolex watch under his bed. Suddenly very frightened that Tyson has gotten involved in something illegal, his mother gets in touch with a private investigator named Elvis Cole and asks him to do some digging.
Cole uncovers a connection between Tyson and eighteen unsolved burglaries in LA’s ritziest neighbourhood. Tyson spooks and runs.
And then the bodies start turning up…
Many many years ago I stumbled across the first book featuring the funny and enigmatic Elvis Cole, and it was love at first book! I have been a huge fan of the series since, and they are the type of comfort books I turn to when I feel a bit book-jaded. Crais always delivers a solid mystery, and Elvis’ quick wit and dry humour put a permanent grin on my face whilst reading. And of course the books would not be complete without the silent, loyal and indestructible Joe Pike, who always manages to get Elvis out of trouble when the going gets tough. I love them!
As usual, Crais has nailed the art of delivering an action packed mystery that tests all of Elvis’ detecting skills. I am not going to get into the story, as the blurb contains all you need to know, so allow yourself to get swept up by the action just as I did. This is one of those rare books that can be read as a stand-alone, even if you haven’t read the previous 16 books in the series (although I highly recommend reading them all, they are great!). There is enough background to understand Elvis’ and Pike’s relationship, and most of the other characters are either new or play a peripheral role where previous knowledge is not essential.
Crais tells his story from the different characters’ POVs, including that of the “bad guys”, in short concise chapters that move the narrative along at the perfect pace, giving just the right amount of clues to keep the reader guessing but hinting at things yet to come. Each of the narrators has a unique and interesting voice, which is a hard balance to achieve, and kept me hooked from start to finish. I love it how Crais combines the private detective story with the cat-and-mouse game of a fast paced action thriller, and a police procedural as an aside – with three genres rolled into one, what more can you want? Cole and Pike are a fictional partnership that really works and carries the story, and I was happy to have them both included in this latest instalment. I admit I prefer the books in the series that have Elvis as the main character and Pike as his side-kick, since I adore Elvis’ humour and it is a huge factor of enjoyment for me.
All in all, if you haven’t discovered this great detective series yet, The Wanted is a perfect opportunity to take the plunge. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed, though it may add quite a few new books to your TBR list. Another irresistible read from Crais, who has certainly made a name for himself in the mystery genre and is one of my go-to authors when I feel a bit book-jaded and just want a great read. Highly recommended.
Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Australia for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.