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The Forgotten Man (Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Series #10)

The Forgotten Man (Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Series #10)

4.2 74
by Robert Crais

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In his major New York Times bestseller, THE LAST DETECTIVE, Robert Crais returned to his signature characters, private investigator Elvis Cole and his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike. Now Crais delivers a stunning, edge-of-your-seat suspense novel that leads Elvis to the very thing he’s always searched for— the dark secrets of his own life. . .


In his major New York Times bestseller, THE LAST DETECTIVE, Robert Crais returned to his signature characters, private investigator Elvis Cole and his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike. Now Crais delivers a stunning, edge-of-your-seat suspense novel that leads Elvis to the very thing he’s always searched for— the dark secrets of his own life. . . as well as a brutal killer determined to stop him.

Los Angeles, 3:58 a.m.: Elvis Cole receives the phone call he’s been waiting for since childhood. Responding to a gunshot, the LAPD has found an injured man in an alleyway. He has told the officer on the scene that he is looking for his son, Elvis Cole. Minutes later, the man is dead.

Haunted throughout his life by a lack of knowledge about his father, Elvis turns to the one person who can help him navigate the minefield of his past— his longtime partner and confidant, Joe Pike. Together with hard-edged LAPD detective, Carol Starkey, they launch a feverish search for the dead man’s identity—even as Elvis struggles between wanting to believe he’s found his father at last and allowing his suspicions to hold him back. With each long-buried clue they unearth, a frightening picture begins to emerge about who the dead man might have been and the terrible secret he’s been guarding.

At the same time, Elvis has no way of knowing he has awakened a sleeping monster. The further he goes in his investigation, the closer he draws to a merciless killer who is violently connected to the unidentified man’s past. This psychopath believes Cole is hunting him, and he goes on the attack to find Elvis before Elvis can findhim.

Summoning all the powerful elements that have made Robert Crais one of the preeminent crime writers today, THE FORGOTTEN MAN is a spectacular tour-de-force of suspense and intrigue.

Editorial Reviews

Richard Lipez
The fiftyish Cole is a wonderfully sweet creation, with his sadness over his lost loves and his pleasure in his '66 yellow Corvette convertible, and Crais is just as serious and adept with his secondary characters … where character and texture and decent spiritedness in a noir world are concerned, he's one of the real pros.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Crais's latest L.A.-based crime novel featuring super-sleuth Elvis Cole blends high-powered action, a commanding cast and a touch of dark humor to excellent dramatic effect. One morning at four, Cole gets a call from the LAPD informing him that a murdered John Doe has claimed, with his dying breath, to be Cole's father, a man Cole has never met. Cole immediately gets to work gathering evidence on the dead man-Herbert Faustina, aka George Reinnike-while cramping the style of the assigned detective, Jeff Pardy. Though Cole finds Reinnike's motel room key at the crime scene, the puzzle pieces are tough to put together, even with the unfailing help of partner Joe Pike and feisty ex-Bomb Squad techie Carol Starkey, who's so smitten with Cole that she can't think of him without smiling. Days of smart sleuthing work take the self-proclaimed "World's Greatest Detective" from a Venice Beach escort service to the California desert, then a hospital in San Diego, where doubts about Reinnike's true heritage begin to dissipate. Meanwhile, a delusional psychopath named Frederick Conrad, who is convinced that his partner in crime was killed by Cole, stalks and schemes to even the score. There's lots to digest, but this character-driven series continues to be strong in plot, action and pacing, and Crais (The Last Detective) boasts a distinctive knack for a sucker-punch element of surprise. Agent, Aaron Priest. (Feb. 15) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Private investigator Elvis Cole, recovering from his last case, faces new dangers from his past. From the author of Demolition Angel. Simultaneous with the Doubleday hardcover. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Veteran LA private eye Elvis Cole, whose return in The Last Detective (2003) after his creator stalked bigger game (Hostage, 2001, etc.) suggested a bad case of gigantism, puts it all together in the murder of his own father. The case begins with an after-hours phone call from Detective Kelly Diaz. The LAPD have found a shooting victim who begs them with his dying breath to call his son, Elvis Cole. It's quite a shock to Elvis, who's never met his father-although he's certainly put in his time looking for him-and doesn't know his name. Nor is he about to learn it from the corpse, the cops, or even the motel-room key he providentially finds at the crime scene. Could Herbert Faustina, the alias under which the victim registered at the Home Away Suites, really be the father Elvis never knew? Elvis's partner, Joe Pike, is on the case. So is Det. Carol Starkey, the ex-Bomb Squad tech stuck on oblivious Elvis, who calls her only to ask more favors. And so, to more violent effect, is gas jockey Frederick Conrad, intent first on covering up the dark secret he shared with his missing boss and then on avenging the murder he's convinced was committed by the World's Greatest Detective. A potent mix of sound detection, black humor, cut-and-run action, sensitive-male flapdoodle, and half a dozen first-class surprises. Welcome back, Elvis. Agency: Aaron Priest Agency

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Series , #10
Edition description:
Abridged, 4 CDs, 4 hours
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Forgotten Man

By Robert Crais

Random House

Robert Crais
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0385504314

Chapter One


They called me to view the body on a wet spring morning when darkness webbed my house. Some nights are like that; more now than before. Picture the World's Greatest Detective, reluctant subject of sidebar articles in the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles magazine, stretched on his couch in a redwood A-frame overlooking the city, not really sleeping at 3:58 A.M. when the phone rang. I thought it was a reporter, but answered anyway.


"This is Detective Kelly Diaz with LAPD. I apologize about the time, but I'm trying to reach Elvis Cole."

Her voice was coarse, reflecting the early hour. I pushed into a sitting position and cleared my throat. Police who call before sunrise have nothing to offer but bad news.

"How'd you get my number?"

I had changed my home number when the news stories broke, but reporters and cranks still called.

"One of the criminalists had it or got it, I'm not sure. Either way, I'm sorry for calling like this, but we have a homicide. We have reason to believe you know the deceased."

Something sharp stabbed behind my eyes, and I swung my feet to the floor.

"Who is it?"

"We'd like you to come down here, see for yourself. We're downtown near Twelfth and Hill Street. I can send a radio car if that would help."

Thehouse was dark. Sliding glass doors opened to a deck that jutted like a diving platform over the canyon behind my house. The lights on the opposite ridge were murky with the low clouds and mist. I cleared my throat again.

"Is it Joe Pike?"

"Pike's your partner, right? The ex-cop with the sunglasses?"

"Yes. He has arrows tattooed on the outside of his delts. They're red."

She covered the phone, but I heard muffled voices. She was asking. My chest filled with a growing pressure, and I didn't like that she had to ask because asking meant maybe it was.

"Is it Pike?"

"No, this isn't Pike. This man has tattoos, but not like that. I'm sorry if I scared you that way. Listen, we can send a car."

I closed my eyes, letting the pressure fade.

"I don't know anything about it. What makes you think I know?"

"The victim said some things before he died. Come down and take a look. I'll send a car."

"Am I a suspect?"

"Nothing like that. We just want to see if you can help with the ID."

"What was your name?"


"Okay, Diaz-it's four in the morning, I haven't slept in two months, and I'm not in the mood. If you think I know this guy, then you think I'm a suspect. Everyone who knows a homicide victim is a suspect until they're cleared, so just tell me who you got and ask whatever it is you want to ask."

"What it is, we have a deceased Anglo male we believe to be the victim of a robbery. They got his wallet, so I can't give you a name. We're hoping you can help with that part. Here, listen-"

"Why do you think I know him?"

She plowed on with the description as if I hadn't spoken.

"Anglo male, dyed black hair thin on top, brown eyes, approximately seventy years but he could be older, I guess, and he has crucifix tattoos on both palms."

"Why do you think I know him?"

"He has more tats of a religious nature on his arms-Jesus, the Virgin, things like that. None of this sounds familiar?"

"I don't have any idea who you're talking about."

"What we have is a deceased male as I've described, one gunshot to the chest. By his appearance and location, he appears indigent, but we're working on that. I'm the officer who found him. He was still conscious at that time and said things that suggested you would recognize his description."

"I don't."

"Look, Cole, I'm not trying to be difficult. It would be better if-"

"What did he say?"

Diaz didn't answer right away.

"He told me he was your father."

I sat without moving in my dark house. I had started that night in bed, but ended on the couch, hoping the steady patter of rain would quiet my heart, but sleep had not come.

"Just like that, he told you he was my father."

"I tried to get a statement, but all he said was something about you being his son, and then he passed. You're the same Elvis Cole they wrote the stories about, aren't you? In the Times?"


"He had the clippings. I figured you would recognize the tats if you knew him, me thinking he was your father, but it sounds like you don't."

My voice came out hoarse, and the catch embarrassed me.

"I never met my father. I don't know anything about him, and as far as I know he doesn't know me."

"We want you to come take a look, Mr. Cole. We have a few questions."

"I thought I wasn't a suspect."

"At this time, you aren't, but we still have the questions. We sent a radio car. It should be pulling up just about now."

Approaching headlights brightened my kitchen as she said it. I heard the car roll to a slow stop outside my house, and more light filled my front entry. They had radioed their status, and someone with Diaz had signaled their arrival.

"Okay, Diaz, tell them to shut their lights. No point in waking the neighbors."

"The car is a courtesy, Mr. Cole. In case you were unable to drive after you saw him."

"Sure. That's why you kept offering the car like it was my choice even though it was already coming."

"It's still your choice. If you want to take your own car you can follow them. We just have a few questions."

The glow outside vanished, and once more my home was in darkness.

"Okay, Diaz, I'm coming. Tell them to take it easy out there. I have to get dressed.

"Not a problem. We'll see you in a few minutes."

I put down the phone but still did not move. I had not moved in hours. Outside, a light rain fell as quietly as a whisper. I must have been waiting for Diaz to call. Why else would I have been awake that night and all the other nights except to wait like a lost child in the woods, a forgotten child waiting to be found?

After a while I dressed, then followed the radio car to see the dead.

From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpted from The Forgotten Man by Robert Crais Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

ROBERT CRAIS is the bestselling author of Hostage, Demolition Angel, and L.A. Requiem, as well as seven previous novels featuring Elvis Cole. For additional information about the author and his novels, visit www.robertcrais.com.

Brief Biography

Los Angeles, California
Date of Birth:
June 20, 1953
Place of Birth:
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
B.S., Louisiana State University, 1976; Clarion Writers Workshop at Michigan State University

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The Forgotten Man (Elvis Cole Series #10) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
Mark Farmer More than 1 year ago
I've read a bunch of his stuff, and he just consistently puts out a superb product. His sense of flow for dialogue, plot, and character development are just head and shoulders above. If you're lookin for good drama/detective genre reading, this won't disappoint you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have recently discovered Elvis and read every single book in about 5 weeks. Would give each one a 4.5 or 5 star rating. Not so with The Forgotten Man. The plot is rather convoluted to give us flashbacks and tell us about the childhood, etc., of Elvis growing up. Frankly, I think Elvis is perfect and I don't need to hear about the past. If it ain't broke,don't fix it. This book was not as good in my opinion and also seemed to lack the typical wisecracking gumshoe and bad boy Pike we have grown to love in previous novels. As much as I hate to say so, I would suggest you skip this one. It is not up to a par with the previous books.
1dachsmom More than 1 year ago
HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!! Love the main characters - Elvis & Joe. Kept me awake many nights, but it was well worth it. Don't miss this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great character development. Not as much heroic action as the series reader might be used to. I liked it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always an excellent story. Love Joe Pike and don't like selfish Lucy. Cole should get together with Carol.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great plot, different & kept me guessing as to what was going on. Love Starky, she's a great character. Lucy is sickening - I was sorry to see her come back, I was thrilled when she moved away. Hope she's gone for good in next novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robert Crais has done it again. Delivering us a novel you can not put down. Elvis Cole is an amazing character in this book. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves a good mystery crime story. Keep em coming Robert, can't wait to see what you come up with next.
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I've read this book before, but needed a copy to fill out my collection. Crais is the best thing going today.
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snowflakeIB More than 1 year ago
I love his work and this is just my kind of book. Mysteries are my favorite entertainment.
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Sebastian95 More than 1 year ago
Another excellent read from Robert Crais. He truly brings his characters to life. If only Joe Pike were a real person!
magric More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Besides doing the guy thing, which is mysterious to me but always lively, as a woman I can completely identify with what poor Lucy goes through trying to deal with The Guy Thing ....great series, and Crais somehow comes up with great stories time after time w/o falling into a predictable rut! Long live Cole and Pike!
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