Frank e Cindy Meyer, una coppia felice con due bambini, sono la perfetta incarnazione del sogno americano, fino al giorno in cui una banda di ladri professionisti fa irruzione nella loro casa di Los Angeles uccidendo tutta la famiglia e Ana, la loro baby sitter serba. È il settimo colpo messo a segno dalla banda in pochi mesi. I suoi membri sono degli specialisti e non lasciano indizi utili alle indagini, solo una scia di cadaveri. L'unico elemento in comune tra le vittime è che si era sempre trattato di ...
Frank e Cindy Meyer, una coppia felice con due bambini, sono la perfetta incarnazione del sogno americano, fino al giorno in cui una banda di ladri professionisti fa irruzione nella loro casa di Los Angeles uccidendo tutta la famiglia e Ana, la loro baby sitter serba. È il settimo colpo messo a segno dalla banda in pochi mesi. I suoi membri sono degli specialisti e non lasciano indizi utili alle indagini, solo una scia di cadaveri. L'unico elemento in comune tra le vittime è che si era sempre trattato di criminali che nascondevano grandi quantità di droga e denaro. Ma non è certo il caso di Frank Meyer, un commerciante di abbigliamento la cui unica eccezione a una vita tranquilla era di aver lavorato molto tempo prima come mercenario. La polizia, però, sospetta che fosse implicato in certi affari sporchi, anche in ragione del suo passato. È lì che va cercata la causa di una fine così crudele? Di quel passato fa parte anche l'investigatore Joe Pike: Frank era uno dei suoi uomini migliori nelle missioni da lui condotte negli angoli più pericolosi del pianeta. Pike non riesce a credere che il suo vecchio compagno fosse immischiato con la malavita e comincia una propria indagine, deciso a sgombrare il campo dai sospetti e a vendicare l'amico. Perché Frank e la sua famiglia sono stati sterminati? Con l'aiuto del fidato socio Elvis Cole e di un altro ex mercenario, il beffardo e feroce Jon Stone, Pike si addentra in una Los Angeles oscura e violenta, nei covi dei più spietati criminali provenienti dalle repubbliche dell'ex Unione Sovietica e dall'Europa dell'Est. Questi uomini agiscono secondo un codice di regole che non lasciano scampo a chi lo tradisce. Ma presto conosceranno un'altra regola: quella di Joe Pike. La prima regola è un thriller pieno di azione, dai ritmi vertiginosi fino all'ultima pagina, che conferma il talento di uno dei maggiori autori del genere
Following a tremendously successful run as a television screenwriter, Robert Crais broke into the publishing world in a big way with his Elvis Cole and Joe Pike mystery novels, proving that for a select few, Los Angeles truly can be a city of dreams.
Los Angeles is known as the city of dreams, largely because so many Americans dream of breaking into the Hollywood film and television industry. In 1976, Robert Crais went west from Louisiana to pursue that very dream. As it turned out, he became one of the lucky few to break into the industry in a big way. Crais has since written for such hugely popular TV shows as Quincy, Cagney and Lacey, Miami Vice, Hill Street Blues, and L.A. Law, just to name a few. However, after achieving such success (which included a prestigious Emmy nomination) in a business that so many would give everything to break into, Robert Crais decided to step away and pursue his true dream. Frustrated by the collaborative process that comes with screenwriting, and inspired by pulp-pioneers such as Raymond Chandler, Crais became a mystery novelist. With his massively popular Elvis Cole/Joe Pike mysteries series, it seems as though success has a funny way of following Crais no matter what he decides to do.
Crais published his very first novel in 1987. The Monkey's Raincoat introduced mystery fans to Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, a pair of L.A. private investigators who would become his most-beloved recurring characters. Crais's transition from screenwriting to novel-writing was an astoundingly smooth one. The Monkey's Raincoat earned him nominations for the Edgar, Anthony, Shamus, and Macavity awards, winning both the Anthony and Macavity for "Best Novel of the Year." Crais's publisher was so overjoyed by the novel's success that he encouraged Crais to keep the Cole/Pike team going. "I started writing these books to get away from writing other people's concepts, like TV and movies," Crais told Barnes&Noble.com. "I never expected to write these guys as a series...but the book proved to be so popular and the characters were so popular that my publisher wanted more." What followed was a series of bestselling mysteries, including Stalking the Angel (1989), Free Fall (1993), L.A. Requiem (1999), and last year's The Forgotten Man.
Although the series was not part of Crais's original plan, he still seems to hold the Cole and Pike team closer to his heart than anything he has previously written. He explained, "The characters have deepened, and I think they kind of reflect what's going on with me and the world as I see it." When asked about whether or not we can expect to see the crime-solving buddies on the big screen anytime soon, he said, "I think I would have a difficult time in the collaborative process when other people suddenly put their fingerprints on Elvis and Joe," further illustrating his personal feelings for his P.I. team.
As much as Crais loves his series, he does occasionally write novels outside of the Cole/Pike world. His latest, The Two-Minute Rule, tells the story of career criminal Max Holman, a recently released-from-prison bank robber who finds himself hunting an entirely different kind of criminal after his son is gunned down. The book has since raked in positive reviews from such publications as Booklist, Publisher's Weekly, and The Library Journal. While The Two-Minute Rule does not feature Cole and Pike, Crais fans will notice one significant similarity between his latest novel and his famous series -- the Los Angeles setting. "I can't think of a better place to set crime novels because of what Los Angeles is. Los Angeles is the main where the nation goes to make its dreams come true. When you have a place like that where so many people are risking their very identities, not just money and cash, but they're risking who they are because it's their hopes and dreams, when you have that kind of tension and that kind of friction, you can't help but have crime."
Fortunately, Crais will never have to succumb to such friction and tension since, for a success story such as he, Los Angeles completely lived up to its promise of being the city of dreams.
Good To Know
Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Crais:
"My first job was cleaning dog kennels. It was especially, ah, aromatic during those hot, humid Louisiana summers, but it prepared me for Hollywood."
"My fiction is almost always inspired by a character's need or desire to rise above him-or herself. No one is perfect and some of us have much adversity in our lives; it is those people who struggle to rise above their nature or background that I find the most interesting and heroic."
"Fun details? Like Elvis Cole, I have a dry sense of humor. Sometimes I am so dry that people don't know I'm kidding and think I'm being serious. I enjoy this because their reactions are often funny. Also, I wear beautifully colored shirts like Elvis Cole, only I was wearing them before him. People will say, ‘Look, RC dresses just like Elvis Cole,' and I'll say, 'No, Elvis Cole dresses like me!' I also wear sunglasses like Joe Pike, but not indoors and not at night."
"Elvis Cole wrote two episodes of television. No lie. It happened like this: I had written episodes of Miami Vice and Jag that were rewritten by person or persons unknown -- changed so badly that I didn't want my name on them, so I used Elvis Cole's name as a pen name."