The Sentry

Overview

In The Watchman and The First Rule, Robert Crais put Joe Pike front and center for the first time, to remarkable effect: “A beautifully crafted piece of story-telling” (The Seattle Times); “A high-octane thriller... Pike’s unshakable belief in right and wrong provides a moral center” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel); “Joe Pike is a joy to watch, an urban Zen warrior priest righting wrongs. More Pike, please” (Chicago Sun-Times).

But when Joe Pike ...

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The Sentry (Joe Pike Series #3)

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Overview

In The Watchman and The First Rule, Robert Crais put Joe Pike front and center for the first time, to remarkable effect: “A beautifully crafted piece of story-telling” (The Seattle Times); “A high-octane thriller... Pike’s unshakable belief in right and wrong provides a moral center” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel); “Joe Pike is a joy to watch, an urban Zen warrior priest righting wrongs. More Pike, please” (Chicago Sun-Times).

But when Joe Pike does return, it is to a case that will rock him to his core.

Five years ago, Dru Rayne and her uncle fled from Louisiana to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina hit, but now they face a different kind of danger. A neighborhood protection gang savagely beats Dru’s uncle, but Pike witnesses it and offers his own brand of protection. Oddly enough, neither of them seems to want it — and neither do the federal agents mysteriously watching their storefront, men who appear quite willing to let the gang have its way.

None of that deters Pike — there’s something about Dru that touches him and he won’t back away, whether she wants his help or not — but as the level of violence escalates, and Pike himself becomes a target, he and Elvis Cole begin to discover some things. Dru and her uncle are not who they seem, and everything Pike thought he knew about them, their relationship to the gang, and the reasons they fled New Orleans — it’s all been lies. A vengeful and murderous force is catching up to them... and it’s perfectly happy to sweep Pike and Cole up in its wake.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Near the outset of Crais's impressive third thriller featuring L.A. PI Joe Pike (after The First Rule), Pike notices two suspicious characters enter a Venice, Calif., sandwich shop. Pike, an ex-Marine and former LAPD patrol officer, walks into the shop just in time to rescue its owner, Wilson Smith, from a vicious assault. Pike soon takes an interest in Smith's niece, Dru Rayne, whose "smart eyes" and warm smile lure him into a lethal gangland battle involving La Eme, the Mexican mafia, and a Bolivian drug connection. The LAPD and the FBI both try and fail to warn Pike off, but PI Elvis Cole, the lead in nine other Crais books, is as ever ready to support his pal. Heartbreaking ironies, frustrated desires, and violent nonstop action make this a standout. Crais just keeps getting better at giving depth to the laconic Pike and the anguished Cole, who still pines for his lost love, Louisiana attorney Lucy Chenier. Author tour. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Joe Pike has had his partner's back in 11 of Crais's 13 Elvis Cole novels. Yet in 2007's The Watchman and in 2010's The First Rule, Crais spotlighted Pike rather than Los Angeles PI Cole. Fans will celebrate as Pike is once again the alpha male. Stuff happens early on as the ex-marine, ex-cop, and ex-mercenary stamps out an armed robbery attempt. Pike's gallantry impresses Dru Rayne, and her lively eyes chip away at his hardened armor. During a second break-in, Dru is kidnapped, and Pike pushes hard to rescue her. This warrior bent on restoring order is cool in battle, but Crais avoids overloading his yarn with cinematic action. A creepy serial killer, Latino gangbangers, and nasty cops crank up the suspense. Lies and betrayal conceal the real bad guys, prompting Pike to enlist Elvis Cole's help. Crais's buddy system is alive and well. VERDICT Steve McQueen in The Magnificent Seven, Jack Reacher, and now Joe Pike: three cheers for testosterone! Stock up with multiple copies. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/10.]—Rollie Welch, Cleveland P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781491506684
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 8/19/2014
  • Series: Elvis Cole/Joe Pike Series , #14
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Crais
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.

Biography

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."

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

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