Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Series #3)

Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Series #3)

by Robert Crais

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Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Series #3) by Robert Crais

Hollywood's newest wunderkind is Peter Alan Nelson, the brilliant, erratic director known as the King of Adventure.  His films make billions, but his manners make enemies.  What the boy king wants, he gets, and what Nelson wants is for Elvis to comb the country for the airhead wife and infant child the film-school flunkout dumped en route to becoming the third biggest filmmaker in America.  It's the kind of case Cole can handle in his sleep -- until it turns out to be a nightmare.  For when Cole finds Nelson's wife in a small Conneticut town, she's nothing like what he expects.  The lady has some unwanted -- and very nasty -- mob connections, which means Elvis could be opening the East Coast branch of his P.I. office . . .at the bottom of the Hudson River.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553299519
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/28/1993
Series: Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Series , #3
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 317
Sales rank: 116,435
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Robert Crais is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty novels, sixteen of them featuring private investigator Elvis Cole and his laconic ex-cop partner, Joe Pike. Before writing his first novel, Crais spent several years writing scripts for such major television series as Hill Street BluesCagney & LaceyMiami ViceQuincyBaretta, and L.A. Law. He received an Emmy nomination for his work on Hill Street Blues, and one of his standalone novels, Hostage, was made into a movie starring Bruce Willis. His novels have been translated into forty-two languages and are bestsellers around the world. A native of Louisiana, he lives in Los Angeles.


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

Read an Excerpt

Patricia Kyle said, “Is this Elvis Cole, the world’s greatest detective?”
“Yes, it is.” I was lying on the leather couch across from my desk, enjoying the view that I have of the Channel Islands. I used to have chairs, but a couch is much better to relieve one of the rigors of world-class detecting.
She said, “Were you sleeping?”
I gave her miffed. “I never sleep. I’m waiting for Cindy to come out onto the balcony next door.” The glass doors leading out to my little balcony were open to catch the breeze that was blowing up Santa Monica Boulevard into West Los Angeles. It was a nice breeze, cool and smelling of salt and sea birds. The open doors were also better to let me hear Cindy.
“Who’s Cindy?”
I switched the phone from the left ear to the right. The left ear was still sore from having been hit hard two times by a Cajun with large forearms and no teeth. “Cindy is a beauty supply distributor who took the office space next door.”
Pat Kyle said, “Hmm. I’ll bet I know what she distributes.”
“Your callousness and insensitivity are unbecoming. She is a very nice woman with a ready laugh.”
“Unh-hunh. I know what’s ready.”
“The private-detecting life is a lonely one. After cleaning the guns and oiling the blackjack, what’s a guy to do?”
“You could have lunch with me at Lucy’s El Adobe Café across from Paramount.”
I said, “Cindy who?”
Pat Kyle laughed. It was clear and without apology, the way a laugh should be. Pat Kyle is forty-four years old and five feet four, with curly auburn hair and good bones and an athlete’s build. When we met six years ago, she looked like the Graf Zeppelin and was having trouble getting out of a bad marriage. I helped. Now she ran four fast miles every day, had her own casting agency, and was engaged to a dentist from Pasadena. Maybe one day I’d learn to like him. She said, “I’m casting a film for Kapstone Pictures and a director named Peter Alan Nelsen. Do you know who he is?”
“He makes action pictures.”
“That’s right. With great success. Time magazine called him the King of Adventure.”
“They called him a few other things, too.” Arrogant, demanding, brilliant. I had read the article.
“Yes. There is that.” You could hear something behind her. Voices, maybe. “Peter has a problem and I mentioned your name. The Kapstone people want to talk with you.”
“Okay.” I swung up into a sitting position and put my feet on the floor. The detective, ready for action.
“When Peter was in film school, he broke up with his wife just after they had their only child. A boy. Peter hasn’t seen or heard from his former wife or their son since, and he wants to find them. I told him that finding people is one of your best things. Are you interested?”
“It’s what I do.”
“Kapstone has offices at Paramount. I’ll leave a pass at the main gate for you to see Donnie Brewster. Donnie’s the head of production.” Donnie. A twelve-year-old running a film company. “Can you be here in about twenty minutes?”
“Let me check my calendar.”
She said, “Ha. What calendar?”
“Callous. You dames are callous.”
She made the nice laugh again and hung up.
I pushed up off the couch and thought about Kapstone Pictures and Peter Alan Nelsen. The Big Time. I was wearing a white Mickey Mouse sweatshirt with a mustard spot high on the right shoulder. Mickey would be okay, but the mustard spot was definitely unacceptable. Did I have time to race home for the tux? I looked at the Pinocchio clock. Unh-unh. I took off the Mickey and put on a yellow-and-white Hawaiian beachcomber’s shirt, a Dan Wesson .38 caliber revolver, and a light blue waiter’s jacket. Dress for success. I began to hum. There’s no business like show business. I turned on the answering machine and listened to the same message I’d been running for two months. “Elvis Cole Detective Agency, we’re cheap.” Maybe it was time for a change. You work for a major film company, you need something a bit more show business. Elvis Cole Detective Agency: There are no small cases, only small detectives—hire the biggest dick in the business! I decided to leave well enough alone.
I walked the four flights down to the parking garage, got my car, and drove east along Santa Monica Boulevard through the belly of Hollywood. It was October, and the air was cool. I’ve got a 1966 Corvette convertible, but it wasn’t so cool that I had to put up the top. It rarely was. Global warming. With the end of summer, the cars from Utah and Michigan and Delaware were gone, but the cars from Canada were arriving. Snowbirds, come down to beat the cold. At a red light on Santa Monica and La Brea I pulled up next to a maroon Buick sedan from Alberta with a very short man and a very short woman in the front seat and two very short children in the rear. The man was driving and looked confused. I gave them a big smile and a wave and said, “Welcome to Los Angeles.” The woman rolled up her window and locked the door.
I stayed on Santa Monica to Gower, then turned right and followed Gower down past the Hollywood Cemetery to Paramount.
Paramount Studios is an Olympian structure on the corner of Melrose and Gower with a beige stucco siege wall running around its perimeter. The wall is very high, with a heaviness and permanence that has kept Paramount in business long after most of the other original Hollywood studios have gone. In a neighborhood marked by poverty and litter and street crime, it is free from graffiti. Maybe if you got too near the wall, thugs in chain mail poured boiling oil on you from the parapets.
“I rounded the corner at Melrose and tooled up to the guard at Paramount’s front gate. “Elvis Cole to see Donnie Brewster.”
The guard looked in a little file. “You the singer?”
I shook my head. “Elvis Presley died in 1978.”
The guard found a yellow slip, stuck it to my window with a piece of tape. “Not the King. That other guy. With the glasses.”
“Elvis Costello. No. I’m not him, either.”
“The guard shook his head sadly. “Christ, I remember a time, you said ‘Elvis’ there was only one.”
Probably just promoted from parapet duty.
Donnie Brewster was in a two-story earth-colored adobe building with a red tile roof and bird of paradise plants the size of dinosaurs. A receptionist led me to a secretary who showed me into a dark-paneled conference room. In the conference room were Patricia Kyle and a man in his late thirties with a sharply receding hairline and an eight-hundred-dollar sport coat that fit him like a wet tent. What hair he had left was pulled back tight into a short ponytail. Style.
Pat Kyle stood up and smiled and gave me a kiss. She’d been working on her tan since I’d last seen her and it looked good. “Elvis Cole, this is Donnie Brewster. Donnie, Elvis Cole.”
Donnie Brewster gave me a moist hand and looked nervous. “Christ, where were you? I thought you’d never get here.”
“The pleasure is all mine.”
Don nie gave me everyone’s-out-to-get-me eyes and glanced at Pat Kyle. “She warned me you thought you were a riot. What you’ve gotta understand is that this isn’t funny.” He held up three fingers. “There’s Spielberg, then Lucas, who doesn’t direct anymore, then Peter Alan Nelsen. Peter’s grosses total one point two billion worldwide over six pictures. He’s the third most successful director in the history of film, and he knows it.”
“Hard to keep it a secret from him.”
Donnie rubbed his hand over his scalp and tugged at his ponytail. When he rubbed, he rubbed hard. Maybe that’s why his hairline was receding. He said, “Peter’s gifted and brilliant. Gifted and brilliant people are sometimes difficult and have to be handled carefully.” I think he was saying it as much to himself as he was to me. He looked at Pat Kyle. “Did you tell him what this is about?”
“Yes.” Pat repeated what she had told me.
Donnie nodded and looked back at me.
“That’s about it. We need someone who can find the ex and the kid and not waste a lot of time doing it.”
He sat in one of the swivel chairs, leaned back, and gave me the appraisal look. Getting down to the business of hiring a private eye. “You charge by the hour or the day?”
“I get a flat fee. In advance.”
“How much?”
“Four thousand, plus expenses. The expenses I bill later.”
“That’s absurd. We couldn’t pay four thousand in advance.”
“How about six thousand?”
He tapped on the table and gave me his best business-affairs frown. “You give it back if you don’t find what you’re looking for?”

What People are Saying About This

Eric Van Luspeader

"Crais is in a class by himself - he's quite simply the best."

Joseph Wambaugh

"Elvis Cole provides more fun for the reader than any L. A. private eye to come along in years."

Customer Reviews

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Lullaby Town 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 reviews.
JoeJoeGunn More than 1 year ago
I am in the middle of the "Elvis Cole Series" by Robert Crais. I really enjoy the books. The stories are well crafted if somewhat predictable sometimes but all in all they all have been really good reads. I will go thru about two a week sometimes. The action is fast paced and more than once I've caught myself reading or finishing a book at 2 a.m. on a work night because I couldn't put it down. Lullaby Town was one of those books. Fast paced action and great story telling make this book a must read for any action/adventure/mystery person.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of the entire Cole/Pike series. I enjoyed Lullaby Town. Not only is there mystery and violence, the author Crais infuses his books with humor. I just found this series this past summer, and am quickly making my way through the series. They are page turners and quick reads. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Abdoman8 More than 1 year ago
My only disappointment with this story was when it was over. Cole gets hired to find the ex-girl friend of an eccentric, wealthy producer. Reluctantly, Cole takes the case, finds the girl and then runs into a moral and self-preserving dilemma. Namely, the girl is now unwilling working for the mafia. Well-written and entertaining. Sure, it has the typical wise-cracking tough guy PI. But, it has a credible story and a grim reality of how some people live. Of course, Elvis Cole has the backing of other Robert Crais characters, like the killing machine Joe Pike. A good page-turner for detective novel fans. --Doug Setter, BSc.
Jim53 on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Another Elvis Cole novel from Robert Crais; this one begins with Elvis being hired by a Peter Nelsen, sphincterish Hollywood mogul, to track down the young woman whom he had married and left, along with their son. Elvis finds her surprisingly easily, so there's obviously some complication coming. It turns out she's gained a responsible position in a Connecticut bank by laundering money for a New York crime family.Elvis, and his loquacious partner Joe Pike, must try to extricate Karen from the mob before she can deal with Peter. The usual sorts of Elvis Cole shenanigans ensue, including smart-ass wit, clever deductions, and lots of gunfire. A quick and easy read that doesn't require much of a contribution from the reader.
youthfulzombie on LibraryThing 6 days ago
3rd book in the Elvis Cole series - another nice fast read, however, Elvis is far funnier when he is at home in LA, I guess the cold east coast just takes the humour right out of people
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing 13 days ago
Bundled with Stalking the Angel and Monkey's Raincoat It becomes repetitive after a while and while it's not a bad read but a bit predictable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book. I will read another one of his books.
1dachsmom More than 1 year ago
HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Love the Cole/Pike series. Don't miss this one!!!
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
A Book to Keep You Reading Long into the Night   PI Elvis Cole’s latest client is Peter Alan Nelson, the latest “it” director in Hollywood.  People want just a moment of his time in hopes that it will make their career.  However, Elvis is just interested in doing this job for Peter, treating him like any regular client.   It seems that Peter was married and divorced over a decade ago.  It didn’t last too long, but it lasted long enough to produce a son.  Suddenly, Peter wants to get to know his child.  Elvis doesn’t think the job will be too hard, although the trail is a little colder than he expects at first.  However, he never imagines the world of trouble he will find at the end of his search.   I read the first two books in this series years ago, and then reread them last year.  Once again, I almost didn’t move on after the second book in the series, but that would have been a mistake.  While not as light as the cozies I normally love, this was still lighter than the last book by far.  The plot was great and got more suspenseful as it went along.  The characters were interesting as well.   Of course, most of my complaints with the series are still there.  The language is just horrible.  We get it, the characters swear.  We’d still get it if you took out half those words.  And Elvis’s partner Joe Pike is more of a caricature than a full blown character even after three books.   But still, I enjoyed this book.  I’m definitely going to move on to book four quickly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great adventure with a little humor. Crais tells a good story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good read. I had no idea how it would end up, however, I thought the ending was good! I thought it would end differently but the "writer knows best"!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Buy an apartment here
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JimJF More than 1 year ago
Loved this series. Filled my need for noir.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
P.I. Elvis Cole helps a film director find his wife and son. She is involved with the mob laundering money. Once again Elvis and Joe show no mercy or fear against the evil doers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lived the Hollywood element, very amusing and who doesn't love crime novels with the mob involved! The plot was not predictable which made it more enjoyable. I loved what Elvis told the woman at the end when she mentioned regrets.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is best to read this series in sequence. This is another enjoyable, easy read. Elvis, the edgy, tough, smart PI has a wit that you will enjoy. Teamed with partner Joe Pike, it is fun to see these fearless, ex military guys as the defenders of the good, with soft spots for the needy. Wish all of the series was on Nook. Can't wait to start Joe's series too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago