Re: RARA-AVIS: La Requiem

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 27 Feb 2000

I just finished LA Requiem, also. I thought it was very good, but I have a little bit of ambivalence about it.

Spoilers ahead:

The book did seem a little padded, but not by much and tolerably so. I liked the shifts from first to third person.

Still, the bits about the killer seemed awkward. In trying to hint that he may be Pike, something no regular reader of the series would consider for a moment, Crais just came off stilted. It was like those awkward camera angles some TV movies use to purposely obscure the identity of the killer.

I also enjoyed the fleshing out of Joe Pike, but found a bit of the resulting psychology inconsistent at best. Pike worked well as a cypher in the previous books, as a psychopath that Cole could aim, while making Cole seem like the embodiment of level-headedness. I liked that Cole was forced in this book to own up to many of those traits which had previously been conveniently housed in Pike; Cole admits to Lucy that anything Pike is, he is also.

Still, it's hard to resolve Pike's obvious psychopathic nature with some of the "humanism" injected in this book. The childhood scenes seem right, but when we find that Pike is at heart at least as romantic -- and in the love denied department, probably more so than Cole who chooses Pike over Lucy, whereas Pike has always put Paulette before anyone else -- it just does not seem to fit into the same character.

The biggest question I have, though, is where does the series go from here? Crais seems to be shifting his universe, shucking Lucy, humanizing Pike, taking the series back to ground zero. I'd he just a happy, though, if the series ended here. This book seems to be a fitting coda, ending with Elvis looking over his city.

I know his next book is a one-shot, but if Crais wants to go back to a series, why not start a new one, without all of the baggage? That said, I know any new hero would undoubtedly be close to Elvis, but why not start fresh?

Sort of speaking of which, does anyone know why Indigo Slam seems to have been disowned? It never came out in paper, but I figured it just got lost while shifting publishers. However, it is not even listed as
"written by the same author" in the front of LA Requiem. Crais has clearly not followed up the subplot dealing with Lucy's ex (which was wrapped up too quickly and easily at the end of Slam), but other than that I don't see it being any better or worse than other recent ones, so why has it been "forgotten"?


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