RARA-AVIS: The Robert Crais book

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 02 Jul 2000

When THE MONKEY'S RAINCOAT was suggested as a book to read, I probably wouldn't have bothered if someone had said, "It's about a wise-cracking L.A. private eye who gets hired by a woman who can't afford to pay him and gets mixed up with a mobster and a suave, rich Mexican, but saves the day by loading lots of guns and breaking into the Mexican's house with his pal from Vietnam, a supertough mercenary who always wears sunglasses."

As it was, I almost tossed it after each of the first few chapters. Cole's wisecracking was extremely annoying and the plot seemed entirely unoriginal. I kept going though, and the more I read it the more I liked it, although on reflection there was practically nothing new about it. I suppose it was Crais' writing ability that overcame the limitations of his inventiveness. I'm going to look for the next one.

From what people have said here, his last couple of books are excellent. What happened between then and now? Did he keep getting better as a writer, and come up with better plots? Does the Cole/Pike pairing get fleshed out?


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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