This is my first Robert Crais and also the first in the series of books featuring Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. I always like to start books at the beginning of a series and in this case this first book of his was published back in 1987. The book starts off a little strangely and straight away you can tell that Elvis Cole is not going to be your typical `hero' of a book. He is a Private investigator who has a case trying to locate a missing husband and son for Ellen Lang.
What at first seems like an open and shut case of finding the missing husband and son takes Elvis down a deep and murky path of sex drugs and murder. I couldn't help but really like Elvis from the very beginning. He is sarcastic, witty and very, very readable. His partner Joe Pike doesn't seem to make that much of an impact in this first book and seems very much a background addition, albeit an interesting one. Pike is an ex-Marine who says very little but still seems to make an impact.
I admit that this first book I found myself struggling with in parts where I felt it dragged a little bit, but soon enough the personality of Elvis Cole dragged me back. There are quite a few things going on plot wise and it held my interest, but I felt that this was more of a book to establish the characters and use this as a great springboard for the rest of the series.
Towards the end it got a bit more interesting and when I had finished I knew I was on to a winner because I certainly wanted to read more about Elvis and Cole. Overall, the story wasn't the best, but the writing of Robert Crais and the production of two great partners has spurred my interest. When I consider this book was written over twenty years ago I realise that as a debut novel it's a pretty good one. All I can say is that I have an awful lot of catching up to do with the series and I'm looking forward to it!