Robert Crais

Robert Crais is an American author of detective fiction. Crais began his career writing scripts for television shows such as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Quincy, Miami Vice and L.A. Law. His writing is influenced by Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Robert B. Parker and John Steinbeck.
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“Elvis Cole provides more fun for the reader than any L.A. private eye to come along in years.”—Joseph Wambaugh

WINNER OF THE ANTHONY AND MACAVITY AWARDS FOR BEST NOVEL • NOMINATED FOR THE EDGAR AND SHAMUS AWARDS FOR BEST NOVEL

Meet Elvis Cole, L.A. Private Eye. . . . He quotes Jiminy Cricket and carries a .38. He’s a literate, wisecracking Vietnam vet who is determined to never grow up.

When quiet Ellen Lang enters Elvis Cole’s Disney-Deco office, she’s lost something very valuable—her husband and her young son. The case seems simple enough, but Elvis isn’t thrilled. Neither is his enigmatic partner and firepower, Joe Pike. Their search down the seamy side of Hollywood’s studio lots and sculptured lawns soon leads them deep into a nasty netherworld of drugs, sex—and murder. Now the case is getting interesting, but it’s also turned ugly. Because everybody, from cops to starlets to crooks, has declared war on Ellen and Elvis. For Ellen, it isn’t Funtown anymore. For Elvis, it’s just a living . . . He hopes. 

Praise for The Monkey's Raincoat

“Outstanding characters, tight plot, and scintillating prose style. . . . This fast-paced story speeds Elvis Cole to a chilling, heart-stopping ending.”—Mystery Scene

“Is Bob Crais good? Put it this way: if they're taking you out to put you against the firing squad wall, and you want to enjoy your last moments on earth, pass on the last cigarette and ask for an Elvis Cole novel.”—Harlan Ellison

“Far and away the most satisfying private eye novel in years. Grab this one—it's a winner!”—Lawrence Block

“The best private eye novel of the year . . . lots of action; bright, crisp dialogue; and sharply drawn characters.”—The Denver Post

“Robert B. Parker has some competition on his hands. . . . Elvis Cole is an appealing character and Crais's style is fresh and funny.”—Sue Grafton

“In Crais, a new star has appeared on the private eye scene—a dazzling first novel.”—Tony Hillerman
With his acclaimed bestsellers, Hostage and Demolition Angel, Robert Crais drew raves for his unstoppable pacing, edgy characterizations, and cinematic prose. Now, Crais returns to his signature character, Los Angeles private investigator Elvis Cole, in a masterful page-turner that probes the meaning of family and the burdens of the past.

Elvis Cole is back...

Elvis Cole's relationship with attorney Lucy Chenier is strained. When she moved from Louisiana to join Elvis in Los Angeles, she never dreamed that violence would so easily touch her life—but then the unthinkable happens. While Lucy is away on business and her ten-year-old son, Ben, is staying with Elvis, Ben disappears without a trace. Desperate to believe that the boy has run away, evidence soon mounts to suggest a much darker scenario.

Joining forces with his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike, Elvis frantically searches for Ben with the help of LAPD Detective Carol Starkey, as Lucy's wealthy, oil-industry ex-husband attempts to wrest control of the investigation. Amid the maelstrom of personal conflicts, Elvis and Joe are forced to consider a more troubling lead—one indicating that Ben's disappearance is connected to a terrible, long-held secret from Elvis Cole's past.

Venturing deep inside a complex psyche, Crais explores Elvis's need for family—the military that embraced him during a troubled adolescence, his rock-solid partnership with Pike, and his floundering relationship with Lucy—as they race the clock in their search for Ben. The Last Detective is Robert Crais' richest, most intense tale of suspense yet.
Private Investigator Elvis Cole learns that LA fires bring more than heat, they bring his old friend Joe Pike and the past. Cole’s fight to clear his name brings murder and corruption terrifyingly close to home.

It’s fire season, and the hills of Los Angeles are burning. When police and fire department personnel rush door to door in a frenzied evacuation effort, they discover the week-old corpse of an apparent suicide. But the gunshot victim is less gruesome than what they find in his lap: a photo album of seven brutally murdered young women—one per year, for seven years. And when the suicide victim is identified as a former suspect in one of the murders, the news turns Elvis Cole’s world upside down.

Three years earlier Lionel Byrd was brought to trial for the murder of a female prostitute named Yvonne Bennett. A taped confession coerced by the police inspired a prominent defense attorney to take Byrd’s case, and Elvis Cole was hired to investigate. It was Cole’s eleventh-hour discovery of an exculpatory videotape that allowed Lionel Byrd to walk free. Elvis was hailed as a hero.

But the discovery of the death album in Byrd’s lap now brands Elvis as an unwitting accomplice to murder. Captured in photographs that could only have been taken by the murderer, Yvonne Bennett was the fifth of the seven victims—two more young women were murdered after Lionel Byrd walked free. So Elvis can’t help but wonder—did he, Elvis Cole, cost two more young women their lives?

Shut out of the investigation by a special LAPD task force determined to close the case, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike desperately fight to uncover the truth about Lionel Byrd and his nightmare album of death—a truth hidden by lies, politics, and corruption in a world where nothing is what it seems to be.

Chasing Darkness is a blistering thriller from the bestselling author who sets the standard for intense, powerful crime writing.
The bestselling author of Demolition Angel and L.A. Requiem returns with his most intense and intricate thriller yet.

As the Los Angeles Times said, Robert Crais is “a crime writer operating at the top of his game.” His complex heroes and heroines, his mastery of noir atmosphere, and his brilliant, taut plots have catapulted him into the front rank of a new breed of thriller writers. Hostage proves his earlier success was no fluke. It’s an unstoppable read.

An ex-con with delusions of grandeur and his tagalong brother unwittingly team up with a psychopath one wrong word away from meltdown. When their late afternoon joyride turns into a random act of violence, they take a family hostage in the affluent bedroom community of Bristo Camino. Enter Chief of Police Jeff Talley, a stressed-out former LAPD SWAT negotiator who is hiding from his past. Plunged back into the high-pressure world that he desperately wants to forget, Talley soon learns that his nightmare has only begun.

The hostages are not who they seem, and the home contains secrets that even L.A.’s most lethal and volatile crime lord, Sonny Benza, fears. As Talley tries to hold himself together and save the people inside, the full weight of Benza’s wrath descends on him, putting the police chief and his own family at risk. Soon, all involved are held hostage by the exigencies of fate and the only one capable of diffusing the standoff is the least stable of them all.

Hostage is a blistering stand-alone thriller with superb characters in crisis, multistranded plotting, and pitch-perfect Southern California sensibility.
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