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I definitely had the feel of the dry heat and the L. There was only the tocking of the Pinocchio clock, the scratch of my pen, and the hiss of the air conditioner fighting a terrible heat. Fire season had arrived, when fires erupted across the Southland like pimples on adolescent skin.
Somewhere below, a power saw whined in the trees, punctuated by the faint tapping of a nail gun. Someone was always building something, and the sounds of it were encouraging. They sounded like life.
‘The King’: Chasing Elvis and the American Dream
Sadly, though this one did involve both a serial killer and a cat, Crais is smart enough to keep the focus on the mystery and the character interplay, not reliving each murder. Very enjoyable because of the plot twists and solid writing. Rounding up from 3. View all 7 comments. Jan 23, Kemper rated it liked it Shelves: Elvis Cole was instrumental in clearing Lionel Bird after he was accused of brutally murdering a young woman.
Three years later Bird commits suicide and leaves behind a photo album that indicates that not only did he kill the woman that Cole investigated, he also murdered others before and after that. Cole reexamines the evidence he gathered and is still convinced that Bird was innocent of that crime.
So where did the pictures of the dead women come from? And why is a LAPD task force led by an ambitious deputy chief declaring the cases now closed but still secretly gathering evidence? Is Cole just grasping at straws to avoid admitting that he screwed up and potentially got some innocent women killed? With the help of his trusty partner Joe Pike, Elvis is determined to get answers and refuses to quit even when confronted with pressure from the cops and angry family members of one of the victims.
This one comes at a point when Elvis and Joe had spent several of the previous books working cases with intensely personal angles to them with severe consequences. We're supposed to buy that Marx is a good guy after all, yet he is willing to ruin the career of another cop because Elvis is asking questions? Marx might be making an empty threat to back Elvis off, but what if Elvis had told Lou and then he kicked up some kind official fuss about it?
Elvis and the cops come across as a little simple at the end because they get caught flat-footed when the sister kills Levy, and Cole even says something about having no idea she might do something like that. The woman either killed or set-up one guy she thought killed her sister, and you had no clue she might pull something similar on the guy who actually did it? Or that Cole settled up with him as he promised to do for putting the family on his ass in the first place. It would have been nice to get something from the Repko family thanking Cole for finally helping to find the real killer.
All of this stuff is a big part of the book, and yet it just seems to drift away with no effort to address any of it. View all 3 comments. Very addictive - once you've finished one, you want another straight away - and best enjoyed with a nice cup of tea! Chasing Darkness was no exception and another top notch addition to this excellent series.
I admit I am reading these books out of order, but it hasn't hurt. I like Crais' spare writing style, yet how he writes description beautifully, bringing Los Angeles to life for me as I listened. I was a bit disappointed with how quickly it ended, leaving me with some questions about why the killer was operating. I exhaled a dreamy sigh whenever Pike came around.
He is utterly lickable. Di I admit I am reading these books out of order, but it hasn't hurt. Did I write that in my review? Back to the review I am quite fond of Elvis too. I don't feel that I know him as well as Pike, but that's my fault for reading these books out of order. It was very awesome to see Carol Starkey from Demolition Angel again. She seems a little better adjusted, but smokes like a chimney.
I enjoyed the banter between her and Elvis.
This one is a low four because of the sparse detail on the killer and how it wraps up. I think the characters are a strong point for me with this series, and the mystery part is sort of an added bonus, so I can can still rate this one well. It's a four because I really liked it for the reasons I mentioned. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!
Nov 11, Tim rated it did not like it. Apparently, my expectations were much too high going into this story. Aug 02, Jen rated it it was amazing Shelves: Lionel Byrd is found dead in his home, apparently of suicide, when Los Angeles' law enforcement officers are evacuating people due to fires in the area. The death in and of itself wouldn't be alarm-setting, but the photo album full of pictures of dead women is a problem.
Lionel had been accused of murdering one of the women, Yvonne Bennett, in the book a few years earlier. Elvis Cole found evidence that set him free. Now the Los Angeles police department is saying that Elvis got two more women ki Lionel Byrd is found dead in his home, apparently of suicide, when Los Angeles' law enforcement officers are evacuating people due to fires in the area. Now the Los Angeles police department is saying that Elvis got two more women killed by helping to set Lionel free in the first place - the two women murdered after Yvonne. Elvis is SURE that the evidence he found three years ago was legitimate, and something hinky is going on.
When more oddities start popping up, Elvis sets out to prove what actually happened once and for all.
See a Problem?
Crais is back in true form with Chasing Darkness. The best statement I ever heard made about Robert Crais was, "Crais on a bad day is better than most writers on their best days. From page one, Crais starts building up a theme of corruption in reality. There are evils destroying the world around Elvis. First the fires are burning his city. Then he receives news that his exterminator has found termites at his house, corrupting the foundation.
A ransacking break-in even results in Elvis' Mickey Mouse phone being broken. Crais has to glue him back together, but you can still see the cracks And the corruption continues to build up to the ultimate level of law enforcement and the government. As is the case with any Crais novel, the plot constantly feeds you twists and turns.
It is pointless to try to predict the ending to a Crais novel because he'll get you. You are down to the last twenty pages or so and you know he's leading you down the final path Crais is a master of the character. Have you ever noticed the theme with my reading preferences? One must have great characters for me to really connect. Crais' characters always manage to take up residence inside my head for days, sometimes weeks, after I've finished reading one of his books. They are so real for me that they become a part of my world in a sense.
And something as simple as "[Pike's: Pike doesn't have an outgoing message. You just get the beep" says oceans about Joe. He didn't play a very big role in this novel, but when he is present, he fills the room. Crais never needs a lot of words to build a character. John Chen in all his paranoia, returns in this novel and Crais describes him: He studied the surrounding buildings as if he were checking for spies, then hurried to my car.
Who doesn't conjure up a vivid image from a description like that? I found Crais allusions to The Wizard of Oz very fitting for this theme. They played right into the idea of reality and what one sees and believes. He's another author who doesn't waste a word when he's writing. It all works toward the theme of the book. Is it any wonder I had to finish this book in one day? Chasing Darkness is another stellar performance from Robert Crais. Aug 12, Nadine rated it really liked it Recommends it for: I've enjoyed watching the Elvis Cole character evolve through the many books Robert Crais has written.
Like many other private eye types, Elvis has a personal code of honor, a faithful side kick, and a solid footing in a specific geographic place: This Elvis outing was more plot than character driven, but was a good read during a rainy New England weekend. There's a depth of history to the players in this series by this point, but I prefer it when Mr. Crais develops the back stories I've enjoyed watching the Elvis Cole character evolve through the many books Robert Crais has written.
Crais develops the back stories of his characters more. Elvis has to redeem himself in this book. That's often the underlying story line in many of titles of this series. This episode has him almost doubting his work and self worth by exposing a previously cleared suspect as the most probably murderer. Elvis works hard to find the truth, and a little bit more of himself while he's at it. His best friend Pike is definitely in the background in this outing, and his enigmatic past sometimes adds some spice to these novels. I would recommend any of these Elvis Cole books, but I would suggest the reader tackle them in order to get the full benefits of the stories told.
May 22, Mike rated it really liked it. Now, Byrd is found dead from a suicide, and a memory book of photos may prove he killed the pro - and six other girls, too. Cole embarks on a conscience-provoking tour of that case. If he was wrong, two other women were killed after it. During his attempts at the truth, he is met with resistance from the top echelon of a crime task force created when the album was found. I enjoy 2nd reading - Three years earlier, Elvis had helped a top-notch attorney prove Lionel Byrd hadn't murdered a prostitute.
I enjoyed the procedural here, with Pike, Poitras, John Chen and Starkey helping our hero put things right. Nov 29, Ed rated it really liked it. I believe this is my second or third P. Solid detective story, vivid setting, good action scenes. I'll be looking to read deeper into the series. Aug 17, Mark Baker rated it it was amazing Shelves: When the body of Lionel Byrd is found in his rental house, the police also find a photo album with pictures of murder victims.
One of those victims was someone that LIonel had been arrested for killing three years ago, and Elvis Cole was hired by his defense attorney to help get him off. Elvis did thanks to an ironclad alibi. Was Elvis wrong then? Or is something else going on now? This is a compelling case that moves quickly from one plot point to another.
I followed Elvis down a couple of blind When the body of Lionel Byrd is found in his rental house, the police also find a photo album with pictures of murder victims. I followed Elvis down a couple of blind allies and wrong turns before he figured things out.
‘The King’: Chasing Elvis and the American Dream | The Seattle Times
However, the conclusion is still satisfying. The characters we meet here are strong. Another couple of regulars appear here, and they are definitely the best versions of themselves. Still, this was a book well worth reading. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers. Aug 21, Alex rated it really liked it Shelves: It was a good read in the fairly classic P. I picked this story up at the recommendation of several Goodreads folks, as well as my favorite author. Crais' writing style is strong, the prose and the story flow easily.
It mostly held my interest all the way through, admittedly with a couple slower spots, but not enough to call it boggy. The story opens in California, with a fire blazing in Laurel Canyon, and two cops going door to door to make sure all the residents have evacuated. They come to an unkempt home and have reason to believe the resident is still inside, so they go in.
They find the man, shot through the head in an apparent suicide move, with a picture album full of viciously murdered women laying at the dead man's feet. Elvis Cole, the P. But the suicide and the photos in the murder book don't ring true to Elvis, so he sets out to get to the bottom of it. The story has some interesting twists, a couple red herrings and a surprise who-done-it twist at the end. The climax has a good amount of tension, action and what's-gonna-happen, along with a satisfying, although somewhat sad, ending.
All in all, it was a good read, but not a great read. I don't regret the time spent reading it, but nothing about it will live in my memory, there were no unique snatches of dialogue or insightful thoughts, no major or vivid action. But it's a good story told in the standard P. Aug 03, Erin rated it really liked it Shelves: Robert Crais is becoming one of my new favorite authors--I'm putting him right up there with Michael Connelly and Lee Child.
This was my first Elvis Cole book, and he's a terrific complement to Joe Pike--more emotional where Pike is removed, more verbal where Pike is a brick wall. They work terrifically together and it makes sense they're friends. The plot kept me engaged and was quickly paced--at pages, I zipped through it super fast. Cole makes a connection for good or bad to the people Robert Crais is becoming one of my new favorite authors--I'm putting him right up there with Michael Connelly and Lee Child.
Cole makes a connection for good or bad to the people he's investigating--he makes them human--which is why he's involved in this story in the first place about a man he helped acquit as a serial killer 3 years ago being found, an apparent suicide, with pictures of 7 murder victims. You know something is fishy, but not quite what, and I was surprised at the end when the killer was revealed. I thought they spoiled it too soon, but not so! I've got the first 2 Joe Pike's waiting for me on my dresser I cleared out my local branch of the Robert Crais books and I know I'll enjoy them just as much.
I have always enjoyed the stories, characters, and humor in the Elvis Cole series, and this one is no exception, but perhaps not my favorite. Police believe they have found the body of a serial killer, and it's someone Cole cleared in one of the murder cases several years ago. He knows he was right then, and he must now determine the identity of the actual killer.
A good read, as usual. Sep 19, Joe rated it really liked it Shelves: Elvis Cole returns front and center in this volume, with Joe Pike and Carol Starkey in strong supporting roles. In the midst of a wild-fire and the associated evacuation a man, soon identified as a former murder suspect Cole helped exonerate, is found dead in his home, apparently of a suicide. Unfortunately for Elvis, there is strong evidence found during the preliminary investigation that the dead man was in fact the Elvis Cole returns front and center in this volume, with Joe Pike and Carol Starkey in strong supporting roles.
Unfortunately for Elvis, there is strong evidence found during the preliminary investigation that the dead man was in fact the murderer he was accused of being. Chasing Darkness is a very fast-paced, engaging gumshoe mystery with Elvis uncovering one clue after another. There are also enough interesting characters, twists and turns — including the conclusion - to keep the reader guessing and turning the pages.
Mar 17, Harry rated it really liked it Shelves: Ok, a few rambling thoughts on Robert Crais. Who is this guy, where'd he come from, how'd he get so popular? Well the first thing to know is that Crais is not from California at all. He is a native of Louisiana, grew up in a blue collar family, and read his first crime novel The Little Sister when he was And that's all it took.
Chandler gave him his love for writing. Other authors that have inspired him were Hammett, Hemingway seems like that's true of all the crime writers , Parker, and St Ok, a few rambling thoughts on Robert Crais. Other authors that have inspired him were Hammett, Hemingway seems like that's true of all the crime writers , Parker, and Steinbeck huh? How'd he get so popular?
Robert Crais has a very impressive resume as a screenwriter for such television series as Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice damn, I loved that show too! But what hits home the most with Crais himself is his work on the 4 hour mini series Cross of Fire which is about the Ku Klux Klan and is probably more relevant to his home state of Louisiana than it is to Hollywood. Following a growing dissatsifaction of a screen writer's constraints, Crais began writing novels.
Requim, which is the 8th Elvis Cole novel, is what landed him as an author that defied all genres and in it outsurpassed even the legendary Ross Macdonald. Enough about Crais, the guy's good. So, what about Elvis Cole? Naming someone Elvis had to have been a fairly deliberate decision. To me the name seems iconic, Warholish, Disneylandish, a bit theatrical if not cynical.
In fact his novels and trinkets therein are suffused with cultural icons: Even his slogan seems hamstrung with Hollywood's obsession with icons: Elvis Cole is The world's Greatest Detective! But in reality there's nothing ridiculous about Cole: Yes, he's cynical, a smart ass, a comic relief in many ways Joe Pike, the avenging angel, is a tool used sparingly by Crais. Use him too much and you wonder why he isn't the main character we know Crais has struggled with this as he produced 4 separate novels featuring Pike as the hero ; use him too little and you start wondering why the big guns aren't being pulled out by Elvis.
What you want to do is increase the anxiety level of the reader towards the hero, not get the reader frustrated with him. Crais handles this expertly The Elvis Cole novels should be considered hard boiled detectives primarily in that Crais deviates from the traditional Romantic tradition found in detective stories and crime fiction by introducing Cole as a detective with a decidedly cynical attitude towards the emotions i.
And yet, we find sprinkled throughout the books insightful observations of the world as seen through Elvis's eyes. In the following passage, Elvis observes the effects of dry brush fires raging through L. Picture the detective at work in his office, fourth floor, Hollywood, as the Devil's Wind freight-trains down from the desert.
Though dry and brutally harsh, the desert wind is clean. It pushes the smog south to the sea and scrubs the sky to a crystalline blue. The air, jittery from the heat, rises in swaying tendrils like kelp from the seabed, making the city shimmer. We are never more beautiful than when we are burning.
Like I said, it really came together following the publication of his 8th Elvis Cole novel. Pike his side kick, Lou Poitras Cole's detective friend gruffy as ever, shifting view points, a relaxation of Cole's zany character All in all, you will not be disappointed with the Elvis Cole series. There are a lot of these novels so sit back and enjoy! I most certainly did. As with all series reviews, this one covers all the Elvis Cole books. So if you've read this review of mine than you've read 'em all.
View all 10 comments. May 19, Harv Griffin rated it it was amazing Shelves: I'm going to be reading other Robert Crais novels. This puppy hooked me early on, and kept me hooked till the end. The further into this novel I read, the more desperately I wanted to keep reading. Have I found a replacement for Robert B. Aug 25, Gary rated it liked it.
Yes, I'm a Robert Crais fan. The early Elvis Cole was smart, funny, and in your face - definitely an updated, more hip, and slightly more irreverent version of the venerable Raymond Chandler 's Phillip Marlowe and today's answer to the hard boiled LA that Chandler invented. In Crais' prime, can you think of a supporting cast member more menacing - a more cleverly and intelligently rendered butt-kicker - the hands down candidate for the guy you'd least want to have on the other side of a street fight - or any kind of fight? To be fair, "Chasing Darkness" is by no means a bad read.
In fact, it starts out with an intriguing "murder in a locked room-like" premise that is genuinely gripping, and definitely held my attention. And without the distraction and baggage of Cole's annoying girlfriend Lucy hanging around to mush up the action, I was getting ready to declare that "Crais is back" after what a thought were a couple of sub-par installments. But before long it starts feeling a bit tired with crooked cop conspiracy theories and all too familiar themes.
And the intimidating Pike is relegated to a near cameo role, emerging with only enough adrenaline to help Elvis beat up some kids. At the end of the day, the enigma unravels too easily, and if you devote more than a few seconds to dissecting the mystery, you'll find a hole big enough for Cole's 'vette and Pike's Jeep to drive through - side-by-side.
When all is said and done, "Chasing Darkness" is mostly an entertaining ride, but essentially flat - a journeyman's effort that had that "got-to-do-this-to-meet-my contract" feel to it. The Crais aficionado - like me - will want to read it, but it is far from his best effort, and a sure sign that the talented Mr. Crais should take the hint from Dennis Lehane and William Lashner, and take some well deserved time off to recharge his classic crime-busting mojo. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Chasing Elvis by Glenn Marcel.
Chasing Elvis by Glenn Marcel. Elvis died in , or did he? In an Elvis impersonator clumsily robs a bank, and incredibly all of the evidence points to the supposedly deceased Elvis as being the robber. A detective hot on the trail of the robber is convinced that he is chasing Elvis, but is killed in an accidental car crash near Moscow, Tennessee, leaving behind a five-year-old daughter. Twenty y Elvis died in , or did he? Twenty years later, the daughter is a tabloid reporter for Weird Magazine, a shameless, check-out counter rag.
She is assigned to cover an Elvis Festival in Moscow, discovers her father's notes, and quickly stumbles onto the Elvis-robber's trail. What she discovers in rural Tennessee just may be the news story of the young century. Paperback , pages. Published November 1st by Invisible College Press. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Chasing Elvis , please sign up. Lists with This Book. May 03, Penny rated it did not like it. Had it not been for the fact that I won Chasing Elvis in return for writing a review, I would probably never have finished reading it. A sense of obligation, not suspense, spurred me on. I DO want to say, however, that the writer, Glenn Marcel, shows enormous potential.
I hope that doesn't sound condescending because, heaven knows, I couldn't write a novel. The plot was so convoluted and some characters appeared to have no Had it not been for the fact that I won Chasing Elvis in return for writing a review, I would probably never have finished reading it. The plot was so convoluted and some characters appeared to have no REAL part to play since they contributed nothing to the plot itself. And the Sasquatch interlude - what was the point of that? It just went on and on and on - the reader ends up wading through a swamp of verbiage instead of anxiously turning the page!
The book needs editing badly!! Scenes would change in a single page with no indication that the scene HAD changed.
- Miscellaneous Essays;
- La aventura tecnológica (Spanish Edition).
- Chasing Elvis by Glenn Marcel?
Similarly, a single page could be written from a couple of points of view, making it difficult to follow. Some characters were not sufficiently delineated - one character cleaned out his ear with his index finger, and a few pages later, another character did exactly the same thing! I also question the choice of words in many instances and this is NOT related to the language used by an actual character, but the language of the author himself. The words 'potty' and 'crapper' jumped off the page, as did 'kooks' in reference to a Psychiatric Hospital.
And then there are all the 'feinted' instead of 'fainted' and 'bugger' instead of 'booger' and 'madames' instead of 'mesdames. Oh, and he describes Maggie as wearing make-up she is 5 years old when he meant Mel. And all the business of the gun not being declared - sorry, but it's illegal to bring a gun from the States into Canada without declaring it.
And when Mel asks what kind of kook would impersonate a dead person at the Elvis festival - she's a reporter for heaven's sake, has she never heard of Tribute Bands? So, the bottom line, in its present form, I cannot recommend Chasing Elvis. Jul 04, Teena in Toronto rated it did not like it. This book had promise. I enjoyed the author's writing style.
It was quick and snappy. But that's the only thing I enjoyed about this book. There were a few totally different story lines and it's not 'til you get to the end that you see how they are connected. It all falls into place too conveniently. I didn't like any of the characters. They were way too quirky to be believable. For example, Bennie is a drug addicted nympho rich kid who is turning tricks for loser Freddy. She's dumb dumb dumb! Her This book had promise. Her friend, Lannie, isn't much better. There's no sorrow when Lannie's mother dies of cancer