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Free Fall (Elvis Cole #4)

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  8,034 Ratings  ·  262 Reviews
Private detective Elvis Cole takes Jennifer Sheridan's case, which involves her decorated Los Angeles-cop boyfriend in some mysterious trouble, and Cole and his partner Pike are soon plunged in police corruption, gangs, and the depiction of themselves as armed killers.

From the Paperback edition.
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 4th 2011 by Crimeline (first published May 1st 1993)
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I have to think that Robert Crais got a little freaked out during the O.J. Simpson murder trial when the allegations of racism against detective Mark Fuhrman came up because just a few years earlier he had written this book that had some corrupt LAPD cops including an officer named Mark Thurman.

“Life this is Art. Art, meet my good friend Life. Try not to imitate each other too much if you can help it.”

Private investigator Elvis Cole is hired by a young woman named Jennifer Sheridan because she’
Dan Schwent
Jan 23, 2011 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
A woman named Jennifer Sheridan hires Elvis Cole to watch her fiancee and find out what sort of trouble he's in. Only he's in a lot more trouble than Jennifer or Elvis Cole bargained for...

Robert Crais took me for another ride on this one. I thought I had a pretty good handle on things but then Crais jerked the rug out from under me. Cole and Pike take on gang members and possibly dirty cops and wind up on the run. Crais takes on controversial issues like police brutality, cover-ups, dirty cops,
May 27, 2011 Johnny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Some role-playing games reward players who let the characters they play have certain inherent weaknesses that make the plots/scenarios more interesting. In The Dresden Files Role-playing Game, one of these aspects is called, “Sucker for a Pretty Face.” One of my friends played a character with this weakness and he occasionally missed out on the excitement because his male gumshoe character was following some “red herring” or “dalliance” brought to his attention by a lovely lady. There were also ...more
A dame walks into a PI's office and gives him forty dollars and a promise of weekly payments to find out what kind of trouble her fiance, an LA cop, is in. And maybe get him out of it.

Elvis Cole is just the kind of quirky private investigator who can't say no to a beautiful woman and so he takes the case. It turns out that the fiance is in a lot more trouble than his client or Elvis could possibly have imagined, and the result is another fast-paced tale that just dares the reader to be able to
Sep 16, 2015 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sep-15
Gotta love Elvis Cole!
Sep 09, 2011 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Elvis Cole and Joe Pike take on the Eight-Deuce Gangster boys of South Central and a Rogue team of LAPD Robbery Homicide Officers who got themselves in a bad position and are trying to strong-arm their way out. Crais once again captures the gritty feel of Los Angeles, this time in the graffiti tagged inner-city. The story takes place just after the Rodney King arrest and before OJ.. of note, one of the main Cops name is Mark Thurman.. coincidence? For an inside look at South Central Gang life, ...more
Apr 21, 2016 Dee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two-haiku review:

Cop boyfriend acts strange
Woman hires Cole to find out
What kind of trouble

Cole and Pike get framed
Gangbangers and dirty cops
Pretty good story
Bill Garrison
Oct 03, 2011 Bill Garrison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got hooked on Robert Crais when I read HOSTAGE and have read all of his recent works. Finally I'm getting a chance to read some of his earlier books feature Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. FREE FALL is easily one of the best of his early books. It's the forth in the series, I believe, and set entirely in Los Angeles. Some of his earlier books had Cole travelling to the east coast, Louisiana, and Seattle. But this novel keeps Cole in LA and is gritty and feels like it could have been written last year ...more
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 15. 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 ...more
Aug 22, 2014 Bobbi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
When I started this one, I was thinking, nothing ever really goes bad for these guys. Things generally just work out. Not so in this one. Couldn't put it down.
Apr 13, 2009 Marleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everytime time I read an Elvis Cole story, I think "Gosh, this is good stuff"! I just love Elvis Cole immensely! I love his humor, his cool and his goodness.
I finished this story in one day, it was so enjoyful, suspenseful and entertaining. It also puts me in a good mood. I think "Free Fall" is one of my favorites so far. Again in this book Elvis meeting with the new client at the beginning of the story is just too funny.
I loved this story from beginning to end and since I have always been a bi
Nov 03, 2015 Piker7977 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Cole and Pike are back on the case but this time they are taking on the LAPD. What begins as an investigation into the shady dealings of an undercover police officer uncovers conspiracy, scandal, and gangland disputes.

Free Fall does a good job of continuing the stories of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike by adding a good mix of action, mystery, and humor. With each entry in the series, the tales get more dark and the main characters show more complexities and vulnerabilities. Cole and Pike ponder their
Sep 01, 2014 Hobart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
A more developed version of this appears on my blog, Irresponsible Reader, as part of my Reread Project.


Elvis' client this time is a damsel-adjacent-to-distress. Jennifer Sheridan is convinced something is wrong with her fiancé/childhood sweetheart. He's a police officer attached to some special squad and she's afraid that he's being forced into doing something criminal (she's also afraid that he's not being forced at all, but she doesn't admit that), and wants Elvis to get him out of the j
Leon Aldrich
Crais does it again. He is unstoppable. I wouldn't want it otherwise. Thanks Robert for another yarn well done...
Jennifer Sheridan stands, wavering, in the open doorway of Elvis Cole’s office for some time before she can finally make herself cross the threshold. In her defense, it must really be hard to tell a perfect stranger, even a private investigator, that you suspect your fiancé has morphed from a wholesome collegiate football hero into a dirty cop.

Four months ago, Mark Thurman changed. He went off to work one day, his usual upbeat self, and came back a different man. Something happened on his job as
Jan 09, 2013 Randal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading Robert Crais' Elvis Cole series with 1999's L.A. Requiem. Since then I've been reading them in order and enjoying them very much. Every once in awhile, I'll go back in time and pick up one of the earlier books, such as this one. While still a very good book, Free Fall definitely shows that Elvis (and his creator) has gotten better with age. Elvis is just a little too glib in this book. And Crais is just a little too fond of the word "maybe." From a single page, we get this:

Domino Finn
Oct 11, 2015 Domino Finn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great Elvis Cole book, more of a thriller than a mystery. It does start out with a perplexing situation, but about 10-15% in the book, most of the larger facts are obvious. It's less about solving the mystery and more about how Cole (and Pike) are gonna get through this one. The action scenes were fun and engaging, and the pacing was even throughout.
Gerald Sinstadt
Jul 02, 2013 Gerald Sinstadt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Elvis Cole is not Spenser - but who is? Joe Pike is not Hawk - but who is? In the past Robert Crais has been a respected puveyor of crime novels in the Robert B Parker genre; not as good but good enough. Free Fall is a major disappointment.

Characterisation is the problem. Jennifer, the young woman who becomes Cole's client, is one-dimensional. Her vacillating boyfriend is hard to credit. So is Floyd Riggens, a seriously unpleasant cop with a drinking problem. Race and drugs are nothing new in cr
Feb 12, 2016 GymGuy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy Elvis Cole. He's my kind of detective: adventuresome, always (or most of the time) comes out on top and has a great sense of humor. Pike is is robotic alter-ego. This story is no exception. Great lines, a bit of heart and a tender spot for women.

Oct 29, 2015 T rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elvis and Joe return to help a client who is concerned about her fiance policeman he in trouble, does he not love her any more...Bad people, guns, killings, escapes, gangs, set ups.....All in the book!
Jun 09, 2014 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More wisecracking from Elvis Cole - well-plotted, LA in the tension after Rodney King, a good story
May 23, 2014 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lot more action in this one, and my fave so far :) as usual Cole and Pike made me giggle throughout :)
Wayne Zurl
Jun 24, 2015 Wayne Zurl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FREE FALL by Robert Crais…..

Buckle up, nail down your suspension of disbelief, and hang on because Elvis Cole and Joe Pike go over the top in this one.

Elvis is hired by an LAPD cop’s girlfriend to learn why her paramour’s demeanor has changed drastically. She thinks he’s into some kind of illegalities. Elvis thinks it may just be a case of meeting a new woman.

The investigation leads our two LA private eyes on a wild case involving an elite street crime unit, hardcore street gangs, and the famil
Harvey J Putterbaugh
VA appointments, so a reading day, and completion of Book 4, Free Fall.

Mr. Crais' titles are conundrums rather than indicative of the following content. One must concentrate, recall small aspects of the acts or conditions described, and ponder "why in the hell did he title this narrative " **** **** ".

Part of my loss due to PTSD from 'Nam [old fart...] was when it finally brought my life to standstill in 2003, is the loss of the ability to concentrate on secondary levels. If reading an article
Dewayne Stark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Jun 11, 2014 Serena.. Sery-ously? rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Sono in fase "Oddio, non mi va di leggere, solo guardare il soffitto in trance o dormire in modalità letargo fino a tempi migliori", quindi nonostante avessi sul comodino 4/5 libri, non riuscivo a finirne o farmene piacere uno..
Poi dalla libreria dei non iniziati questo piccoletto mi ha guardato, mi ha sorriso incoraggiandomi e mi ha ripetuto stile mantra "Leggi me! Leggi me! Sceglimi, non te ne pentirai!"
Potevo forse resistere a tale richiamo?? :DD
SOno contenta di aver seguito l'istinto, sono u
Heather Young
Feb 26, 2015 Heather Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Crais book so far! The subject matter, even though written in 1993, hits way to close to home to the headlines of today. Which only makes me sadder or the fact the we haven't made much progress makes me sadder. Without too many spoilers in the review, it's a case of police brutality and coverup against and unarmed black kid. There's so much more to it than that but ultimately it's what we're seeing in the paper everyday. The kid was 'resisting', he was 'reaching for a weapon' etc etc ...more
Matt Allen
Jan 31, 2014 Matt Allen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
Another solid entry in the Elvis Cole series. Cole is fun to be around, and Crais does a great job at capturing mid-nineties LA while still telling a story that's feels fresh two decades later.

Obviously, through four books in this series, Cole and Pike are the stars of the show and Free Fall is no different. They're excellent characters and they are definitely where this novel shines. These are guys you'd want to hang out with, even if you and Elvis (mostly Elvis) would be doing all the talking
Jan 23, 2016 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is #4 and I enjoyed it as much or more than ever!! Elvis Cole is the perfect recurring character: he is extremely good at what be does, he's funny, and his stories have some real meaning or food for thought, not just a good read. I already have #5 on my Kindle! Now if only we could have a few more John Rain novels, I would be a happy woman!!
Oct 14, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#4 in the Elvis Cole series. Finalist 1994 Edgar Award for Best Mystery.

LA PI Elvis Cole series - Jennifer Sheridan wants Elvis to find out what's bothering her fiancé, Mark Thurman, an undercover cop with an elite LAPD unit. Jennifer is certain it's not another woman, but Thurman himself tells Elvis the opposite. Elvis breaks the news to Jennifer in a hilarious restaurant scene, but she convinces him to stay on the case. Inevitably, Jennifer's suspicions turn out to be more than wishful thinkin
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Robert Crais is the author of the best-selling Elvis Cole novels. A native of Louisiana, he grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River in a blue collar family of oil refinery workers and police officers. He purchased a secondhand paperback of Raymond Chandler’s The Little Sister when he was fifteen, which inspired his lifelong love of writing, Los Angeles, and the literature of crime fiction. ...more
More about Robert Crais...

Other Books in the Series

Elvis Cole (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole, #1)
  • Stalking the Angel (Elvis Cole, #2)
  • Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole, #3)
  • Voodoo River (Elvis Cole, #5)
  • Sunset Express (Elvis Cole, #6)
  • Indigo Slam (Elvis Cole, #7)
  • L.A. Requiem (Elvis Cole, #8)
  • The Last Detective (Elvis Cole, #9)
  • The Forgotten Man (Elvis Cole, #10)
  • The Watchman (Elvis Cole, #11; Joe Pike, #1)

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“A man with friends is the wealthiest man in the world.” 3 likes
“This man took my last son. No one could claim my hurt, or my anger. No one could have a greater claim on this one’s life.” Her voice was tight and fierce. She patted Ray’s arm. “There’s been enough killing down here. We have to find a way to live without the killing.” 2 likes
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