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The Watchman
Robert Crais
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The Watchman (Joe Pike #1)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  14,407 ratings  ·  686 reviews
Larkin Conner Barkley lives like the City of Angels is hers for the taking. Young and staggeringly rich, she speeds through the city during its loneliest hours, blowing through red after red in her Aston Martin as if running for her life. Until out of nowhere a car appears, and with it the metal-on-metal explosion of a terrible accident. Dazed, Larkin attempts to help the ...more
Published February 27th 2007 by Brilliance Audio (first published January 1st 2007)
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It’s probably a good thing that Robert Crais has a strict policy against selling the film rights to his Elvis Cole and Joe Pike characters because I can see how this could go horribly off the rails in the wrong hands. The bad Hollywood pitch for this movie:

“There’s this rich girl, like a Paris Hilton type, right? And she gets into a car accident, but the people in the car flee the scene even though they’re injured. She identifies one of them as this big time money launderer that the Feds want, b
Dan Schwent
While Elvis Cole is on the mend, an associate of Joe Pike's calls in a favor. Joe is tasked with protecting a young heiress from the people trying to kill her. Things go south when there is a leak at the Department of Justice and Pike finds that the only people he can trust are Elvis Cole and himself...

Joe Pike takes the lead in this Robert Crais offering and gets saddled protecting a Paris Hilton type heiress named Larkin Barkley. As with L.A. Requiem, Joe Pike's past is explored as the case un
Mona Bliss
I enjoyed every second of this book. I love the entire Elvis Cole series and I thought it was great that he decided to swap the character focus in this one to Joe Pike. You can't help but wish that life was different for Joe but if it was he wouldn't be Joe Pike...and I'd miss Joe Pike.

This is a good read as are all the Elvis Cole books.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
I'm eternally grateful to Hugh for turning me onto this series. There was a Pike-shaped hole in my life that I didn't even know was there prior to listening to this book. Now, I can't go back to that Pike-free universe. In all seriousness, I really enjoyed this book. I totally loved Pike and
Cole. They definitely have a great friendship that allows them the freedom and the support to be themselves. That's definitely a blessing.

The Characters:

First and foremost, as I said, I dug Pike. I love the
Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
You know that old saying? "Don't mess with the bull or you'll get the horns?" Try this, "The bull better not mess with Joe Pike, or Joe's gonna eat the bull!"

Elvis Cole's BFF gets his own book.

A tragically misunderstood celebrity has an accident on an empty street in Los Angeles. She tries to do the right thing and report it, then, the bad men start coming out of the wood work to kill her. "What gives? Give a Girl a Break will you?" Impotent to save her, the girls father calls in a Private Det
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
The bad guy is predictable. Well, so what? The good guy is unpredictable. The Watchman is presumably a play off the literary conceit that inspired the brilliant The Watchmen graphic novel and film, “Who is watching the watchman?” Robert Crais doesn’t make any explicit reference to that, but it fits. Joe “I’m not a bodyguard” Pike is roped into performing a very lucrative favor for a person to whom, like The Godfather of Mario Puzo fame, he owes a favor. This time, he doesn’t owe the favor to a m ...more
Tim Warner
Just started. I like the creative approach that Robert Crais uses in this first of the Joe Pike series. The reader gets dropped into the middle of the action and the past unfolds slowly to fill in the history leading to the current situation. It's an interes4ting and novel approach.

I finished.

Good, not the best. I will continue with Pike, however. I wrote a much more extensive review of The Watchman, but the computer ate it up.One false key stroke and you're done4! UUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH So in my
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay, I'd never read anything by Robert Crais before this and I must say, I liked it (and immediately reserved another at the library).

Joe Pike...named for a rather nasty an interesting character. Taciturn, direct, he speaks in short declarative sentences and really doesn't do much emotion. I mean he has them, he just doesn't see any point in showing them or letting them dominate his life. He's friends and sometimes partner to Elvis Cole...a wise cracking PI.

This is not the first nove
It was an action packed thriller, no doubt about it. Pike is pretty over the top, not even taking well deserved money, too perfect for my taste. It was interesting to find out his back story, though. Elvis had a good part & I liked him better in a secondary role. His wise cracks were more fun in small doses. I appreciated not getting quite as much of a tour of LA as I did with the first Elvis Cole book, too.

I have the next Joe Pike book & will probably read it at some point soon.
Joe Pike is one tough hombre and Crais writes well. Lookin' forward to the next one.
M.L. Rudolph
2007. Robert Crais is a master craftsman who delivers on his promise.

There are alot of variations on the LA private eye story. And lots of good practitioners of the genre. Crais is among the best. His two characters Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, in my book, belong among the best LA literary sleuths.

This is Joe Pike's novel, but Elvis Cole is his buddy and of course he makes more than a cameo. Pike relies on Cole to provide key backup.

Pike is a damaged soul from childhood, but he's a tough survivor
The Book Maven
I think this is my first "Male Romance", if it can be considered that. Entertaining and enlightening, I suppose: the main character, Joe Pike, is terse, taciturn, grunt-y, noble, brave, and uber-strong and skilled. Does every man want to be like that?

I figured this book was part of a series (and it is, Book 11), but what surprised me was that the series is considered the 'Elvis Cole' series, and that character was definitely secondary in this novel...however, on second thought, that's a relief,
Jul 29, 2013 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who thinks Joe Pike > Elvis Cole
After finishing the last Crais book I read, Lullaby Town, I wrote in my review:
I would also like to see more of the enigmatic Joe Pike, who is easily the most interesting character in the entire series.
So, basically, this is the book I was asking for. And you know what? It delivered.

It was told from the third-person perspective, which nicely differentiated it from the Elvis Cole series, and let Joe Pike, while in focus, maintain a lot of his mystery. It also broke up the formula of the previou
Joe Pike, silent partner in the Elvis Cole Detective Agency, takes center stage in this well orchestrated offering from Robert Crais, with Elvis Cole stepping into an important albeit "supporting role". For those who have followed the "strong, silent, mysterious Pike" through various Elvis Cole books.....we are finally offered a glimpse at Joe's military experiences, his time as an L.A.P.D. cop, and his relationship with his father. Joe may not be a guy brimming with emotion, but his quiet natur ...more
Joyce Lagow
A Joe Pike novel.[return][return]Normally, I� m not one for the hard-boiled hero type of either police procedural or thriller. I do have my exceptions, however, such as Michael Connelly� s Harry Bosch and Ian Rankin� s Inspector Rebus. Both series are so well written that they transcend, it seems to me, the genre.[return][return]I now can add Robert Crais� s Joe Pike/Ellis Cole series to the list. Joe Pike is a co-partner, along with Ellis Cole, of a private investigative agency. In a way, he� s ...more
Rachel Amphlett
The Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series just get better and better - if you haven't read these before, do yourself a favour and start at the beginning with The Monkey's Raincoat. I've been reading the whole series on Kindle after discovering Robert Crais' books a couple of months ago. I've got no idea what I'm going to do when I get to the last one (only four books away) - I shall be in mourning!

The Watchman is the first book where Joe Pike takes the lead, and for those who are familiar with the charact
What a great story! I couldn't put it down, literally. I read it in one go. Fast paced, brutal, characters with unique personalities, the villain that you can't see until almost the end of the book. Just amazing writing and more that interesting plots and twists. The main character is a guy you want to have by your side: trained deadly machine. In real life, that kind of a guy would drive me crazy with that silent treatment. But someone tried to kill me, you bet I would run to that guy, Joe Pike ...more
Mal Warwick
Joe Pike is one scary dude. He’s a former beat cop, Marine MP, and tattooed mercenary soldier who looks and talks the part, which is to say that he rarely speaks at all. He wears sunglasses indoors. He is a partner in a Los Angeles private detective agency and a partner in a gun store. You would definitely not want to run into Pike in a dark alley.

The Watchman is one of the sixteen detective novels in Robert Crais’ best-selling series featuring Pike and his partner Elvis Cole. Called up to retur
Finally! A wider glance into the life and history of Joe Pike. Thank you, Bob, it's been a long time coming.

I loved The Watchman. Every peak into Joe's history adds another layer of connectedness to this series.

Loved it!
We've been sampling Crais' booklist -- this was the third we've read, with the other two featuring PI Elvis Cole, with a little help from his reclusive sidekick, Joe Pike. In deciding to sample a newer entry in the set, we stumbled on this one which features Pike as the leading man, with just a little help here and there from Cole. Pike is an ex-cop who says little but carries a big stick – he reminds us of (Lee Child’s) Jack Reacher in that he has a finely honed sense of right and wrong and is ...more
Kelsey Burnette
My first Crais novel, and I like it. Joe Pike is a great character. I love how quiet he is. This book was a good first read, as you get to know Pike both through various revelations in the book, but also through the way he relates to Larkin, the young woman he is trying to protect. On the outside, they couldn't be more different, but Pike "sees" her and in her, himself. At one point telling her, "We're the same." And he's right. And she knows it too. She realizes that he actually really sees her ...more
Jane Stewart
I love tough smart loner guys like Joe Pike. I had plot problems, but it was still a fun and engaging read.

Larkin, a wealthy single woman (think Paris Hilton) witnesses something. Bad guys want her dead. She is in safe houses under federal protection. Three times someone leaks the location to the bad guys who come with guns. So Joe Pike a former marine and police officer is hired to protect her. He keeps her safe. The federal authorities, local police, and her father are angry at Joe
THE WATCHMAN (Private Investigator-Los Angeles-Cont) – Ex
Crais, Robert – 14th book
Simon & Schuster, 2007–US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780743281638
*** Joe Pike owes a man a job and the man has called to collect. A young LA heiress was involved in a traffic accident and now people are trying to kill her. As bad guys keep finding them, Joe quickly realized someone on the inside is selling the girl out and the only one Joe can trust is Cole.
*** This was an interesting book on several levels. There is
Aug 22, 2009 Kirsti rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone stuck at the airport
Recommended to Kirsti by: Jan C
Well. I have now read Watchmen, the graphic novel, and Watchman, the spy novel that I think was by Ian Rankin, and now I have read The Watchman. Naturally, I will have to search for a book called Watchdog.

I wish the New York Times would describe me as taut and muscular, but I guess I will have to settle for reading books that merit that description. (I suppose today's fifteen minutes of yardwork were not enough.)

I enjoyed this book very much. It moves fast, and Pike and Cole are well-developed c
This was the first book by Robert Crias that I have read and it was a great introduction. I love Joe Pike! I wish the author had gone more into his background and thoughts. Maybe the book should have been about Joe and not Larkin. But that's just me being selfish and greedy.

My only complaint, and the reason for 4 stars instead of 5, is that the main female character, Larkin, was referred to as "the girl" throughout the whole book. At one point, she was called "that little girl over there". Lark
Apr 19, 2008 J.D. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller fans
Great stuff. Bursts right out of the gate at full speed and never lets up. Pike's such a badass he occasionally comes perilously close to turning into a parody of himself, but Crais manages to avoid that by showing us fleeting glimpses of the pain that drives him.
Joe Pike = Total Badass

I love me some badasses... Next please!
The Watchman was an excellent book written by a skilled hand. The first in a series focusing on Joe Pike, a familiar character for Crais; this book was easily read as a stand-alone novel. Joe Pike has been hired to do one thing: protect Larkin Connor Barkley. Larkin was in a car accident and after identifying the people who fled the scene, numerous attempts were made on her life. When the government couldn't keep her safe, Pike was brought in by an old friend to do their job. Soon, Joe and Larki ...more
Linda I
"The Watchman" can be described as a marginally interesting and predictable, but a fairly quick and easily entertaining read. While the plot was fast-moving and absorbing, the lead protagonists, Joe Pike and Larkin Barkley, are a bit too stereotypically generic. Pike is your typical short-on-words-big-on-testosterone terminator type of guy and Larkin is the pretty-yet-crazy-wild-child heiress everyone falls in love with. The story: Larkin, contemplating her life while driving late one night, end ...more
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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

Joe Pike (5 books)
  • The First Rule (Joe Pike, #2)
  • The Sentry (Elvis Cole, #12, Joe Pike, #3)
  • Taken (Elvis Cole, #13 / Joe Pike, #4)
  • The Promise (Elvis Cole, #14; Joe Pike, #5)
The Sentry (Elvis Cole, #12, Joe Pike, #3) The First Rule (Joe Pike, #2) The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole, #1) Suspect The Last Detective (Elvis Cole, #9)

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