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

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  18,455 Ratings  ·  850 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
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Deborah You don't have to, no. The books stand alone. They do advance through time and experience, though, so you'll get to know the characters better if you…moreYou don't have to, no. The books stand alone. They do advance through time and experience, though, so you'll get to know the characters better if you start at the beginning. They're all good.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Sean Peters
Apr 12, 2015 Sean Peters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wild-living young heiress slams into trouble in the L.A. night—the kind of trouble even her money can’t shut down. After her Aston Martin collides with a mysterious car, Larkin Conner Barkley attempts to help the accident victims—and becomes the sole witness in a federal investigation. Whisking her out of her Beverly Hills world is Joe Pike—ex-cop, ex-Marine, ex-mercenary—hired to shield Larkin from a relentless team of killers. But when a chain of lies and betrayals tightens around them, Pike ...more
Mona Bliss
Aug 06, 2007 Mona Bliss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 (Back to the Books)
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
La Tonya  Jordan
Jan 29, 2016 La Tonya Jordan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to La Tonya by: A Good Thiller - GoodReads
Shelves: good-read
Suspense, excitement, and thrilling is how I would describe Joe Pike. Joe Pike is an ex-Marine , ex-cop, and ex-mercenary who is hired on contract to protect Larkin Conner Barkley who has been targeted for death for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. So, it seems.

Joe Pike is a man of very few words. But, his connections lead to protecting Larkin and revealing secrets many people are trying to hide. I enjoyed all the action packed scenes in this book. I felt like I was at the movies on
Mar 17, 2013 Harry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
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
Sep 06, 2011 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
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
Jan 24, 2012 Tim Warner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Mar 30, 2008 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Joe Pike is one tough hombre and Crais writes well. Lookin' forward to the next one.
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
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 your ...more
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
M.L. Rudolph
Apr 18, 2012 M.L. Rudolph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: who-done-ems
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 really liked it  ·  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
Rachel Amphlett
Dec 04, 2011 Rachel Amphlett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 08, 2013 Goge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 19, 2007 Chelsea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jun 04, 2009 Sandie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cathy DuPont
Dec 09, 2011 Cathy DuPont rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crais Fans or Not!
Been reading Elvis Cole in order of publication and Elvis' sidekick (although he would resent being categorized as such) Joe Pike is the featured character in The Watchman. Sorry folks, Elvis takes the back seat here.

Pike's an ex-Marine and ex-cop from the LAPD and they are good friends. Their relationship is explored further and deeper in each book I've read. They have a strong and mutual respect for each other and bounce off each other nicely with Elvis being somewhat of a joker (he makes me
Oct 09, 2010 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 22, 2009 Kirsti rated it really liked it  ·  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
Nov 06, 2011 Isis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
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
Dana ****Reads Alot****
This just may be a new series I will be reading I really enjoyed this fast paced action filled book. He is my new James Patterson.
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
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
Aug 15, 2015 Mohammad rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
بعد رؤية كم لا بأس به من التقييمات العالية ظننت أنني سأكون أمام رواية رائعة مليئة بالإثارة.. غير قابلة للترك..
..لأفاجئ برتابتها
..الأمر لم يكن أنها كانت مملة في جزء كبير منها
بل كانت مملة بمجملها!
لم أستشعر أي إثارة كنت أتوقعها منها قبل قراءتي لها.
خيبت ظني كثيراً!

بالإضافة إلى أن بطلة القصة لا تطاق.. برع الكاتب بجمع كل صفات الشخصية المزعجة فيها ثم استدرك أمره في النهاية بشكل فاشل.
إلا أن تصوير شخصية البطل ك "حارس شخصي" كان جيداً حقيقة. يستحق الحصول على النجمة الواحدة في تقييمي :)
أما الباقي... فلا يس
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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 (6 books)
  • The First Rule (Elvis Cole, #13; Joe Pike, #2)
  • The Sentry (Elvis Cole, #14; Joe Pike, #3)
  • Taken (Elvis Cole, #15; Joe Pike, #4)
  • The Promise (Elvis Cole, #16; Joe Pike, #5; Scott James & Maggie, #2)
  • The Wanted (Elvis Cole, #17; Joe Pike, #6)

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“Miss Stanik? That your name, Candace Stanik?” Her voice was soft, but thin and strained. Pike wasn’t listening to her; he listened past her, searching for other occupants. A crisp medicinal smell of ether came from her apartment, telling him that someone had been freebasing. “Yes. He went—” “Let us in now, hon. We can’t leave until we come in, so just let us in.” Flynn pushed gently on the door until she backed away. Pike shadowed inside, then quickly stepped to the side so they weren’t bunched together. Together, they would make a single large target; apart, two targets more difficult to kill. Pike kept his back to the wall.” 0 likes
“Stepping into the apartment was like entering a furnace. Pike began sweating. They were in a cramped living room. As” 0 likes
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