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Chasing Darkness (Elvis Cole #12)

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  12,526 Ratings  ·  576 Reviews
Elvis Cole is Back--In a Desperate Fight to Clear his Name... 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 brutall ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published 2008 by Orion
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Community Reviews

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Dan Schwent
Nov 02, 2012 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A man Elvis Cole cleared for murder years ago turns up dead with a photo album of seven female murder victims in his possession. Did Cole help clear a killer? Why is the task force still working if the case has been closed? And what is the glory-seeking police chief trying to hide? That's what Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are trying to find out...

I have to admit, I had my doubts about this one at first. I should have known Crais had pulled the wool over my eyes yet again when I thought I knew who the
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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
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. The same narrator as The Watchman, and he does the Cole/Pike books perfectly well, so I shall not complain.

I exhaled a dreamy sigh whenever Pike came around. He is utterly lickable. (Di
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
Aug 12, 2008 Nadine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: private eye series fans
Shelves: mysteries
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: Los Angeles.

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
Nov 29, 2008 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I believe this is my second or third P.I. Elvis Cole yarn. Very enjoyable read. Solid detective story, vivid setting, good action scenes. I'll be looking to read deeper into the series.
CHASING DARKNESS (Pub. 2008) by Robert Crais was my first read by this author, and is Crais' 15th novel. It was a good read in the fairly classic P.I. who-done-it style. 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
Aug 03, 2011 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-suspense
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 270 pages, I zipped through it super fast. Cole makes a connection (for good or bad) to the people ...more
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
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.
Mar 17, 2013 Harry rated it really liked it  ·  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
Harv Griffin
May 19, 2013 Harv Griffin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, own
pic of DARKNESS checked out from local library

Someone called Jerry on GoodReads recommended I check out the Elvis Cole detective series by Robert Crais.

Thank you, Jerry!

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. Parker? We will see!

Aug 25, 2008 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I'm beginning to feel like all of the big names in pop thriller/crime fiction - Lee Childs, James Lee Burke, James Patterson, and now Robert Crais, are getting either bored or lazy, or have somehow managed to misplace the passion and fiery writing that placed them in their well deserved positions (well, except perhaps Patterson) on the big best seller lists. 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 mor ...more
Mar 08, 2009 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love immersing myself in Elvis Cole's noir Los Angeles, but the plot of this book kept straying into a kind of sleepwalking. I suppose it was necessary for Cole and Pike to have the violent encounter with the Repko brothers in order to get more clues to nail down the serial killer, but that plot detour doesn't add much to the narrative.

Lacking in this book is the edginess that makes the earlier Elvis Cole books fun to read. Even Joe Pike, the silent but powerful sidekick character that seems
B.R. Stateham
Jan 08, 2017 B.R. Stateham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are as good as they come. Nice plot with some interesting twists. And jeez, I wished I had Elvis' house up in the Hollywood Hills. Sounds like a really nice place.

Murder, cover-ups, political shenanigans. What else would you want in an Elvis Cole novel?
May 22, 2010 Maddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads


I've been a fan of Elvis Cole and his associate, Joe Pike, since 1987 when THE MONKEY'S RAINCOAT appeared. It's hard to believe that this series is over 20 years old. Of course, the characters have grown and changed; but the essential elements that have made these books so likeable are still there. Elvis may be a little more world weary now, but he still has the Pinocchio clock in his office and he still can't resist the opportunity to make a wise crack.

As a private i
Don Crouch
Jan 01, 2014 Don Crouch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As all Elvis Cole readers know, Robert Crais has put him through a real wringer as of late. Broken heart, broken bones and a near-broken spirit have tested The World's Greatest Detective in the last few books.

And we loved it, of course.

So, if we tell you that, in Chasing Darkness, Crais has crafted a less Elvis-centric tale of Detective and Case, assume please that we are doing it with all kinds of YAY!!

A crucial element to any series is the ability to change pace and still move forward, and thi
Jul 05, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At this point in the career of Robert Crais, you never quite know what you are going to get in one of his books, although whatever he does is usually good. In "L.A. Requiem" and "The Forgotten Man", Crais kept his franchise characters, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, but ventured into more pure fiction, giving them a backstory and a depth that adds to their personas. In other books, such as "Demolition Angel", he introduced new characters, namely Carol Starkey, who has stayed on in the series. "Chasing ...more
Jan 30, 2011 Marleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before I start this review I should probably admit that I just love the characters of Elvis Cole and Pike, and seem to be loving them more with every subsequent book in the series. They really can't do any wrong by me.
In this, the 11th book in the Elvis Cole series, Elvis finds himself revisiting a case he thought he had closed years ago.
Seven years previously he was asked to investigate a man who was accussed of having killed a young woman. Through a witness statement he proved that the man, Li
Nov 14, 2010 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We’ve been slowly knocking off the Private Detective Elvis Cole series, and while we generally enjoy the leading man, especially at his best when wise-cracking with clients and friends, and find the plots well crafted, we sometimes grouse about the inconsistency of Crais’ stories in terms of scene-setting, points of view, backflashes, etc. “Chasing” is one of the better entries in the set – a clever and interesting plot with an outcome that pleases; a focus on Cole and buddies Pike and Starkey; ...more
CHASING DARKNESS (PI- Elvis Cole-Los Angeles, CA-Cont) - VG
Crais, Robert – 11th in series
Simon & Schuster, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780743281645

First Sentence: Beakman and Trenchard could smell the fire--it was still a mile away, but a sick desert wind carried the promise of Hell.

Three years ago, Elvis helped prove Lionel Byrd innocent of killing a prostitute. Now, Byrd's body has been found with a book containing the photographs of seven women who had been murdered, including the prostit
Denniger Bolton
Apr 17, 2013 Denniger Bolton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert Crais has returned to Elvis Cole in this novel set in the Los Angeles area. Elvis is a private investigator who is draw into working on a suicide in the famous Laurel Canyon area of L.A. CHASING DARKNESS starts in like a Harry Bosch police procedural thriller. Which is okay, because I like Michael Connelly's protagonist almost as much as Elvis and his partner Joe Pike. Harry and Elvis can be seen rubbing shoulders, or at least bumping elbows, in at least one Crais novel.

This one is a litt
Dec 17, 2008 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans
I like Elvis Cole. He's in my Top 10 all time favorite fictional characters. And honestly, that's why this book is getting 4 stars. Because Crais would have to turn a Cole mystery into a Tarentino bloodfest for me to knock the book down to 2 stars.

Elvis Cole is a Nice Guy. So when he discovers that a man that he'd cleared of murder 3 years ago has been found dead, victim of an apparent suicide, while clutching a gory "murder album" with pictures of 7 murdered women that could only have been ta
Samuel Tyler
Feb 09, 2015 Samuel Tyler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is perhaps a little too easy to take an author like Robert Crais for granted. For years he has been producing breezy crime fiction with a humorous LA slant and for years I have read them. Until I caught up with his latest work. It has been some years since I last read the author, but the time that has passed has only made me appreciate his writing more. ‘Chasing Darkness’ is Crais at his most clinical. Cole and Pike are back and this time they must reinvestigate a case they knew was right the ...more
Mark Stevens
Dec 12, 2011 Mark Stevens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Chasing Darkness" doesn't push any stylistic boundaries or shatter the barriers of the genre. This is power-packed with plot, hard work and clue finding. Detective Elvis Cole is at the wheel and partner Joe Pike is riding the figurative shotgun seat. The story gets a jump start with the discovery of a body in a house that's part of a neighborhood being evacuated due to wildfires. The body is that of one Lionel Byrd, who Elvis Cole helped exonerate, three years earlier, from charges he had murde ...more
Oct 15, 2011 Juha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans.
On Friday morning, I randomly picked Chasing Darkness from amongst a number of thrillers and mysteries that had circulated to me from some like-minded friends. I felt like reading one on the subway to work. It turned out to be a page turner and I also spent the lunch hour and other breaks with it. By Sunday afternoon I was done with it. I didn't know Robert Crais or his hero Elvis Cole in advance, but I can see from the Goodreads reviews that both have dedicated fans. This was a good book as far ...more
Bruce Snell
Jan 11, 2013 Bruce Snell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book number eleven in the Elvis Cole series by Robert Crais - 4 stars. Three years ago Elvis Cole investigated a murder case on behalf of the suspect's defense attorney. Cole found the evidence that proved the suspect - Lionel Byrd - was not guilty. Now, Byrd has been found in his house, an apparant suicide victim, and in his possession was a photo album filled with Polaroid pictures of murder victims - including the one on which Elvis had cleared him. Now Elvis is determined to finish the inves ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Elvis Cole has been around for more than 20 years, and he has aged like fine wine. Chasing Darkness contains the classic crime elements that have made Crais's series so popular, but the novel seems, as a few critics commented, more like a straightforward crime thriller this time around. Material Witness felt that the novel was perhaps less psychologically intense than previous installments, but nonetheless still as compelling in its exploration of crime and backroom politics. A tight, plausible

Jun 25, 2008 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cop Detective novel fans, Crais fans
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2008
I just zipped throught the latest Elvis Cole mystery from Robert Crais who may be the best detective novel author around. Yes hes that good. This is another Elvis Cole novel. Cole is a private detective who in the past found evidence that exonerated Lionell Byrd from killing a prostitute named Yvonne Bennett. Now two years later, the police find evidence that links Lionell Byrd to Yvonne Bennett's murder as well as the murder of 6 other women. Cole investigates what appears to be a slam dunk cas ...more
Jul 19, 2008 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
A very quick but satisfying read. I love Elvis Cole, the "World's Greatest Detective," and especially his partner, Joe Pike——silent, enigmatic, and the World's Deadliest Detective. I regard this series with much affection, and Cole and Pike of LA have a similar dynamic as Spenser and Hawk of Boston.

In this book, LA is on fire, and Cole investigates whether an accused murderer freed by evidence he found in a case three years ago may, in fact, have not been innocent and, worse still, may have con
May 27, 2012 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elvis Cole gets involved when a man is found dead when the police are clearing an area threatened by a wild fire. It turns out the man had years earlier been charged with murder, but freed in part to Elvis’ work for his lawyer. When the police pin a recent murder on the dead man, Elvis becomes the target for anger for his earlier involvement in the man’s release. Elvis doesn’t believe he was the killer and begins to poke around despite being warned off by unknown callers as well as the police. H ...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

Elvis Cole (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole, #1)
  • Stalking the Angel (Elvis Cole, #2)
  • Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole, #3)
  • Free Fall (Elvis Cole, #4)
  • 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)

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“Pike put down the cat. He slid from Pike's arms like molasses and puddled at his feet.” 9 likes
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