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Sunset Express (Elvis Cole #6)

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,589 Ratings  ·  249 Reviews
Prominent restaurateur Teddy Martin is facing charges in his wife’s brutal murder. But he’s not going down without spending a bundle of cash on his defense. So his hotshot attorney hires P.I. Elvis Cole to find proof that Detective Angela Rossi tampered with the evidence. Rossi needs a way back to the fast track after falling hard during an internal investigation five year ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 25th 2005 by Ballantine Books (first published April 1st 1996)
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Novels Set in California
62nd out of 453 books — 269 voters
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Best Books of 1996
63rd out of 257 books — 123 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Aug 06, 2012 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
Millionaire restauranteur Teddy Martin is charged with his wife's murder and hires celebrity attorney Jonathan Green, who hires Elvis Cole to prove an LAPD detective planted evidence. Will Elvis uncover more than he bargained for?

Robert Crais's Elvis Cole series is slowly climbing the ranks of my favorite detective series. This one, a take off on the O.J. Simpson case, explores the legal system and how it is inherently full of shit.

The supporting cast is an interesting bunch, from the slimey law
...more
Kemper
This book has such an outlandish plot to it. Honestly, could anyone believe that a rich and famous person could possibly get away with murder by having a high priced legal team that obscures the facts by putting the police department on trial and manipulating the media to…. What’s that you say? O.J.? Robert Blake? Michael Jackson’s molestation trial? That NBA player who shotgunned his limo driver in front of multiple witnesses, and they couldn’t even get a jury to convict him of manslaughter?

He
...more
Tim Warner
Jan 26, 2012 Tim Warner rated it it was amazing
Excellent. This is the earliest in the Elvis Cole series which I have read. I loved it and it shows the basic foundation of the Elvis style and the Crais plotting which captured me in the later books with which I started. Now I need to continue backwards, because this is really a well-written, and plot gripping, tension - inducing read. This is a fine example of why I read this genre and why I am constantly looking for the best of the best in Crime/thriller fiction. Robert Crais is one of the be ...more
Rex Fuller
Apr 15, 2014 Rex Fuller rated it really liked it
As usual, Robert Crais delivers sheer pleasure. Everything seems just right with this book. Tight, tight, tight story-telling. Perfect dialogue. Great Joe Pike and Elvis Cole action. It's possible to read this in one day. That way you can read it every day. It would be quite a few before getting tired of it.
Jessica
Feb 02, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
I'm getting down to the last few Coles I haven't read, and it'll be a bit of a bummer to be all caught up because I've enjoyed them so much. This one works nicely with its less-than-neat ending, and stands as one of the highlights of a great series.
Scott Rhee
Dec 16, 2012 Scott Rhee rated it really liked it
"Sunset Express" is the sixth book in Robert Crais's series featuring his L.A. private eye Elvis Cole, but it's the first book that I've read. It won't be my last. Crais is a writer for those who love a good fast-paced mystery with a likable and charming hero in the vein of Robert Parker's Spenser or Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe. Wise-cracking, compassionate, tough-but-lovable, and an all-around good guy---the kind you'd definitely want in your corner---Elvis Cole, in this novel, is at a tu ...more
Cathy DuPont
Nov 18, 2011 Cathy DuPont rated it really liked it
Elvis Cole is one crackerjack P.I. who easily says, he's 'the greatest detective in the world.' Yeh, he's a little cocky but he is very good at what he does and he's got Joe Pike as his backup. Pike would make any one just a little cocky.

So many things to love about Elvis...besides his name if you're an Elvis P. fan.

His black cat for one, the cat who hates everyone except Elvis and Joe. Black cat (no name) reminds me of my cat. Has that attitude going but Elvis still pampers him and loves him b
...more
Mike
Feb 11, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You're a private investigator in Los Angeles and one of the most high profile defense lawyers asked you to do some work for you on a case that's in the news almost daily. What a privilege and a boost to your visibility! You get the job done fast and complete. You make your report. He's gives you another assignment. But when the attorney releases your findings to the press, he reports just the opposite of what you discovered. What's going on here? It's a mystery inside of a mystery for Elvis Cole ...more
Monty
Apr 20, 2014 Monty rated it liked it
This series is getting to be similar to brain candy for me--extremely satisfying but not a lot of sustenance. I really like Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. This book started out sounding like the plot was pretty straight forward, but it soon became quite complex and exciting. Yes, I do plan to read the next in the series and may start out with the Joe Pike series which has some stories not found in the Elvis Cole books.
Brian Stillman
Jan 10, 2008 Brian Stillman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The best Elvis Cole novel (to date). Definitely read Voodoo River prior to this one.

Reading the end of the book was as close to pumping my fist in the air and screaming like a beer soaked frat boy as I ever need to get.

A great detective novel. No. A fucking great detective novel.
Leon Aldrich
Couldn't sleep last night, tossing and turning. To make matters worse, I picked up Sunset Express giving my night hyperactivity something to focus on. Hours later. Done. Now I can't get back to sleep. Damn Crais!
Bobbi
Sep 24, 2014 Bobbi rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-detective
First ending I've read by him where the situation wasn't completely resolved, but it works, it was the right way to end it.
Tom
Jun 14, 2014 Tom rated it it was amazing
marvellous chicanery and double-dealing - the best Elvis Cole yet
Jeffrey Hammerhead
Jun 17, 2012 Jeffrey Hammerhead rated it really liked it
Shelves: shamus-winner
Robert Crais won a Shamus for this one. An excellant read.
Kellie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex
Apr 11, 2015 Alex rated it liked it
Three and a half stars. The Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series are great fun but are nothing more than light entertainments. I started at the beginning of the series and look forward to reading more as I'm led to believe the quality of the writing picks up.
Yeva
Sep 30, 2012 Yeva rated it really liked it
The more I read Mr. Crais's books, the more I enjoy them. Sunset Express was the sort of book that makes you mad--mad at rich bitch lawyers who take advantage of their position and the public's devotion--mad at how the media vilifies cops & mad at how some police officers put the blame for their misconduct onto others--and it made you pissed at celebrities who think they can get away with anything. Yep, it was a great book for a mad on! Then, there's Elvis and Pike and they take the mad stuf ...more
Piker7977
Jun 15, 2016 Piker7977 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime-mystery
A woman's corpse is found inside a garbage bag and is investigated by a cop with a reputation for tampering with evidence. A restaurant mogul is now on trial for the murder of his wife. A crack squad of elite lawyers are representing the defendant. A private investigator and his partner are hired by the defense team to help clear the man's name. As the case twists and turns, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike find themselves involved in a conspiracy. Who exactly is pulling the levers behind the scenes and ...more
donna_ehm
Feb 08, 2016 donna_ehm rated it liked it
Another enjoyable installment in the Cole/Pike series but I'd be remiss if I didn't comment on the ending: (view spoiler) ...more
Wayne Zurl
Sep 28, 2015 Wayne Zurl rated it liked it
Sunset Express by Robert Crais…..

I usually don’t get too upset over stories that are predictable, but when I figure out what’s coming up at the very beginning of a book, I’d like the getting there to be extra special. Unfortunately, SUNSET EXPRESS didn’t deliver for me.

Too much of an explanation would spoil the story for an interested reader, so I’ll just say this book, which won a Shamus Award back in 1996, is not one of my favorite Elvis Cole mysteries.

Also, I think Robert Crais spent too muc
...more
Dewayne Stark
Mar 15, 2015 Dewayne Stark rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Young
Mar 01, 2015 Heather Young rated it really liked it
Crais did it again! Love the stories, the settings, the characters. We also got to see the development between Elvis and Lucille this go round which is great. He deserves to be happy.

Another crazy LA tale of mayhem murder and what Private Investigators do to bring on their own kind of justice. In Crais' stories the good cops prevail, somewhat. The frustrating side of this story shows how sexist the police system is for women with ambition, and how being good at your job can sometimes earn you a
...more
Susan McChesney
May 26, 2014 Susan McChesney rated it liked it
I usually like Robert Crais' mysteries. This one was hardly a mystery and it was a little sappy. Sappy Portion: The main character, Elvis Cole, has a love interest that was carried over from the previous book. She and her son from Louisiana visit him in LA. She has some business there. Of course they want him to take them around to see the sights. Mystery Portion: Elvis Cole gets hired to work with the world's greatest lawyer. He gets duped. He gets mad. He quits. He works to right his wrong. Th ...more
Danheatherly
Jul 25, 2014 Danheatherly rated it liked it
This book was partially spoiled because I listened to it as an audiobook. I frequently listen to audiobook versions (and normally prefer this format). In this case though, the book was almost ruined by the reader's "southern accent" of Lucy. It was horrible....horrible. I stopped listening for a while but eventually returned because the story was entertaining.
There are a few spots that are really, really not believable (as opposed to the sorta not believable of these type stories). For instance
...more
Matt Allen
Jul 03, 2014 Matt Allen rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
Crais provides another solid stop in the Elvis Cole series, and the good guys win big.

That's not a spoiler alert--it's a big win because Crais really allows his protagonists, both major and minor, to shine. For readers of the series, we dig deep and learn a lot of Elvis, Joe, et al. Our lead private detective begins to change and mature in a way that feels real whether future books prove the change is legit or not. Crais allows just the right amount of previous books to shine in and give his wor
...more
Hobart
Sep 17, 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.
1/2

There are two stories being told by Crais in this book -- yes, interwoven and interdependent -- but two stories. The fun one involves Lucy Chenier coming out to LA for work and to see Elvis. She brings along her son to make it a little family vacation. When Elvis gets the news, he becomes a different person than we've seen before -- or at least a more intense version of something we saw
...more
Harvey J Putterbaugh
Jan 12, 2015 Harvey J Putterbaugh rated it liked it
Shelves: crais
Title "maybe" suggested by the narrative but it's a stretch, lol

Book 6 of the Elvis Cole series by Mr. Crais didn't read as well although his finding something from Book 5 is included as a subplot [or the crime is a subplot].

One interesting thing I stumbled across was the state location in Book 5, Louisiana, is actually Mr. Crais' home state.

The crime in this book is a little far-fetched in some aspects and the "plot" unravels too easily and the result for the reader, like the good characters in
...more
Ed
Oct 14, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
#6 in the Elvis Cole series. 1997 Shamus Award for Best Novel.

LA PI Elvis Cole series - Elvis is hired by high-profile attorney Jonathan Green to investigate the death of Susan Martin, wife of mega-millionaire Teddy Green. The defense is basing its case on the Mark Fuhrman-like theory that evidence was planted at the scene by Detective Angela Rossi, a fallen star in the LAPD who could use a celebrity conviction as her ticket back to the fast track. Elvis and Joe are pleased when their efforts sh
...more
Nagesh Kumar C S
Jan 20, 2015 Nagesh Kumar C S rated it it was ok
This is one very badly written, despite what his loyal fans would like to say...
Very filmy, like a would be movie script.
Too much time wasted on romance between the lead pair..almost like a Mills and Boon or Harlequin romance novel.

An example of confusing prose:

a passage reads like this somewhat...
None else could get them out and Green was the Best....and Jonathan did it" The author was talking about the same guy, Jonathan Green!
Duh?..why write like they are different guys in the same sentence
...more
Jan
May 22, 2016 Jan rated it really liked it
I can't yet put my finger on it, but Crais' Elvis Cole/Joe Pike books are almost all instantly engaging and enjoyable to read. And I've read all but two in the series! Crais is not LeCarre but he's a lot better than most of the popular crime/mystery novelists writing today. We like the protagonists and admire their crime-solving prowess; we like that they break rules with impunity when they need to, and; we love their loyalty to each other. This book is a thinly veiled OJ sort of story, but the ...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 16 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)
  • 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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“The Men’s Central Jail is an anonymous building behind Central Station, less than ten minutes from the Criminal Courts Building in downtown L.A. I parked in a neat, modern underground parking structure, then walked up steps to a very nice plaza. Nicely dressed people were sipping lattes and strolling about the plaza, and no one seemed to mind that the plaza adjoined a place housing felons and gangbangers and the wild men of an otherwise civil society. Perhaps because this is L.A. and the jail is so nice. There’s a fountain in the plaza, and it’s very nice, too.” 0 likes
“Jonathan said, “We’ll discuss the team’s progress and direction. I want you to be a part of that meeting. I don’t want you to feel left out.” I said, “You don’t have to handle me, Jonathan.” “I know that, son. I respect you.” I recovered my gun, then we stepped out into the plaza and a wall of people and cameras and microphones surged forward and enveloped us. I thought that maybe this wasn’t the jail anymore and maybe I wasn’t me. Maybe I’d stepped through Calvin and Hobbes’s transmogrifier and I was no longer a detective and Green was no longer a lawyer. Maybe we had just discovered life on Titan. Maybe we had found the cure for AIDS and were about to tell the world. Why else would so many people be here shouting questions?” 0 likes
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