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The Last Detective (Elvis Cole, #9)
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The Last Detective (Elvis Cole #9)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  9,300 ratings  ·  267 reviews
P.I. Elvis Cole' s relationship with attorney Lucy Chenier is strained. Then the unthinkable happens. While Lucy is away on business and her ten-year-old son Ben is staying with Elvis, the boy vanishes without a trace. When the kidnappers call, it' s not for ransom, but for a promise to punish Cole for past sins he claims he didn' t commit. With the LAPD wrestling over the ...more
Paperback, 337 pages
Published March 30th 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published February 1st 2003)
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Best Crime & Mystery Books
317th out of 4,504 books — 10,323 voters
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Best Detective/Mystery Series
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
When his girlfriend's son is kidnapped right out from under his nose, Elvis Cole goes into overdrive to find him. Ben's kidnappers seem to be tied to Elvis's past as a Ranger in Vietnam, forcing Elvis to relive his early days. Can Elvis and Joe find Ben before the kidnappers kill him?

Crais keeps the momentum going from L.A. Requiem and once again, Elvis and Joe wind up in the soup. Instead of Pike, The Last Detective focuses on Elvis' past, from never knowing his father to his "free spirited" m
...more
Kemper
I started this book at bed time thinking that I’d read a couple of chapters before shutting off the light. I ended up reading almost a 100 pages before reluctantly putting it down to get some sleep. So I’m gonna go ahead and put this one in in my personal Page Turner Hall of Fame.

Elvis Cole is babysitting his girlfriend Lucy’s son, Ben, but the kid gets snatched when Elvis takes his eyes off him for like 17 seconds. Then comes a phone call in which the kidnapper tells Elvis that Ben was taken as
...more
Tom
Best book I've read in 2014 thus far!
Jerry
We've been slowly reading Crais' bibliography, and now wish we had done so in order, as in this book, the same Lucy leading man (PI) Elvis Cole met in Voodoo River has now moved to be with Elvis in California. When Lucy's son Ben is abducted while Elvis is babysitting, and soon a threat is made regarding Elvis' past exploits long ago in Viet Nam, it mars their relationship to say the least. When Lucy's ex-husband Richard gets involved, with his own "security" forces and apparently unlimited reso ...more
David
This is a very uneven effort by Robert Crais. There are some great things about the book, and others that are not very good.

On the negative side, Crais does what a lot of authors seem to want to do these days, shifting from first person to third person, back and forth. Maybe some readers enjoy that, but for this reader, it creates a feeling of swerving from one voice to another. This gets exacerbated at the end of the book where Crais shifts viewpoints among the different characters. It is conf
...more
Cindy
I'll give it 3.5 because I really do like his stories. But there were a few flaws that bugged me. I know that Crais is not a California native, but he has supposedly lived in Los Angeles for more than 30 years now. So to depict his driving scenes as something you'd see in New York more than LA was irritating.

I also noticed that I figured out the whodunit fairly early in this one. I don't know if that's because I'm getting used to his style, or if he just didn't leave enough intrigue this time ar
...more
Bobbi
Neither Cole nor Pike are at their best in this one. Cole spends most of it in a sleep-deprived mania edging on panic, and Pike spends most of it lurking in the shadows. But at the end of the day, these two are still the best at what they do, whether that means crashing through a standard police procedural to an action-packed gun battle to the death or using regular old detective skills to unravel a suspicious kidnapping to unearth the real culprit, someone who has made the stupidest mistake of ...more
Harry
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
Mark Soone
This was by far my favorite in the Elvis Cole series, and it has a much darker feel than his previous ones. It is more similar to the ones where joe Pike is the lead charcer, and enjoyably enough for me Pike does play a larger role. This also contains the background deal Pike made, that he fulfills in the Watchman.

Cole and Lucy along with Ben settle down to life in LA. Whild child sitting Ben while Lucy is out of town, Ben is abducted while in the care of Cole. Add in the return of Lucy's ex, an
...more
Michelle
This book really isn't very good. The plot is thin and the characters are cardboard. I should give it 1 star, but I am giving it 2 thanks to the following description of the LA River, which I think is brilliant and true:

"The Los Angeles River is small, but mean. People who don't know the truth of it make fun of our river; all they see is a tortured trickle that snakes along a concrete gutter like some junkie's vein. They don't know that we put the river in concrete to save ourselves; they don't
...more
Tim Warner
Man...is this guy good! I have about 75 more pages and but this is a burner that's for sure. I am so hooked on Robert Crais that it's pathetic.

Finished... but I jumped so quickly into the next Crais book that I forgot what this is even about. Fortunately I can take a look because I didn't take it back yet to the library. Oh yes, this is where Cole's girlfriend's son is kidnapped.

I don;'t know how these guys can come up with stuff that grips us and won't let us go and won't disappoint us and make
...more
Tom
Elvis Cole's girlfriend and son are moving to LA to be with him. Then Ben, her son, disappears when Elvis is looking after him. The kidnapper phones ....

This is darker than some of the others in the series, but very well-written all the same
James
Pure escapism which left me a little cold. Mercenary psychos, emotionally haunted and increasingly knackered good guys, innocent victims, dumb rich guys, good cops and bad ex cops inflict awfulness upon eachother. As everyone goes through the creaking paces, they make sure at all times to stick within the narrow constraints of their characters, when the plucky types need to be they show pluck, when the evil ones are called upon they are unfailingly evil. Every now again everyone stops to make su ...more
Jessica
Race-against-time thrillers always start at a disadvantage with me, and that disadvantage doubles if it's because there's a child in peril. But Crais pulls it off here, largely because he takes the opportunity to show us more than shootouts and car chases. His exploration of Cole's military service is both haunting and moving, and how the events of the book change Cole's relationships with those he loves is a whole lot more true to life than you typically find in such books. Cole's not as funny ...more
Cindy
Reread the book this week; to my delight, it was immediately available to borrow in kindle format from the library. However, it was as painful a story as I remembered from reading it years ago. The son of Elvis Cole's fiance is kidnapped from his house, while in his care. Said fiance has just relocated from New Orleans to be with Elvis--to the chagrin of her wealthy and powerful ex-husband. Bad times for the World's Greatest Detective--and his buddy Joe Pike isn't too happy either.
Dan
This is a terrible crime novel. It has some of the worst writing I've ever encountered. Previously I'd read another book by this author which utilised the same characters, and I enjoyed it, so I gave another book a go. What I got was a poor offering. I guess you could say I was tricked somewhat by the cool cover, but as soon as I started reading, I just sensed the author was churning this series entry out for the sake of it. The story is crap. Most of what happens is completely uninspired and bo ...more
Paul
Worth it just to learn more about the internal machinations of Joe Pike's mind and to see Elvis at a true all-time low point. It's easy to see Elvis as the superhero of this series, and it's refreshing to see that he has the capacity to lose his cool and royally fuck up. It's a truly thrilling read that delves into the pasts of both protagonists. Learning more about Elvis's time in Vietnam and Joe's fucked up childhood is always awesome. The stakes are high, the villain is scummy to the core, th ...more
Hobart
A more developed version of this appears on my blog, Irresponsible Reader, as part of my Reread Project.

-----

Elvis and Ben Chenier are hanging out for a few days while Ben's mom is out of town, Elvis and Lucy are still trying to recover from the hit their relationship took in Requiem. Ben goes off to play outside while Elvis is on the phone with Lucy, and then he doesn't come back. Elvis gets scared, finds his video game laying in the brush below Elvis' house. It's not too long afterwards that t
...more
Irenecsi
A enjoyable and delightful reading though the plot was relatively easier to be guessed when evidence first presented itself.(hence the 3star)

I like the fact that Joe was struggling with the wound from LA requiem both mentally and physically, and I cannot wait to see how he overcome them and be invincible again.

What always attract me reading these fictions are how the hero always have people to back him up. That's why I love series rather than stand-alones. You have cases, killings and you also
...more
Jodi
This is the 9th book in the Elvis Cole series (I am way behind in nearly every series), which is one of my favorites. A series I can always turn to and know it is going to be a great read. I love Elvis and Joe Pike. In this outing we learn quite a bit more about Elvis and his past, especially his military experience. Lucy's son is kidnapped while staying with Elvis. Lucy's ex-husband who hates Elvis shows up on scene with his entourage, spewing hate at Elvis and trying to take over the investiga ...more
Leon Aldrich
Yummy! Almost through this series, then what will I do?
Susan McChesney
Well done book by Robert Crais. Another Elvis Cole book, with Joe Pike assisting him. This book involves the kidnapping of his girlfriend's son while he is in charge of watching him. He's kidnapped by internationally wanted Delta force men. The police are involved, his girlfriend's ex-husband, his security detail, and all the contacts that Elvis Cole and Joe Pike can come up with. Full of twists and turns, exciting and keeps the reader going, excellent pace. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
Gae-Lynn Woods
It's rare that I read a book I just can't put down, but THE LAST DETECTIVE was one of those. At one point I had to move the book to another room so dinner wouldn't burn from my inattention! I've only read a couple of the Elvis Cole / Joe Pike novels and one or two others by Robert Crais and enjoyed them, but this book was exceptionally well done. The pace is fast, the stakes high, and the backstory well-delivered. It's a smooth read and makes me want to read more by Robert Crais.

Highly Recommend
...more
Marleen
I read this book in less than 12 hours. THE LAST DETECTIVE was simply too excellent to put down!
As in L.A. Requiem the atmosphere is somewhat darker. The circumstances Elvis Cole finds himself in are a bit grimmier. Here, Elvis Cole has not much reason to be witty or for being a wise-cracker, as usual, still when he does, it's feels like a real tension-reliever, as much for himself as for the reader. And that works. Elvis hasn't slept for days looking for clues to find Ben, his girlfriend's son
...more
Dale
Excellent!

First things first - this is an excellent work - and James Daniels, the reader, was absolutely great. First rate job. I found myself taking the tapes with me and taking advantage of any chance to listen (while showering, housework, etc.).

The Last Detective is the 9th installment of the Elvis Cole series but it really is the sequel to L.A. Requiem . Not that the bad guys return, but rather Crais continues to show the readers insight into the mechanics of our duo - Pike and Cole. In
...more
Bruce Snell
Book number Nine in the Elvis Cole series by Robert Crais - 4.5 stars. Elivs is taking care of his girlfriend Lucy Chenier's son when the boy is kidnapped. Elvis and Joe Pike set out to rescue the boy. Like L.A. Requiem, this story is told with a a mix of flashbacks thrown in to provide the back-story for what is happening today - only this time it is Elvis's history that is being shown, rather than Pike's. That back-story takes up back to Elvis and his time in Vietnam - an incident that the kid ...more
Johnny
It seems like, every so often, I manage to read some Robert Crais novels out of order. In this case, it’s because The Last Detective seemed to suggest that I read the book later than The Lost Man. I know, I know, the problem could be solved by either purchasing the books as soon as they come out or just simply looking at the copyright dates. You’d think someone who reads as much as I do and who has the audacity to type about them would bother doing such a simple little thing. But I didn’t! As a ...more
Lee Gunter
This is the first book of the Elvis Cole series that makes a major departure from the familiar first person (that person always being Elvis Cole, of course) writing style that has always been the norm for the series. In doing so, he allows us to see things Cole cannot see as well as giving us a glance at some formative moments in the development of who Elvis Cole is.

It's done well, but in truth I would just assume not know what the main character doesn't know. I figured out the big plot twist fr
...more
Vicki
The Last Detectives is a really good mystery and I have found an author that I will continue to read. My only "complaint" is directed at myself. I should have read the previous books in this series to have really fully appreciated all of the character development and other aspects of the story.

Elvis Cole is babysitting his girlfriend's son when the little boy (Ben) is kidnapped. It is soon made clear that the child is a pawn in a game of revenge. As Cole sets out to get Ben back the reader is t
...more
Peter
Brief Review of Last Detective by Robert Crais.
First, I would like to mention that if you have an experience with a child abduction or run away, don't read this book! The author has written so graphically that it will bring back horrific images and grief. However, for us old blood thirsty geezers, it's a 10, (oops that would be 5 stars. I'm new at this).
Elvis Cole, private investigator, is one of our heroes, with Joe Pike rushing to help and Lady Luck working overtime. Pike's Ex has a 10 year o
...more
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bononohs book club: The Last Detective Chapters 15-21 2 5 Feb 25, 2014 08:56PM  
bononohs book club: The Last Detective Chapters 8-14 2 6 Feb 14, 2014 09:01PM  
bononohs book club: The Last Detective Chapters 1-7 2 6 Feb 11, 2014 09:07AM  
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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...
The Watchman (Joe Pike, #1) The Sentry (Elvis Cole, #12, Joe Pike, #3) The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole, #1) The First Rule (Joe Pike, #2) Suspect

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