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The Forgotten Man (Elvis Cole #10)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  7,132 ratings  ·  278 reviews
In his major New York Times bestseller, The Last Detective, Robert Crais returned to his signature characters, private investigator Elvis Cole and his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike. Now Crais delivers a stunning, edge-of-your-seat suspense novel that leads Elvis to the very thing he’s always searched for— the dark secrets of his own life—as well as a brutal killer determined ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published February 15th 2005 by Doubleday (first published December 14th 1988)
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Dan Schwent
An old man is gunned down in an alley and his last words were that he was looking for his son, Elvis Cole. Was the old man really the father Elvis never knew? That's what Elvis is trying to find out. But will he be able to live with what he finds?

Much like The Last Detective, Robert Crais digs into Elvis Cole's past with the Forgotten Man. In the wake of the events of The Last Detective, the possible appearance of Elvis' unknown father drags him out of his depression and sets him into motion. It
Recent events haven’t been kind to Elvis Cole, and he’s moping around the house in the middle of the night when he gets a phone call from the police telling him that a man murdered in an alley claimed to be Elvis’s long lost father with his dying breath.

Well, if that doesn’t cheer him up, nothing will.

Elvis has never had a real clue about who his father was and thinks that the man was just another wack-a-doo that has come out of the woodwork following an unwelcome amount of publicity after his l
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
While this one is very much about how Elvis came to be the man he is, don't be fooled into thinking that you should get this backstory before checking out other entries in the series - the power from this one comes from the fact that these are characters you already know and what you learn deepens that understanding. A strong entry in my new favorite series.
Crais's writing just continues to amaze. Excellent all the way through. He should consider writing short stories, if he hasn't already. His most touching moments are very brief made by characters who aren't integral to the plot - Starkey and Wilson. Powerful moments.
SETTING: Los Angeles
SERIES: #10 of 15
WHY: A man has been murdered in an alley in LA. The cop who responded to the call, Katherine Diaz, was there for his last words, which indicated that he was looking for his long lost son, Elvis Cole. When Cole hears this, he is skeptical but unable to entirely disbelieve him. He's been searching for his father most of his life. He is aided in investigating by LA detective Carol Starkey. There were some dream scenes from d
Leon Aldrich
Crais does it again. Now I need to see what else he has coming out...
Creative A
Mar 29, 2009 Creative A rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of slightly darker crime, tortured heroes, and plenty of murder
A tattooed man is shot in an alley and dies, gasping that he is trying to find his lost son, Elvis Cole. But Elvis is still torn up about Lucy and Ben, who left him in The Last Detective. With his emotions on edge, and his confidence at an all time low, Elvis takes the case. Is the man his father? Doubtful. Was he involved in some bad business before he died? Absolutely certain.

Lots of dark secrets come out in this one, lots of wounds are re-opened, and the plot becomes a little bit like a domi
"The Forgotten Man" does for Elvis Cole what "L.A. Requiem" did for Joe Pike. This book, like "Requiem" moves beyond simple detective fiction to add more depth to the character of Elvis Cole. It is a nice evolution. Crais' initial books in this series were for the most part of the Ross MacDonald vein -- quick sketch characters thrown into a twisting plot. Nothing at all wrong with that, and Crais is a master. However, beginning with "Requiem" Crais seems to want to expand into a the more general ...more
The Forgotten Man works on multiple levels. One isn’t quite sure whether it refers to a murder victim, a murderer, the father that Elvis Cole (“World’s Greatest Detective” according to the L.A. media who hyped him prior to the events of this novel) never knew, or Elvis Cole himself (forgotten by his father?). Even upon the conclusion of this novel with events that begin, not in L.A. like the majority of Cole’s cases, but in a Riverside County town called Temecula. In fact, that’s probably my big ...more
I really enjoyed reading The Fogotten Man. It was interesting and kept me guessing. Never was there a dull moment. It was about how the main character (Elvis Cole) was searching for his dad who he never knew. When Elvis Cole had heard that the man in the ally way who had gotten killed claimed to be his father, he knew he had to be on the case! Then the story goes on to him having flashbacks as a kid searching for his dad in the circus, but he never made any progress. Towards the end of the book ...more
More insight to Elvis Cole's character ... and in a sense, to the depth of his friendship with Pike, especially during the last chapters. I will get to that later.

This time, a murdered man in an alley, brings Cole to look further into his past, who his father is. The murdered man claimed to be Cole's father. I love the scenes of Cole's past, the part where he ran away few times to search for his father (whom his mother said to be a "human canonball"). The case takes a different turn (it always i
Feb 28, 2009 Susie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has already read several previous Cole novels
Recommended to Susie by: no one, I saw it in the Borders
I can't say I have ever read an Elvis Cole novel I didn't like. Having said that, this is not the very best (I think LA Requiem is the best), but it is still engaging and interesting. Yes, Elvis is no longer the same "world's greatest detective' disguised as a young wise-cracking buffoon. But how could he be after all he has been through? I was glad to see Lucy nearly banished (the weakest character in his recurring group of characters). And some insight into his young life that sheds light on h ...more
Crais over time has become one of my favorite authors. While keeping to the detective genre, he still has the ability to keep his stories fresh and interesting. I first started out with a couple of the Pike-centered novels and found them to be a bit dry and Pike is. But as the series has developed over the years, and getting to know both the characters, I have really enjoyed both of them, perhaps Pike even more than Cole.

I can't say enough about the friendship between Cole and Pike.
Kai Palchikoff
Elvis Cole is back...With his acclaimed bestsellers, Hostage (a New York Times Notable Book) and Demolition Angel, Robert Crais drew raves for his unstoppable pacing, edgy characterizations, and cinematic prose. Now, in The Last Detective, Crais returns to his signature character, Los Angeles private investigator Elvis Cole, in a masterful page-turner that probes the meaning of family and the burdens of the past.Elvis Cole's relationship with attorney Lucy Chenier is strained. When she moved fro ...more
Heather Young
Ok Thank you Mr Crais. I didn't have this one all figured out and you even got me bawling at that little twisted ending you punk! So I didn't realize how much I really love Elvis and Pike, those two grow on you like smart ass big brothers that you always want on your side. These guys have such big hearts but they're really billy badasses with semi soft gooey centers. Anyway great story I caught the connection early on (spoiler alert) with the prefaced story but really didn't register that connec ...more
Lori S.
One of the annoying things Crais does is have his character repeat the information he just learned at least once in the next paragraph (reminds me of a certain SF writer who does that too...) - a habit which gets old after a while.

I don't know if it's Crais or if his editor insists that he put it in, but, after only the second book I've listened to by this author, I think he really should steer away (far away) from putting or even mentioning romance of any kind. He can't write romance to save hi
Gentleman Farmer
Overall not bad. I'd still read another of Robert Crais' books.

I really liked how he depicted the criminal. He did a good job of making him suffer from psychosis and presenting it from his viewpoint. Mr. Crais managed to make it realistic and sympathetic, without being excessive or cloying. He also didn't spend a lot of time on the psychoanalysis or trying to explain why he acted as he did. He did it mostly by showing the thought processes rather than telling, and (by the way) setting up a prett
I'm getting the sense that this entire series is pretty much golden. That being said, The Forgotten Man is not quite as perfect as its immediate predecessor, The Last Detective, and there were a few things that weirded me out a bit. The plot is straightforward and picks up right away: a man is murdered in an alley in downtown LA, and with his dying breath says he was looking for his son, Elvis Cole. Those of you who are familiar with the series will know that Elvis never met his father, making t ...more
Beth Gibson
I enjoy finding a new author, especially when there is a whole series I can plow through! This is a detective series, featuring Elvis Cole. A one-time police officer, now "retired." One day, a man is found dead in an alley, and in his dying breath, he tells the officer who discovered him that he is the long-lost father of Elvis. Elvis had heard all kinds of stories about his father, but could never make sense of any of it. Now comes this man, who says one thing, but evidence points to something ...more
Gloria Bernal
3.5 stars - I like Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, characters of author Crais. I especially like Starkey, their female cop/bomb squad associate who has been through so much in her career. Since I am an L.A. gal the locale is always enjoyable and true to life. In this one, I even got to read a little about my home town, which was a treat, as the novel opens there with a family slaughtered, back decades ago, but relevant to the story line.

As usual it doesn't disappoint. It builds to an intense crescendo
What can I say that hasn't already been said? I loved this book. I've read several now out of line in the Elvis Cole series and they just get better with each read.
I have noticed something and wonder if anyone else has? I've read all the Harry Bosch books by Michael Connelly and Harry and Elvis are blending to me. I forget sometime which one I'm reading about then Joe Pike shows up and I know it's Elvis.
I had to do some research on both writers until I was satisfied. That being said, both writer
Phil Hait
Elvis Cole is still overcome from grief/ despair from his lover, Lucy moving back to Baton Rouge when the murder of a man supposedly looking for his long lost son, (Elvis), brings him out of his funk.
Little is known about the murder victim. No ID, fingerprints in the system or identifying marks other than ratios done by himself.
The police call Cole based on the dying mans last words. Elvis never knew his father & a couple of flashbacks help fill on a couple of mysteries about his early life.
This book was written ten years ago, and there's a lot of Elvis Cole-background angst that drives the plot, since Cole never knew his father, and the dead guy found by a dumpster in LA mutters that he's Elvis Cole's father as his last words. The quest for the facts and family history puts Cole onto some very dark and seamy paths.

There were a few times when the book got grim enough that I had to put it down, but the last half is compelling, and Mr. Crais ties up the various story lines well.

Am on
Susan McChesney
Another great book by Robert Crais. Elvis Cole is called one night to identify a body of man they believe to be his father, who he has never known or met. but searched for several times as a young boy. This book shows Elvis at some of his most raw times bringing up his childhood with still lingering feelings of not ever having a family. Still there's a chase with all the detectives and police and his friend Joe Pike to find out if this is really his father. This was another great mystery that I ...more
The Cats Mother
Tenth in the Elvis Cole series, which means I have only one left before the Joe Pike series, of which I have read the first two, begins. Elvis is moping following Lucy's departure, after the events of the last book, when he gets a call about a man who has been murdered, dying after claiming to he police that he was looking for his son, Elvis Cole. Elvis doesn't believe it, but gets involved in the case because of his difficult childhood, longing for the father he never knew. Carol Starkey, who i ...more
Robert Haines
I didn't enjoy "The Forgotten Man" as much as the other Robert Crais novels I have read. It does well in that it continues to develop the main characters with the primary focus on Elvis Cole's backstory and emotional vulnerability. The problems I had with this book was mainly with the portrayals of the antagonist and of Carol Starkey. By having a psychopath as the villain, it seems that Crais was attempting something more along the lines of a "Silence of the Lambs" genre. However, the bad guy do ...more
We’re slowly reading through the Crais booklist; we think this is our fourth Elvis Cole, but by no means our favorite. While the plot is engaging (about a man who claims to have been Elvis’ father), and one of the ultimate perps not at all expected, there were several things we felt really detracted from a better reading experience.

First, we found the many different scene changes and story telling from various character’s point of view a major distraction – and it the end, still not sure we’ve g
I usually would give an Elvis Cole novel a higher rating than two stars. The author, Crais, writes well enough and always manages to create an intriguing mystery and move it along quite well. This one is no exception-- as a strange man is killed in Los Angeles and his last words are a statement that private eye Elvis Cole is his son. This, at first, makes Cole a suspect in the murder. Believe me, the mystery is much more compelling than it first appears.

However, this novel suffers from multiple
Amanda Spake
I've read everything by Crais since discovering "The Monkeys Raincoat" a long time ago, One day, in a mystery bookstore (yes, we used to have those once upon a time) in talking with one of the proprietors about being out of things to read, she said, “Well, you’ve read Robert Crais, right?”

Well, no, I hadn’t. I read “The Monkey’s Raincoat” in about two days, recommended it to everybody I knew, and now wait for each new Crais novel to make an appearance.

Crais’ newest book, out last month, is "Tak
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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 14 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)
  • Chasing Darkness (Elvis Cole, #11)
The Watchman (Joe Pike, #1) The Sentry (Elvis Cole, #12, Joe Pike, #3) The First Rule (Joe Pike, #2) The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole, #1) Suspect

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