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The Last Detective (Elvis Cole #9)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  14,623 Ratings  ·  431 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 ca ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 30th 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published February 18th 2003)
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Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Honestly, who let me start reading a thriller after 8 pm? I knew it was dumb, but I have no self-control about these things. In case you are wondering, yes, I stayed up until 2 am to finish. Yes, I read most of the words to do so.

Elvis Cole is thinking things are going swimmingly when his girlfriend's son is kidnapped from his back yard. When the kidnappers call, it seems like there might be a connection to Elvis' past in Vietnam, putting a strain on their relationship. Before long, Lucy's ex-hu
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dan Schwent
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
2nd reading - Elvis is assailed by ghosts from his past - his girlfriend's son is kidnapped and it appears that it's tied to his military experiences. Little does he know that forces are aligned against him, and the foes he faces may be better at this than him and Joe Pike.

We meet Starkey, a recurring character, and learn early facts about Elvis's past. I travel alot, and need to get to sleep early some nights, but there were portions of this story that had me hooked like a marlin in the Atlanti
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this 9th book in Robert Crais's "Elvis Cole" series!
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-detective
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
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lots of violence associated with the kidnapping of Ben, Lucy Chenier's son. Luckily, Elvis has his buddy, Joe Pike, for backup.
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Best book I've read in 2014 thus far!
Mark Baker
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, 2017-audio, mystery
While PI Elvis Cole is watching his girlfriend Lucy’s son, Ben is kidnapped. The caller says it is payback for something in Cole’s past, but he can’t figure out what that might be. As more people get involved in the case, the kidnapping puts a strain on Elvis’s relationship with Lucy. Can he find Ben?

This is a thrilling read from start to finish. Since we have gotten to know Lucy and Ben over the last couple of books, we care about the outcome here. I was so pulled in at the climax that I didn’t
Oct 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Garlan ✌
I read this one four years ago, but had forgotten until I was a few chapters in. Its still a great read!
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-fiction
My favourite Cole and Pike novel to date. Tight and tense story. Good action. Well written
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jerry B
Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Detective Elvis Cole is taking care of his girlfriends son Ben, while she is away on business. Ben is very interested in Cole's prior military service, and he lets Ben have one of his medals. A Silver Star. Ben goes outside to play and is kidnapped.

Detective Cole is under suspicion as the kidnapper talks about his service overseas, Cole is sure he does not know this person, and finds out that Ben's father has had a court order to release his records. Somehow the child's father is involved.

Carrie Cross
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As Skylar Robbins, Teen Detective, says in THE MYSTERY OF SHADOW HILLS, "Everyone leaves a trace." Elvis Cole and his fearsome partner Joe Pike leave no stone unturned until they find every last shred of evidence needed to locate his fiancee's kidnapped son.
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Devoured in one sitting. Not as good as LA Requiem, but you can't expect them all to be *that* good.
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-crime
This was Crais at his best. Cole & Pike are fast becoming my favorite crime-thriller characters.
Linda Rowland
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This one answered some questions. I try to read series in order but after the first one of his books I picked up I am reading them however I find them. Going out in the rain today to get Stalking the Angel from a library outside my usual rounds but know the library director and she is holding it for me. Only asked about this one but will see what else they have while there. Okay, who really wanted that much information?
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Got a little confused towards the end with all the back and forth of characters and fighting. The Vietnam part was very graphic. Have to go back to the beginning with the bear--when it happened. Not as easy to do as with a real book!
Steve Davis
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A total page turner. Finished this one in a day couldn't stop.
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Two-haiku review:

Lucy's son taken
Bad guy says because of Cole
Cole swears he'll find him

Pike has some issues
I figured out end early
But still great thriller
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Nov 12, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: suspense
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
Jim Thomas
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
This is the best detective novel I've read this year. Elvis Cole is great and his sidekick, Joe Pike is the coolest of the cool. The only mysteries that may equal this one are the Ken Bruen, Jack Taylor novels. Love Jack Taylor. Alcoholic, drug addict and all round screw up who somehow helps people despite all his problems.

The Last Detective is what this review is so I must say it grabbed me from the first with detective Elvis Cole having a child stolen right from under his nose. His girlfriend'
Mark Soone
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not quite as good as LA Requiem. I thought the "detecting" by Cole was weak. Some of the things he ended up doing were things he should have done much sooner. I also thought that Pike was really the stronger character. The first couple Pike books I read, I really didn't like the character, but as Pike becomes more human and vulnerable, I enjoy him more.

There's a lot more background about both Cole and Pike, it just makes both characters more enjoyable. For me, just knowing that they are damaged
Where L.A. Requiem, in my opinion, is Joe Pike’s defining book, The Last Detective is Elvis Cole’s defining book. In a series of “flashbacks” alternating with the current events of the novel (tracking down the men who kidnapped the son of Elvis’ girlfriend), the reader is exposed to some of the events that happened to Elvis while he was in Vietnam.

The Last Detective was a very enjoyable read and I found it very satisfying. Then writing was clear and concise. In a tense situation involving Elvis
Tim Warner
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing 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
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bononohs book club: The Last Detective Chapters 15-21 2 6 Feb 25, 2014 08:56PM  
bononohs book club: The Last Detective Chapters 8-14 2 7 Feb 14, 2014 09:01PM  
bononohs book club: The Last Detective Chapters 1-7 2 8 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

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 Forgotten Man (Elvis Cole, #10)
  • The Watchman (Elvis Cole, #11; Joe Pike, #1)
“Adults always wonder what to say and how to say it when they're talking to a child. You want to be wise, but all you are is a child yourself in a larger body. Nothing is ever what it seems. The things that you think you know are never certain. I know that now. I wish that I didn't, but I do.” 36 likes
“People want you to be ordinary.” 29 likes
More quotes…