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Free Fall

(Elvis Cole/Joe Pike #4)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  10,792 ratings  ·  342 reviews
Private detective Elvis Cole takes Jennifer Sheridan's case, which involves her decorated Los Angeles-cop boyfriend in some mysterious trouble, and Cole and his partner Pike are soon plunged in police corruption, gangs, and the depiction of themselves as armed killers.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 1994 by Crimeline (first published May 1st 1993)
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Judy Scholl There was a reference to Joe Pike and Jennifer being separated. Nothing was said about how Pike knew to take Jennifer into town.
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,792 ratings  ·  342 reviews

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Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
A solid James Garner on the GRS-MV*

1-- Peter Falk (view spoiler)

2--Tom Selleck (view spoiler)

3-- Tony Shalhoub (view spoiler)

4-- James Garner (view spoiler)

5-- Benedict Cumberbatch (view spoiler)

Robert Crais is my new BFF. Maybe I exaggerate a bit. But I've been looking for a new detective series for so long, I'm a bit like an addict who has found a new fix. It didn't even bother me that this one was clearly set
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have to think that Robert Crais got a little freaked out during the O.J. Simpson murder trial when the allegations of racism against detective Mark Fuhrman came up because just a few years earlier he had written this book that had some corrupt LAPD cops including an officer named Mark Thurman.

“Life this is Art. Art, meet my good friend Life. Try not to imitate each other too much if you can help it.”

Private investigator Elvis Cole is hired by a young woman named Jennifer Sheridan because she’
Dan Schwent
Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
A woman named Jennifer Sheridan hires Elvis Cole to watch her fiancee and find out what sort of trouble he's in. Only he's in a lot more trouble than Jennifer or Elvis Cole bargained for...

Robert Crais took me for another ride on this one. I thought I had a pretty good handle on things but then Crais jerked the rug out from under me. Cole and Pike take on gang members and possibly dirty cops and wind up on the run. Crais takes on controversial issues like police brutality, cover-ups, dirty cops,
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
2nd read - Jennifer contacts Cole about her boyfriend Mark, young policeman on a special team. She thinks her long time honey is in trouble, but doesn't know why, how, or with who. She's in love, and Elvis jumps on his white horse and finds bad apple cops in bed with L.A. gangsters. Good action, with favorite enigma Pike pulling Cole's rear out of fires.

1st reading - Elvis is hired by an in-love girlfriend of a L.A. area special group policeman. She thinks he may be involved in some shady endeav
May 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Some role-playing games reward players who let the characters they play have certain inherent weaknesses that make the plots/scenarios more interesting. In The Dresden Files Role-playing Game, one of these aspects is called, “Sucker for a Pretty Face.” One of my friends played a character with this weakness and he occasionally missed out on the excitement because his male gumshoe character was following some “red herring” or “dalliance” brought to his attention by a lovely lady. There were also ...more
A dame walks into a PI's office and gives him forty dollars and a promise of weekly payments to find out what kind of trouble her fiance, an LA cop, is in. And maybe get him out of it.

Elvis Cole is just the kind of quirky private investigator who can't say no to a beautiful woman and so he takes the case. It turns out that the fiance is in a lot more trouble than his client or Elvis could possibly have imagined, and the result is another fast-paced tale that just dares the reader to be able to
Marty Fried
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, action
I was't that impressed by the first book in this series, The Monkey's Raincoat. So I skipped the 2nd and went on to the third one, and like it a lot better. Now that I've read number four, I'm hooked. The humor is a little toned down, and fits much better. The story was a lot more involved and interesting, but still easy to follow, a good feature for audiobooks. It was so good, I'll probably have to go back and read the dreaded second book at some point. I may even go back to one I read years ag ...more
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-detective
When I started this one, I was thinking, nothing ever really goes bad for these guys. Things generally just work out. Not so in this one. Couldn't put it down.
Garlan ✌
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Action. Excitement. Corrupt cops. Murder, execution, vengeance, retribution. Oh, and a nice "feel good" ending. Book #4 down, moving chronologically backwards to #3. Great series!
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Elvis Cole and Joe Pike take on the Eight-Deuce Gangster boys of South Central and a Rogue team of LAPD Robbery Homicide Officers who got themselves in a bad position and are trying to strong-arm their way out. Crais once again captures the gritty feel of Los Angeles, this time in the graffiti tagged inner-city. The story takes place just after the Rodney King arrest and before OJ.. of note, one of the main Cops name is Mark Thurman.. coincidence? For an inside look at South Central Gang life, ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This series just gets better and better. In this one Cole finds himself tangling with a group of corrupt cops. He’s funny and likable as always and I like the writing enough to not roll my eyes when Pike pulls his ass out of the fire for the hundredth time.
Leon Aldrich
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Crais does it again. He is unstoppable. I wouldn't want it otherwise. Thanks Robert for another yarn well done...
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't think I read this one the first time...if I did I forgot and I don't think I'd've forgotten this one. Great novel in the series. The friendship between these two men is amazing. I also love cat...Elvis's cat that never seems to have a name, but seems to love Elvis and Pike...if no one else! Great story as always.
Mar 17, 2013 rated it 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 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are writers who are masters of dialog, sneer, attitude and humor, best among them Elmore Leonard, Robert B. Parker, and Robert Crais. Free Fall does the LA gang 'hood, bad cops and pure love unstintingly, but with a surprisingly delicate touch.
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: c, 2013
Elvis Cole is just a detective who can't say no, especially to a girl in a terrible fix. And Jennifer Sheridan qualifies. Her fiance, Mark Thurman, is a decorated LA cop with an elite plainclothes unit, but Jennifer is sure he's in trouble - the kind of serious trouble that only Cole can get him out of. Five minutes after his new client leaves the office, Cole and his partner, the enigmatic Joe Pike, are hip-deep in a deadly situation as they plummet into a world of South Centr
Bill Garrison
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I got hooked on Robert Crais when I read HOSTAGE and have read all of his recent works. Finally I'm getting a chance to read some of his earlier books feature Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. FREE FALL is easily one of the best of his early books. It's the forth in the series, I believe, and set entirely in Los Angeles. Some of his earlier books had Cole travelling to the east coast, Louisiana, and Seattle. But this novel keeps Cole in LA and is gritty and feels like it could have been written last year ...more
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cole and Pike are back on the case but this time they are taking on the LAPD. What begins as an investigation into the shady dealings of an undercover police officer uncovers conspiracy, scandal, and gangland disputes.

Free Fall does a good job of continuing the stories of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike by adding a good mix of action, mystery, and humor. With each entry in the series, the tales get more dark and the main characters show more complexities and vulnerabilities. Cole and Pike ponder their
Gerald Sinstadt
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
Elvis Cole is not Spenser - but who is? Joe Pike is not Hawk - but who is? In the past Robert Crais has been a respected puveyor of crime novels in the Robert B Parker genre; not as good but good enough. Free Fall is a major disappointment.

Characterisation is the problem. Jennifer, the young woman who becomes Cole's client, is one-dimensional. Her vacillating boyfriend is hard to credit. So is Floyd Riggens, a seriously unpleasant cop with a drinking problem. Race and drugs are nothing new in cr
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Everytime time I read an Elvis Cole story, I think "Gosh, this is good stuff"! I just love Elvis Cole immensely! I love his humor, his cool and his goodness.
I finished this story in one day, it was so enjoyful, suspenseful and entertaining. It also puts me in a good mood. I think "Free Fall" is one of my favorites so far. Again in this book Elvis meeting with the new client at the beginning of the story is just too funny.
I loved this story from beginning to end and since I have always been a bi
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy Elvis Cole. He's my kind of detective: adventuresome, always (or most of the time) comes out on top and has a great sense of humor. Pike is is robotic alter-ego. This story is no exception. Great lines, a bit of heart and a tender spot for women.

David N
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Started a little slow (that's why 4 not 5) but packs a major wallop by the end.
Jed Lamprey
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Good Elvis Cole novel where he starts off on a simple "find out what's wrong with my boyfriend that he won't tell me" case, and ends up accused of murder and dealing with dirty cops.
I'm enjoying this series a lot, and this one appeals for the way that a single bad choice can cascade down to a widespread disaster, particularly if you opt to try to shore up that bad choice.
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
More wisecracking from Elvis Cole - well-plotted, LA in the tension after Rodney King, a good story
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gang Bangers! Written by Robert Crais, and published by Bantam Books, Random House in 1993, this book is the fourth of the author’s series of novels about a hard-bitten, wise-cracking Hollywood private detective named Elvis Cole. Cole is a tough Vietnam Veteran with expertise in the Martial Arts. His partner is Joe Pike, a shadowy former Special Operator in ‘Nam who met Cole after both of them had been discharged from the military.

This time, Elvis gets involved with a bunch of gang bangers
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was my introduction to the Elvis Cole series (I have been known to jump randomly into a series), and I am very pleased at the results. I figured this was early enough in the series that I wouldn't be missing too very much in terms of backstory about Elvis or his tough-as-nails, ex-cop partner, Joe Pike. I think I was correct.

The story involves dirty Los Angeles detectives (who knew there was corruption there?), racial tensions, drugs, and street gangs. Ahh, the stuff of dreams for writers i
Aug 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
A more developed version of this appears on my blog, Irresponsible Reader, as part of my Reread Project.


Elvis' client this time is a damsel-adjacent-to-distress. Jennifer Sheridan is convinced something is wrong with her fiancé/childhood sweetheart. He's a police officer attached to some special squad and she's afraid that he's being forced into doing something criminal (she's also afraid that he's not being forced at all, but she doesn't admit that), and wants Elvis to get him out of the j
Richard Thompson
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-alouds
Jennifer Sheridan is married to a newly minted LA cop who she loves dearly. And he loves her. But Jennifer knows that something is wrong. And she wants Elvis Cole to find out what it is. She has no money, no evidence... but Cole can't say no...

There is a lot wrong. Corrupt police, nasty gangbangers, drugs, murder... and Cole and Pike are set up to take the fall for a lot of it...

One BIG plot hole, but an entertaining page turner...

This was a Lutrecia book, and book #39 on our 2018 Read-aloud.

3.5 stars. It started a bit slow, the first third or so was mostly about Cole driving around, asking questions. But then Pike came in, joining the investigation, and it really got going. I wasn't exactly fond of Cole's client at first, Jennifer, she seemed like your typical damsel in distress, but that girl turned out to have a core of steel. A very good book.
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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

Other books in the series

Elvis Cole/Joe Pike (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole, #1)
  • Stalking the Angel (Elvis Cole, #2)
  • Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole, #3)
  • 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)
  • The Watchman (Elvis Cole, #11; Joe Pike, #1)
“A man with friends is the wealthiest man in the world.” 4 likes
“This man took my last son. No one could claim my hurt, or my anger. No one could have a greater claim on this one’s life.” Her voice was tight and fierce. She patted Ray’s arm. “There’s been enough killing down here. We have to find a way to live without the killing.” 3 likes
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