Eric's Reviews > The Monkey's Raincoat

The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais
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really liked it
bookshelves: detective-mystery
Recommended for: Fans of hard-boiled detective fiction

What drew me to read this was a review from Orson Scott Card recommending the latest Elvis Cole novel by Robert Crais, but since I like to read things in order, I decided to start with The Monkey's Raincoat instead of Taken.

Despite the protagonist's propensity to dress like a Miami Vice extra, and his obsession with Disney trinkets (the reasons for which are not adequately explored), I enjoyed this 80s-era detective story on steroids, which culminated in a finale that read like the climax of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Commando.

Having now read a fair number of this genre of story, I am starting to see some definitive patterns/tropes.

Does the protagonist (check all that apply):

[ ] drink heavily?
[ ] search for a MacGuffin?
[ ] sleep with a woman involved in the case?
[ ] slap the same woman to cure her hysterics?
[ ] treat the police with no respect whatsoever?
[ ] get pulled in for a meeting with the antagonist by his heavies?
[ ] have a bad-ass side kick? (as pointed out by the OSC review)

If you checked off five or more of these, you are definitely reading a hard-boiled/noir detective story.

The only complaint I have is with Kindle, and not this book. The Kindle application automatically opens the book to the beginning of the primary text -- skipping the cover, title page, table of contents, and any inscriptions. Normally, this is not an issue, but with The Monkey's Raincoat, it skipped the following haiku, and hence, I had no idea why the book was titled what it was:

Winter downpour;
Even the monkey needs a raincoat.
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Reading Progress

March 22, 2012 – Shelved
March 24, 2012 – Started Reading
March 25, 2012 – Finished Reading
March 26, 2012 – Shelved as: detective-mystery

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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Leon Aldrich Eric which Crais should I start with?


Eric This was the first Crais I have read, but I would definitely recommend it, as I loved the characters Elvis Cole and Joe Pike -- and this is the first book of their series.


Leon Aldrich One of my OCDeez is I cannot read books out of order.


Eric Same here, hence why I started reading this book after reading a positive review for a book that is later in the same series.


Loripdx Eric, I'm glad you started with the first book in the series! I make it a point to always start with the first, particularly because then I get all the background, the history of the characters.

When I read The Monkey's Raincoat, I liked it, although I didn't necessarily think it was edited all too well. Then I read the next book in the series, and the writing got better and the story flowed more easily. I got hooked!

The most recent Robert Crais book (Taken) was actually my least favorite of all the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike books. How sad is that for a hard-boiled fan?!


Eric Loripdx, that is a let down to hear the latest Crais book is not as good as the others, but at least I have quite a few good books to read to get there!


message 7: by Jen (new) - rated it 1 star

Jen I completely missed the haiku as well. Thanks for mentioning it. I was curious about the title.


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