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The Forgotten Man by Robert Crais

Author: Robert Crais
Book title: The Forgotten Man
ISBN10: 1890885185
ISBN13: 978-1890885182
Publisher: B E Trice Pub; Limited edition (February 28, 2005)
Language: English
Pages: 342
Size PDF: 1799 kb
Size FB2: 1144 kb
Size ePUB: 1532 kb
Rating: 4.3 ✯
Votes: 319
Subcategory: Mystery

The Forgotten Man by Robert Crais

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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 from Louisiana to join Elvis in Los Angeles, she never dreamed that violence would so easily touch her life -- but then the unthinkable happens. While Lucy is away on business and her ten-year-old son, Ben, is staying with Elvis, Ben disappears without a trace. Desperate to believe that the boy has run away, evidence soon mounts to suggest a much darker scenario.Joining forces with his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike, Elvis frantically searches for Ben with the help of LAPD Detective Carol Starkey, as Lucy's wealthy, oil-industry ex-husband attempts to wrest control of the investigation. Amid the maelstrom of personal conflicts, Elvis and Joe are forced to consider a more troubling lead -- one indicating that Ben's disappearance is connected to a terrible, long-held secret from Elvis Cole's past.Venturing deep inside a complex psyche, Crais explores Elvis's need for family - the military that embraced him during a troubled adolescence, his rock-solid partnership with Pike, and his floundering relationship with Lucy - as they race the clock in their search for Ben. The Last Detective is Robert Crais' richest, most intense tale of suspense yet. From the Hardcover edition.
Reviews (7)
This is the second book by Crais that I have read, the first being "L. A. Requiem" which I liked. "The Forgotten Man" was a bit of a disappointment because it follows Requiem in a formulaic way: we have another killing to be solved, a worthwhile female cop with the hots for Cole who he can't see for the life of him despite many opportunities, problems with the real girlfriend (again), a cop that is Crais' idea of a jerk-job obstructionist and a female cop who gets blown away in the last chapters (again). Joe Pike rides to the rescue at the last minute (again) and both Cole and Pike commit crimes that would get anyone else behind bars in a blink (again). That said, a long involved backstory is offered regarding Cole's family and his difficulty in dealing with his fractured childhood. That of itself makes the storyline interesting enough, but only matters if you intend to read the whole series, clearly Crais' intention. His insertion of the badguy is reminiscent of Dan Brown's books where he uses bad guys with a lot of similarities between them - it doesn't work for Crais either, as if he just has a template for his villains that he is reluctant to get too far away from. I am on the fence about Pike, too - he is just too unbelieveable as a character, and no one could really relate to him as he is portrayed by Crais. Actually if normal people would encounter a real Joe Pike, they would cross the street to avoid him, especially with sunglasses at night, red arrow tats,etc. - at best he is an anti-hero, and probably is Crais' idea of a wannabe. Since I have read two and truly liked only one of his stories, I may forego any more of the Elvis Cole books due to their lack of reality - 3 1/2 stars would be my vote here, upgraded to four. The Forgotten Man will become a forgotten book for me - sorry "Worlds Greatest", you need to lose the lawyer girlfriend and pay attention to the girl that really wants what you have to offer. Life is too short to waste on unrequited love.
This isn't a review of this book, but the entire series through book 10.

I’ve been reading Robert Crais novels for a number of years now. I think the first one I read was Demolition Angel and followed up with L.A. Requiem. When I first read them I thought they were wonderful. The next one I read was Voodoo River and found I was put off by Elvis Coles’ smart alecky quips. At the time I thought the novel had bigoted attitudes toward white Southerners. After that I focused on Crais’ subsequent novels. I especially loved the Joe Pike novel, The Watchman. I’ve read every Crais novel since and have found them to be powerful and moving, particularly Suspect, a story of a war dog who lost his master overseas and a police officer who lost his partner when they interrupted a crime in progress. Both the dog and the officer are wounded misfits and together they find a way to heal themselves and solve the crime. A truly rewarding read that I recommend highly.
Since Crais’ latest book has been delayed and I needed something to read and didn’t want to spend a bundle I decided to read the Elvis Cole books starting with number one, The Monkey’s Raincoat. Knowing that I’d been put off by the Elvis Cole character in the past I nonetheless read the books with an open mind. I found that I quite enjoyed the character and the plotting. In The Monkey’s Raincoat the investigation winds itself out and when Elvis turns over the wrong rock the real players make an appearance at his office and take him to meet their boss, who at the end of their meeting thinks he’s intimidated Cole into folding up like a cheap suit. Cole doesn’t fold and brings his partner, Joe Pike, into the game where the two of them defy the expectations of the bad buys. It’s a great book and I feel similarly about the subsequent novels, Stalking the Angel, Lullaby Town, Free Fall and then I read Voodoo River again. This time around I’d lost many of the problems I’d had with Cole before and dismissed what I’d thought of as Southern stereotypes. What did bother me was the pro-illegal immigration subplot and the fact that the bad guys were less intimidating than some of the truly terrifying villains from his previous and subsequent novels.
Sunset Express and Indigo Slam were great follow-ups. Then I re-read L.A. Requiem and it is as magnificent and moving a novel as I remember it was. I found that I became quite annoyed with Coles’ love interest, Lucy Chenier. She expressed shock and horror when she learned of the number of people Elvis Cole and Joe Pike had killed in the past. I was disappointed in her as Cole and Pike saved her life in Voodoo River. She returned in The Last Detective and The Forgotten Man just in time to screw things up for Cole and Carol Starkey, who was introduced in Demolition Angel. She also screwed up things between Elvis Cole and Samantha Dolan in L.A. Requiem, probably the greatest tragedy of the series.
This is a great group of novels written by a master craftsman. I look forward to the next one and wish a long and productive life to the author, Robert Crais.
I was tempted to give this a 3.5 but since I can't I rounded up instead of down. A good story, but it lacked some of the light hearted comments and fooling around that was part of his personality. He makes reference to it at least twice, but it's not there. In this story he is missing his girlfriend who has distanced herself from him because of his dangerous job. He totally misses the fact that one of the police women has it for him bad because he can only think about the ex and hope they will work it out. Meanwhile, he's investigating the death of an old man that was shot whom he's told said he was Elvis's father and he'd been looking for him. On his body was found clippings about Elvis Cole. Elvis gets involved with the case and solves it, almost getting himself killed in the process.

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