TITLE: THE SENTRY
AUTHOR: ROBERT CRAIS
Details: No. 3 Joe Pike
No. 12 Elvis Cole
If Joe Pike had not needed air for his tire he wouldn’t have stopped at the service station and he wouldn’t have seen the two men, obvious gang-members, enter the sandwich shop. If he had not seen them enter he would not have followed them, interrupted them while they were beating up a man and have had one of them arrested. If none of that had happened, he wouldn’t have met Dru Rayne, the beaten man’s niece, he wouldn’t have found himself falling for her and he would not have been in the trouble he subsequently found himself in.
But Pike did stop at that particular service station and did meet Dru and because she interests him he did decide to take a further look into the men who attacked her uncle. After a talk with the man in charge of the gang the two men belong to Joe thinks that the harassment will stop, but it is only a short while before the sandwich shop gets trashed and Dru and her uncle disappear.
Thinking the gang went back on its word, Pike enlists Elvis Cole and starts a full scale investigation into exactly what is going on. Except that it soon turns out that nothing is what it at first appeared to be. Even Dru and her uncle are not who they claim to be. And with both federal agents and the local police also on the case things get less clear the more Pike and Cole investigate.
Soon after Pike discovers where Dru and her uncle are people start dying, and it isn’t long before he and Cole find themselves caught up in the middle of an ongoing dispute between federal agencies, local gangs, Mexican gangsters and a criminal cartel from Bolivia. Pike and Cole have entered a battle that is not going to have a happy outcome.
As always Robert Crais has delivered a good and fast-paced thriller. The action starts, full throttle, on page one and doesn’t let up until the very last chapter.
Joe Pike is his usual solitary and reserved self, but the reader gets to see a more vulnerable side to him when he finds himself attracted to Dru and determined to save her, even after he finds out that she has been lying to him. I like the way Crais is switching his focus to Joe Pike more often these days. Pike is a fascinating character with a lot more going on then you would have expected from reading the earlier Elvis Cole books, and I really hope that there will be more Pike novels coming in the future.
Elvis Cole plays a smaller, but not insignificant role in this story and is his usual emotional and funny self, determined to help his friend even if he has his doubts about the case they are investigating and the people they are trying to help.
There are quite a few twists and turns in this story to keep the reader on their toes and enough action to keep them turning the pages.
Elvis Cole and Joe Pike have yet to disappoint me and as always I’m eagerly awaiting the next title in their combined series.