Readers who complain that there's too much wisecracking and cute icon worship in Robert Crais's books about Los Angeles private eye Elvis Cole will be glad to find these traits downplayed (but not totally disappeared) in this story about Cole's search for a missing printer whose specialty is funny money. The book is centered by the presence of the printer's three children--especially the motherly 15-year-old Teri and the obnoxious 12-year-old Charles--who hire Elvis from the phone book. Cole, hoping to become the stepfather of the son of his own lady love, gets sucked in by the children's combination of need and family unity, and soon finds himself in the middle of a shooting war between Russian gangsters, Vietnamese patriots, and ambiguous Federal agents. Previous Elvis outings in paperback: Sunset Express, Free Fall, Lullaby Town, The Monkey's Raincoat, Stalking the Angel, Voodoo River. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Chinese Dinner, September 19, 2003 Reviewer: Larry Scantlebury from Ypsilanti, MI United States Two of my favorite Elvis adventures are "The Monkey's Raincoat" and "L.A. Requiem." "The Last Detective" is likewise very well written. This isn't. Elvis takes another case for nothing. He must not only be the World's Greatest Detective, but the The World's Greatest Detective Who Doesn't Need Any Money, too. Like a blue collar boxer from the east coast who tires in anonimity, taking the wrong fights for the right reason, you keep hoping he'll have a million dollar payday sometime. Here, Elvis helps three children find their lost father on the run from the Russian Mob. It's a nice twist and Robert Crais, as always, pulls it off well. But the children are tedious. One acts out and curses constantly. You're hoping that the mob gets him. The father is tedious. He complains from page five and we have him figured out by page fifteen. Joe is tedious. He lacks that hard, scary edge that never fails to interest us. Here he has one liners that are a cross between Clint Eastwood and Jack Benny. Heavily armed. Not a page turner and a book that would be a poor place to start what is a very well written series. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike maybe the best series around.