The Forgotten Man

The Forgotten Man
Robert Crais

Last night I finished reading Robert Crais' latest book, The Forgotten Man, just out in paperback in the UK (though I got it in hardback a couple of weeks before the paperback release from Amazon UK, where it was heavily discounted to below the p/b price to clear out stocks in anticipation, presumably).

Crais is, if nothing else, an object-lesson in writing series. About 3 chapters in, after drawing you in to the current plot, he writes a short (paragraph) recap of where we were at in the last book. Thanks!

The latest of the Elvis Cole novels is focused mainly on Cole (not much of Pike in this one) and his will-they-won't-they relationships with Lucy and (nascently) with Starkey. I much prefer the character of Starkey to that of Lucy, so I know which way I hope it comes out.

As usual with Crais, the plot is pacy, prose spare and the whole an absorbing read. The author has a talent for conveying the emotions hidden by the laconic exterior of Cole's character. The search for his unknown father is poignant, both in the flashbacks to Cole's life as a boy and in the present-day. This area of emotion, which Cole thought he had long-since packaged away ("forgotten"), is gradually shown to be unrepressed — and the resultant clouding of his judgement in the case he's involved in is brought into focus by the solution to the mystery.

I look forward to the next in the series.

Originally posted at Petrona on 18 February 2006.

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