The two minute rule

This book is a great read. It's fast, tense, funny and poignant. Robert Crais is not just on top of his form, he's above his form in this one, which is a "standalone" book. (This means that it does not feature his regular characters Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.)

The two-minute rule refers to the fact that if you rob a bank, you have two minutes to grab the money and run before the cops arrive. The book starts with such a robbery: totally botched. The scene then shifts to Max Holman, another bank robber about to be released after a 10-year jail sentence. Max's time in jail has given him time to reflect on his pathetic life, and he's decided to go straight. First up, he plans to find his abandoned son and ex-girlfriend, and try to make up for the years he's lost.

Events take a tragic turn, however, and Max is soon sucked into a convoluted police investigation.  Struggling to make sense of an increasingly confusing series of events, Max teams up with an ex-FBI agent, the very person who put him away, now a widowed mother of two young boys who has the most awful mother I have come across in a book for some considerable time. Together, this pair of middle-aged detectives tenaciously investigate the crime or crimes, putting together the pieces in the face of all kinds of reasonable and unreasonable opposition.

The book is a delight: the plotting is sure, the relationship between the two main characters builds nicely, the pace is fast, the writing deft — go for it! You won't be disappointed.

First published on Petrona, 6 April 2007.

This entry was posted in Books, Crime fiction, North America, Police procedural, Thriller and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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