Saturday, March 04, 2006

Return to Robert Crais

I just finished Crais's latest Elvis Cole novel, The Forgotten Man. Cole is called in by police when a shooting victim claims to be his long-lost father. Partly working to clear himself as a suspect, Cole becomes obsessed with uncovering the man's identity. Could he really be the father Elvis never knew?

I've criticized Crais's use of multiple viewpoints in his books since L.A. Requiem, and in The Forgotten Man there are spots that work against suspense (e.g. cutting to the POV of a villain so unbalanced I couldn't relate). However, in the final analysis, the many viewpoints turn what might have been a very sloppy, almost selfishly personal outing on Elvis's part into a more complex, well-woven yarn.

There are fewer cutaways from Elvis's familiar voice, but the book is most successful in slowly revealing the larger picture, the subtle clues a preoccupied Elvis doesn't catch. Intriguing.

1 comment:

Graham said...

I thought this was the best Cole book since LA REQUIEM. I thought it explored Cole's background *much* better than THE LAST DETECTIVE, which was supposedly all about Cole.