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    Review of L.A. REQUIEM by Robert Crais


    Ballantine, February 2000

    Private Detective Elvis Cole thinks his life is finally taking a turn for the better. His girlfriend has moved to Los Angeles to be with him and now her son is off to tennis camp for a couple of weeks, letting the two of them have some romantic time together. But when Cole's partner, Joe Pike, calls, Elvis is on the case. Someone has killed a young woman Pike used to date. When the woman's father calls on Pike, the two detectives drop everything to find who could be behind what seems like a senseless death.

    Although the death initially seems like just another senseless murder, the L.A. police turn the case over to their top squad--who promptly do everything they can to keep Cole out of it despite the political clout the victim's father brings to bear. Ultimately, it seems that a serial killer is at work.

    The police follow what clues they can find, but the evidence seems to lead to Pike himself. And the cops are a lot more willing to believe that a renegade ex-cop who killed his own partner is behind the killings than some complicated frame...especially as nobody can find a motive for framing Pike.

    Author Robert Crais (see more reviews of mysteries by Crais) writes a compelling mystery. Pike, with his background of abuse and self-control, makes a fascinating and memorable character. Cole, torn between his girlfriend, his friend, and his increasing appreciation of a pretty female detective, is both sympathetic and engaging in a way that the too-perfect Pike can't be. L.A. REQUIEM is simultaenously thought-provoking and exciting, with a tinge of CHINATOWN, good writing, and all of the twists and turns that make up a great mystery. I haven't been a huge fan of Crais in the past, but I'll definitely be watching to see if his other works are up to this standard.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 3/17/11

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