Sunday, January 6, 2013

Demolition Angel - Robert Crais

I haven’t been reading much crime fiction lately since I’ve just finished up reading approximately five thousand pages of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga, AKA five Game of Thrones Novels.  I still have not decided if reading all five in succession like that was a good idea or not, but I have 5 years to think about it given the rate he publishes novels in that series.  I think I read one or two crime novels in the meantime, including some Joe Pike and Elvis Cole novels.

That put me in the unusual situation of being completely caught up on Jack Reacher, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, my three favorite protagonists.  I started looking through Robert Crais’ bibliography and found Demolition Angel, starring Carol Starkey, a washed up bomb squad technician.  Also, it was published in 2001, so it has a nice little vintage vibe to it, including pagers and payphones.  This is a great novel which shows Robert Crais really can write a standalone novel.  There are absolutely no references to Elvis or Joe in this novel, but it does take place in the same LA police world that the novels typically occupy.

The feel of the novel is quick paced at the beginning, then backs itself up a little for a few hundred pages, then hits that no turning back point at about one hundred and fifty pages to go.  How do the authors do that?  Do they know that’s all they have left?  Great editing?  I have no idea, but this book really turns it on at the end.  I think i read 180 pages in about two hours to finish the book.

This is a great read, especially if you enjoy the world that Elvis and Joe normally occupy.  Up next is The Moscow Club, Joseph Finder’s first book that was recently re-released.  Apparently the timing of the novel coincided with an unexpected real-life coup in The Kremlin, and the novel put Joe on the map!  Review is forthcoming.