The Promise (Elvis Cole, Joe Pike, Scott James & K9 Maggie) by Robert Crais

RC The Promise

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KK Conley Review

There are a lot of Elvis Cole novels where Elvis works with red arrow tattooed Joe Pike and the enigmatic Jon Smith. Crais writes Scott James and his awesome K9 partner Maggie from Suspect into this book, and that puts it step above the other Elvis Cole novels. I admit I love dogs, and, if you’ve read Suspect, you know Maggie is very special. Her handler Scott isn’t bad either.

This one starts with bad timing for Elvis because he follows a lead to an Echo Park neighborhood at the same time the police chase suspect into the house Elvis is headed for. Scott and Maggie are part of the police chase team, and Maggie finds black market explosives along with a body. The one living person in the house sees Scott and disappears into the surrounding neighborhood. Elvis chases the escaping man, and, because no one else but Scott saw him, Elvis becomes a suspect himself.

Turns out the explosives were made by Amy Breslyn, a chemical engineer who develops “fuel” for the Department of Defense. Amy’s boss hired Joe to find the missing Amy who spiraled downward after her son was killed by a suicide bomber in Africa. She has a new boyfriend that her boss suspects may be involved with the disappearance of both Amy and some forty pounds of the fuel.

Elvis’s new client not only calls him every hour and demands a progress report, but lies to him. She lies about who she is, the lead she gave Cole, and everything else. In fact, if her lips are moving, she’s lying. And she will only meet Elvis in cars in parking lots.

When Scott and Maggie’s lives are threatened, Scott has the tough choice of following orders to stay away from Cole or work with him. When he’s pulled in for insubordination, he defends himself by saying someone threatened his dog. How can you not like this guy?

The book is a page turner, and Crais is an excellent writer. He keeps Elvis’s sarcastic and humorous edge with comments like

I said, “Hmm.” Detectives said things like this when they were suspicious.

His descriptions snap with writing like

The entry was spacious and warm, with white plaster walls, a Spanish tile floor, and heavy oak trim stained dark as dried blood.

Likeable characters, great writing, and humor make this book well worth the read.

-K K Conley

Booklist Online Review:

Elvis Cole is joined by his longtime sidekick, Joe Pike; Pike’s pal Jon Stone; and the stars of Cole’s Suspect(2013), Scott James and K-9 wonder Maggie, on his latest case, a sure treat for Crais’ enormous following. Cole is tracking Amy Breslyn, a missing chemical engineer who develops “fuel” for the Department of Defense. According to her boss (and Elvis’ client), Amy has changed dramatically since her son was killed in a terrorist attack abroad. Now, Amy has a shady new boyfriend and has seemingly disappeared. Elvis follows his only lead to a house where he finds a dead gangbanger and a cache of black-market explosives, which he’s sure are linked to his missing chemist, but now he has a new problem: clearing himself as a suspect in the gangbanger’s murder. Crais revisits K-9 Officer James’ compelling relationship with his canine partner, Maggie, when a death threat forces him to choose between following orders and trusting Cole. The World’s Greatest Detective is as quick-witted as ever, and the timely link to al-Qaeda terrorist factions adds both balancing gravitas and suspenseful kick.

— Christine Tran

© Booklist Online

Amazon Description

Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are joined by Suspect heroes LAPD K-9 Officer Scott James and his German shepherd, Maggie, in the new heart-stopping thriller from #1 New York Times-bestselling author Robert Crais.

Loyalty, commitment, and the fight for justice have always driven Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. If they make a promise, they keep it. Even if it could get them killed.
When Elvis Cole is secretly hired to find a grief-stricken mother, he’s led to an ordinary house on a rainy night in Echo Park.  Only the house isn’t ordinary, and the people hiding inside are a desperate fugitive and a murderous criminal with his own dangerous secrets.
As helicopters swirl overhead, Scott and Maggie track the fugitive to this same house, coming face-to-face with Mr. Rollins, a killer who leaves behind a brutally murdered body and enough explosives to destroy the neighborhood.  Scott is now the only person who can identify him, but Mr. Rollins has a rule:  Never leave a witness alive.
For all of them, the night is only beginning.
Sworn to secrecy by his client, Elvis finds himself targeted by the police even as Mr. Rollins targets Maggie and Scott.  As Mr. Rollins closes in for the kill, Elvis and Joe join forces with Scott and Maggie to follow a trail of lies where no one is who they claim — and the very woman they promised to save might get them all killed.

4.5 out of 5 stars, 350+ reviews


4.3 out of 5 stars, 1,400+ ratings

Robert Crais’ Description

This time they join forces with SUSPECT heroes Scott James and his K9 partner, Maggie, in RC’s new novel, THE PROMISE.

When Elvis Cole is secretly hired to find a missing grief-stricken mother, his first stop on that rainy night is an ordinary house in Echo Park. Only the house is not ordinary, and neither are the people hiding inside: A wanted killer on the run from police and a vicious career criminal with dangerous secrets of his own.

As helicopters swirl overhead, LAPD K9 Officer Scott James and his German shepherd, Maggie, track the fugitive to this same Echo Park house, coming face-to-face with Mr. Rollins, a man who leaves behind a savagely murdered body, enough explosives to destroy the neighborhood, and a disturbing connection to the missing woman. Scott is now the only person who can identify Mr. Rollins, but Mr. Rollins has a rule: Never leave a witness alive.

For all of them, the night is only beginning

Video: Robert Crais talks about The Promise