Monday 26 September 2011

Robert Crais Lullaby Town Review

The third Elvis Cole/Joe Pike novel sees Crais moving into Hollywood. Peter Alan Nelsen is the third best (ie most profitable) director in the world. What Peter wants, Peter gets. Peter actually wants a good slap but more of that anon.

While a struggling wannabee, Nelsen married Karen and fathered a son. His nascent creative genius couldn't cope with a family so he walked out on wife and child. Ten years on he's decided he wants to be a father: Cole is hired to trace the mother. Very soon he's in a small town watching a young woman, pillar of the community, manager of the town bank. It's certainly Karen, but when confronted she denies it.

Explainable enough - she was hurt, she's built a life and never contacted her ex despite the massive publicity he's had. Less explainable when Cole is jumped by three low-rent thugs outside his hotel. Sucker punched, he gets an amateurish beating and a question - where does a pillar of a small community find three thugs with New York accents? Intrigued, he stays in town and follows Karen, eventually to a very suspicious meeting with a swarthy man in a black Lincoln. Track the number plate to a meat-packing warehouse, recognise one of the three thugs and carry out a little retribution and interrogation - Cole has stepped into something involving the De Luca family - a major mafia outfit.

Can Cole and Pike help Karen prserve her sanity as her ex hits town in Hollywoood Hypermode? Can they help Karen preserve her life and liberty as Charlie De Luca (definite anger management issues) hits town in Mafia murdering mode? Can they keep themselves alive against car loads of goons?

The answers complete a very good novel by Crais as he throws in small and large episodes. Fast paced, enough conflicting interests to maintain a cracking dynamic, well drawn characters - a recommended read.


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