Friday, January 28, 2011

The First Rule by Robert Crais *****

The First Rule by Robert Crais opens with the murder of very nice family, husband Frank Meyer, wife Cindy, little Frank, 10, and Joey, 6, plus their nanny. A seemingly random murder, collateral to a home invasion burglary. The police are baffled and this incident just adds to a series of similar unsolved crime on Los Angeles.

But, in this case, Frank had a friend: Joe Pike, a retired special forces soldier with mystical and deadly super powers, to move without possible detection like a ghost, and to disarm and kill at any distance from hand-to-hand to William Tell/Robin Hood accuracy with a sniper rifle. Once Pike is involved, vengeance is assured.

In a well written plot that mixes conflicts between organizations and individuals the story twists and turns to the expected and satisfying conclusion.

What makes this book stand out from all the similar ones - if you've read this far, you must know many authors churning out similar fare?

Joe Pike, in addition to being the archetypal warrior, is also soft and affectionate. When faced with the task of caring for screaming infant, the following interaction highlights Pike's softer side.
Pike said, "You good?"
He lifted the baby out, and snuggled it to his chest. He took out the cotton plugs [previously inserted in the baby's ear in anticipation of a loud fire fight]. The crying and screaming stopped. The baby settled against him. Pike rubbed its back.
"That's it buddy. I got you."
So if you'd like a little human love and affection with your murder and mayhem, this is the book.

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