The First Rule, by Robert Crais, A Book Review

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The First Rule, by Robert Crais, A Book Review.

It’s always a treat to get back to Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, the featured characters in many of Robert Crais’ novels. You grow so fond of both of them during the series, you get anxious to see what they will get into next.

Usually in the series, Elvis is the lead, outgoing and witty, working at their detective agency. In this book, Joe Pike takes the lead. He is not so outgoing, or so witty, and rarely shows up at their detective agency. None the less, he is always there when Elvis needs him. The two are best friends after all. This time in a role reversal, Joe will need Elvis.

In The First Rule, one of Joe’s best friends from his days as a mercenary, is found murdered along with his entire family. Because of other crimes committed in the area, the authorities think his friend was involved in criminal activities.

“The first rule is never make Joe mad…”

Not so with Joe. As Mr. Crais’ himself says in his interview, “the first rule is never make Joe mad.” Because Joe Pike mad is lethal. He knew his friend, Frank, too well to believe he would sacrifice his new life and family for anything illegal. Determined to find out who did it and avenge his friend’s death, Joe becomes single minded toward that goal.

While he seeks answers of his own, the police are busy connecting Joe to the dead man, always after a way to bring Joe down. But Joe’s investigation leads away from his friend, Frank, to the Serbian mob and a simple nanny.

Mr. Crais has once again written a complicated plot, full of unique characters. Always accompanying that is the humor Elvis brings, along with his serious skills.

A very fun read. Actually I listened to this book. Robert Crais himself narrated, and did a wonderful job. It’s a pleasure to hear an author read, since he knows precisely where he wants to pause, to build tension. If you get a chance, do go for the audio.

The next book in the series is also a Joe Pike edition, called The Sentry. It’s next on my list.


The Sentry (Joe Pike)












Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

Author: Jackie Jackson

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