Robert Crais

The First Rule

"This is heroic fiction with high voltage action scenes as carefully choreographed as anything on the broadway stage"


The team thought that Frank Meyer had got out of the 'life' safely. For the love of a good woman, he had put an end to his days as a mercenary and settled down to a normal life with a “proper” job and 2.4 children. It had been a decision he laboured over, but encouraged by his boss and friend Joe Pike, he committed to it and walked away from the only life he had ever known.

Ten years later, a group of vicious killers charge into his Los Angeles home and brutally gun him and his family down. The job bears all the hallmarks of a professional outfit. They are in and out of the house quickly, having caused the maximum damage. The perfect hit. But unknowingly, they have made one massive mistake - Joe Pike. Because Pike is now locked-on - determined to hunt down and eliminate everyone involved in the attack. One by one. #

The local cops are convinced that Frank never entirely left his former life and their cursory investigation convinces them that Frank was involved with some unsavoury characters, and that the deal backfired big time. Pike knows better. He starts his own investigation and it doesn't matter that, as he delves deeper into the events of that traumatic evening, he discovers that this group of criminals are bigger and more well-organised than he ever could have imagined - part of sprawling gang of east European mafia. None of that concerns him. One of his team has been killed and everybody involved will pay the ultimate price.

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Fans of Robert Crais will be well aware of his work with Elvis Cole and his side-kick, the enigmatic Joe Pike. Most of the previous works are fronted by Elvis, but in The First Rule, Joe gets the nod. Joe Pike is my favourite “bad”, good guy out there. Crais has created a wonderful character who embodies everything you want from an action hero. An expert fighter, with or without weapons, dependable to the last, and with an unwavering belief in his own set of ideals. He will act as judge, jury and executioner and once set on that path he will do so without question. You would be mistaken if you were to think that Pike is a creation of two-dimensions. Alongside this battery of weapons, he has the ability to centre himself like a Buddhist and the occasional moment where you will feel the resonant “aah” of a lucid human connection. With an action character this good there might be the concern there will be no tension. Pike (and Elvis Cole) are match for anybody they come up against, right? However, Robert Crais handles this aspect brilliantly. As you read you may feel certain that Pike will do the job but you never know just how he is going to do it and Crais carefully plants the seed that maybe - just maybe - this time Pike has met his match. This is heroic fiction with high voltage action scenes as carefully choreographed as anything on the broadway stage. Once again Robert Crais delivers. What can I say? I'm a fan. Read this and you will be too.

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