First Line: The woman stood in the corner of the dimly lit room, hiding in shadows like a fish in gray water.
Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are the kind of men who keep their promises. Whatever it takes. When Elvis is secretly hired to find a grief-stricken mother, he finds himself at a house in Echo Park containing a desperate fugitive and a secretive criminal who will stop at nothing to continue his murderous ways.
LAPD K-9 Officer Scott James and Maggie track the fugitive to the same house and come face-to-face with Mr. Rollins, who's just killed the man Maggie was tracking. One of Mr. Rollins' rules is to never leave a witness alive-- and Scott is the only person who can identify him.
Scott and Maggie have been targeted by Rollins. Elvis Cole has been targeted by the LAPD. (That pesky vow of secrecy.) There's only one way to survive: Elvis and Joe must join forces with Scott and Maggie to put an end to Mr. Rollins and to find the missing woman.
Robert Crais's Suspect was one of my best reads in 2015, and Scott and Maggie were the main reasons why I read The Promise. (I stopped reading the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike novels before Crais hit his stride.) I found this book to be another page-turner just when I was in the mood for lots of action.
All in all, I thought there needed to be a bit more from Mr. Rollins because his threats to Scott and Maggie really ratcheted up the anxiety levels. But that could've been a slippery slope. Although Scott and Maggie's scenes really played up the dog's intelligence and training, readers tend to be very touchy when danger to animals is concerned. (Almost better for the human characters to come to harm!)
Yes, I was fully engaged in reading this book and rooting for the good guys. I would love to give it my highest rating, but when all is said and done, the characterizations fell a bit short for me. Joe Pike seemed to be an afterthought, and Elvis's wit and wisecracks were missing. Even Scott seemed subdued. Only Maggie earned all her kibble. However, The Promise still ranks high as a thriller.
The Promise by Robert Crais
G.P. Putnam's Sons © 2015
Hardcover, 416 pages
Private Investigator, #16 Elvis Cole and Joe Pike mystery
Also features Scott James and Maggie
Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen.