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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, January 03, 2018 1:00 am

'Wanted' reliably rewarding


Devon Connor is beside herself with worry. Her teenage son, Tyson, keeps showing up with things that neither of them could possibly afford. And his explanations are ludicrous.

Fearing he might be dealing drugs, she hires private detective Elvis Cole. It doesn't take Cole long to discover that the situation is much worse. Tyson is part of a three-person teenage gang that's been breaking into homes in rich neighborhoods around Los Angeles.

So begins “The Wanted,” the latest in Robert Crais' series of cleverly plotted, stylishly written private-eye novels featuring Cole and his partner Joe Pike.

When Tyson and his friends go on the run, Cole finds himself in a riveting race against time. The police are seeking the gang, too. But so are two quirky, highly resourceful thugs who prove to be the most interesting characters in the tale. The teens, it seems, have unknowingly stolen a laptop containing a powerful criminal's darkest secret, and the thugs will stop at nothing to track it down.

As the bodies pile up, the reader begins to wonder whether Cole and Pike may finally have met their match.

Carl Riggins, a rude, fat, friendless geek with bad skin who grudgingly helps Cole, is the lone false note –a character who conforms to every tired stereotype of a teenage hacker.

But this is a quibble, because the end result is another rewarding page-turner by one of the most reliable storytellers in modern crime fiction.


Bruce DeSilva, winner of the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award, is the author of the Mulligan crime novels. He reviewed this book for the Associated Press.