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Flags of Our Fathers
James Bradley, Ron Powers
Paul Levine
Taken - Robert Crais Damn, that was good.

About a third of the way through and I was thinking that I was giving this book three stars. Couldn’t possibly be four stars like every other Crais book I’ve read, and I’ve read them all.

After I got over the initial shock of jumping in time and characters, I settled in for an enjoyable ride with both Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. Both guys in about equal amounts. I liked that because I like them both. Must fess up here though that Elvis is still my favorite while most people like Joe more. My reason? Joe is funnier, more light hearted. Joe is all business and as readers know, isn’t very talkative. Taciturn is what the professional reviewers have called him. Taciturn Joe Pike.

Interestingly, Crais introduced a new character called Jon Stone. Blond with spiked hair Stone is a mercenary who commands top dollar and his top employer is the U. S. Government. Jon and Joe seem to be buddies although Jon knows Elvis. Jon isn’t an easy going character either. He sells his services for big bucks unlike Elvis (and Joe for that matter.) The only way Joe gets Jon to agree to assist in finding the missing Elvis is to say Joe will owe him a favor. All it took to get Jon on board. So much for the friend connection but they apparently respect the ability of each other and ‘speak the same language’ which with Joe, isn’t much. They went through similar schools and know intuitively that circling your index finger means you’re going to circle the house, not wrap things up, things like that. The stuff they need to know in order to find the missing Elvis alive.

Thought it was very cool (cool still the right word?) that Crais gave Michael Connelly a nod by saying “She stared at the door as if it were a nightmare painting from Hieronymus Bosch’s personal, tortured hell.” That, to Connelly readers of course, is Harry Bosch’s name.

A real roller coaster read and up to par with all the preceding books in my mind. Really glad because I was not looking forward to giving this book three stars; wanted a four star like all the others. Great job, Robert Crais. Give us another. We’re more than ready for one, two or all three characters once again.