Been loving the series of Elvis Cole and his quiet buddy/friend/business partner, Joe Pike.
It started with Elvis as the headliner and Joe his co-star but this is the third series of Joe as star and Elvis as co-star although Elvis' role in this last book is more predominent than in others.
While Elvis clearly has had a love interest, Joe only love interest was mentioned because she was murdered. So our interest is stirred as soon as he seems interested in a woman he meets. Because of the situation, being harassed by local gang members, he commits to protecting her and her uncle who own a sandwich shop.
Like 'who's on first' skit, the book takes all kinds of turns to discover who are the good guys. The really sadistical killer (and Elvis and Joe, of cours) is the only one we're sure of and he's not letting anyone get in his way, even these two talented P.I.'s.
For me, Crais' writing never seems to slack. I admit some books are more my favorites than others, the first one, The Monkey's Raincoat (Edgar Award Winner) and L. A. Requiem (Edgar nominee) but as a series, it hasn't wandered far from it's roots. I do recall though Elvis being a little more 'light' and funny than he is these days, but hey, give the guy a break; he's had a lot of things happen to him since those sunny days 'eyeing the candy' from his second floor office where his clock tick-tocks with is eyes moving from side to side and tail keeping up with the eyes.
And Joe, what a friend Elvis is to Joe and visa versa. They read each other well and depend on each other without hesitation. Perhaps their individual sense of honor has something to do with their commitment to each other. Nice to have a friend who has 'got your back.'