Been reading Elvis Cole in order of publication and Elvis' sidekick (although he would resent being categorized as such) Joe Pike is the featured character in The Watchman. Sorry folks, Elvis takes the back seat here.
Pike's an ex-Marine and ex-cop from the LAPD and they are good friends. Their relationship is explored further and deeper in each book I've read. They have a strong and mutual respect for each other and bounce off each other nicely with Elvis being somewhat of a joker (he makes me laugh out loud) and Joe showing no sense of humor at all. His best display of enjoyment is a little twitch at the side of his mouth.
To be more accurate, Joe and Elvis are business partners in the P.I. agency. Pike's office is an empty room which he's been in one time, I believe. But he has a professional gun shop and comes when needed by Elvis (and in this book visa versa.)
Reading Elvis' adventures thus far, when Pike shows up we just get a glimpse of who he is. The first book, The Monkey's Raincoat, gives great background and description of Elvis but little on Joe. Same in every other book until now although in L.A. Requiem, I believe, there was more insight to Pike than any time prior.
In this book, Joe Pike shines. He's not the most lovable character but who cares? He gets the job done without any nonsense and responds little to interference from those around him.
Hard to believe that the guy is really so great because he's so guarded but he really is. Crais has quite a talent, the ability to make his characters come alive. Elvis and Joe are alive just like my neighbors...well, ok not exactly. I know they're fictional but they sure are good and seem alive. And like them better than some of my neighbors, too!