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Lullaby Town by Robert Crais
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Lullaby Town (1992)

by Robert Crais

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Elvis Cole is approached by famous film director, Peter Alan Nelsen, to find his ex-wife and son whom he has not seen in 12 years. Elvis quickly locates then in Connecticut but when he approaches Karen, the Ex, she denies she is the Ex. Curious, Elvis follows her and notes she fears the man whom she meets and from whom she accepts a package. Eventually Elvis finds out she is being forced to launder money for the Mafia.

She accepts Elvis's help to get her out of trouble without involving the police thus avoiding the witness protection program and a major disruption of her life.

Meanwhile, her self-centered husband gets involved and screws things up leading to a couple of shootouts. Cole & his partner, Joe Pike, save the day and restore Karen to the life she had made for herself & son before the Mafia got hold of her.

Great read with lots of humour from Elvis's snappy retorts. ( )
  lamour | Jun 23, 2014 |
Synopsis/blurb.......
Peter Alan Nelsen is a super successful movie director who is used to getting what he wants. And what he wants is to find the wife and infant child he dumped on the road to fame. It's the kind of case that Cole could handle in his sleep, except that when Cole actually finds Nelsen's ex wife, everything takes on nightmarish proportions a nightmare which involves Cole with a nasty New York mob family and a psychokiller who is the son of the godfather. When the unpredictable Nelsen charges in, an explosive situation blows sky high.
This is the 3rd Elvis Cole book in the series. I read or possibly re-read the first 2 last month, memory being not quite what it used to be. The laid-back LA private investigator and his erstwhile side-kick Joe Pike team up again when hired to track down a Hollywood hotshot’s long divorced wife and son.
Cole achieves this fairly effortlessly, but when threatened and beaten after confronting the ex-wife, digs deeper. Kathy, the ex and now a successful businesswoman and bank manager is being coerced by the mob to launder cash through her bank. Cole, always a sympathetic ear for a damsel in distress holds off from reporting back to his employer, endeavouring to try and extricate Kathy from Charlie DeLuca clutches first. The problem is DeLuca instead of being a reasonable businessman, albeit operating outside the law is also the psychopathic son of a crime lord.
Cole’s efforts at negotiation prove ultimately fruitless and the saga unfolds with an ever-increasing number of criminal lowlifes, minor plot off-shoots and escalating violence.
At about 230 pages long, and without taxing my brain too much, Lullaby Town was a quick, fast-paced enjoyable read. I’ll be trying to locate the 4th instalment buried somewhere in the depths of my disorganised attic library – Free Fall – to read next month.
4 from 5
Bought new probably 20-odd years ago (originally published in 1992) from who knows where.
( )
  col2910 | Apr 17, 2014 |
### From Wikipedia

Lullaby Town is a 1992 detective novel by Robert Crais. It is the third in a series of linked novels centering on the private investigator Elvis Cole. It was nominated for both the Anthony Award and the Shamus Award. Read more - Shopping-Enabled Wikipedia on Amazon

### From Kirkus Reviews

Lullaby Town is Chelam, Connecticut, where L.A. shamus Elvis Cole (The Monkey's Raincoat, 1987--not reviewed) goes in search of Karen Shipley, divorced ten years earlier by boyish filmmaker Peter Alan Nelsen, who's since developed deep pockets (courtesy of a string of action hits beginning with Chainsaw) and a conscience of sorts. Just when it looks like Elvis has found Karen and her son, Toby, all too easily, Karen turns out to be laundering money for the Mafia, and the story takes off like a two-stage rocket. It'll take all of Elvis's wise-guy savvy to pry Karen loose from those other wise-guys without condemning her to the witness-protection program or the East River. Elvis is as sharp as a West Coast Spenser, but without Spenser's nasty/noble attitudinizing--and this story is pure pleasure from the very first page. -- *Copyright 1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.*
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
Elvis Cole is your modern day(ish) equivalent to Philip Marlowe with the exception of having Joe Pike, his partner, to call on in case of emergencies. In this, his third outing, Elvis will once again need Joe's help as a case of a missing person escalates into confrontation with the Mafia. Peter Alan Nelsen, current bigshot direct du jour, hires Elvis to find the ex-wife and son he left 10 years ago and hasn't seen or heard from since. Despite a distinct lack of information at the outset, it's not long before Elvis finds out where they are and flies off to New York to go say hello. That's when the trouble really starts.

Another fast-paced action thriller told in small chapters which are used to build tension to good effect. Cole is an easy to like detective of the wise-cracking variety and his taciturn partner almost manages to crack a smile this time around. I doubt I could read too many of these in a row but good to visit with every now and again. ( )
  AHS-Wolfy | Aug 16, 2013 |
3.5 stars

My blog post about this book is at this link
( )
  SuziQoregon | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553299514, Paperback)

Hollywood's newest wunderkind is Peter Alan Nelson, the brilliant, erratic director known as the King of Adventure.  His films make billions, but his manners make enemies.  What the boy king wants, he gets, and what Nelson wants is for Elvis to comb the country for the airhead wife and infant child the film-school flunkout dumped en route to becoming the third biggest filmmaker in America.  It's the kind of case Cole can handle in his sleep -- until it turns out to be a nightmare.  For when Cole finds Nelson's wife in a small Conneticut town, she's nothing like what he expects.  The lady has some unwanted -- and very nasty -- mob connections, which means Elvis could be opening the East Coast branch of his P.I. office . . .at the bottom of the Hudson River.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:10 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Peter Alan Nelsen is a super successful movie director who is used to getting what he wants. And what he wants is to find the wife and infant child he dumped on the road to fame. It's the kind of case that Cole could handle in his sleep, except that when Cole actually finds Nelsen's ex wife, everything takes on nightmarish proportions a nightmare which involves Cole with a nasty New York mob family and a psychokiller who is the son of the godfather. When the unpredictable Nelsen charges in, an explosive situation blows sky high.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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