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Lullaby Town by Robert Crais
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Lullaby Town (1992)

by Robert Crais

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People who read my reviews will know that I'm not a fan of literary fiction. Elmore Leonard has a list of rules on writing, one of those rules is to leave out the parts that people skip. Literary fiction is loaded with those parts you want to skip. Robert Crais must be a fan of Leonard as well.

The last book I started to read was a literary fiction author trying to write a crime thriller. Lullaby Town is Robert's example of why literary fiction authors can't make the switch to genre fiction.

Elvis and Pike are back, this time sorting out what should have been a simple family reunion, but ends up with the New York mafia wanting them dead. My only regret with finishing this novel is that my pile of Crais books have now been read and I have to buy the rest before reading more. ( )
  TysonAdams | Jun 20, 2017 |
Elvis Cole is out to locate the ex-wife of Hollywood director Peter Alan Nelsen. When he does find her he discovers she has other more pressing problems before she can consider a meeting between her, her son and Nelsen.

Pike steps in to lend a hand and it becomes a roller coaster ride to the finish.

Fast-paced and enjoyable. ( )
  Bettesbooks | Aug 9, 2016 |
In his third book featuring Elvis Cole, Crais is making some progress along two fronts. First, the conclusion departs from the formula established in his first two novels in this series. To recall, in books one (The Monkey's Raincoat) and two (Stalking the Angel) Cole and his partner Joe Pike must find a way into a mansion where the bad guys are holed up with a hostage they are trying to rescue. The bad guys are protected by layers of body guards. Pike is wounded during the assault and Cole, while also wounded, pushes through to a successful conclusion.

Lullaby Town, while still featuring a shoot-out against sizeable odds, varies this formula in several ways. There is no mansion; It is replaced by a rural field followed by a small rural airport. There are seven body guards plus the primary antagonist instead of the legions in the first two novels, and it is Elvis Cole who is wounded—although only because he intentionally exposed himself to draw the antagonist's fire— and Joe Pike administers the coup de grace.

Second, Crais takes baby steps in the direction of establishing Joe Pike as a multi-dimensional character. There's not a lot of detail to report here, but we do learn a tiny bit more about Joe.

Although the first three novels in this series are all well worth reading, I enjoyed Lullaby Town a bit more than the first two novels.

I found the most annoying feature of this book to be the use of a false climax. It appears that Cole has successfully resolved the situation some 30 pages before the end of the book. I was wondering how the conflict could have been resolved so early in the book when Crais throws the reader a curveball that necessitates a second and final resolution. I was busy, not prepared for the surprise turn of events, and not particularly interested in reading yet another resolution so I actually put the book down for a day or two before picking it up to read through to the end. Nevertheless, I did find the final climax to be interesting. Perhaps your reaction will be different. ( )
  Tatoosh | Jan 25, 2016 |
An over-the-top Hollywood director hires Cole to look for his ex-wife and son. It turns out there was a reason she was his ex-wife. The wife is involved in something else and Cole gets involved in trying to extricate her from the mess.
Entertaining, except for the over-drawn husband. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
Audiobook:

Cole is hired by an arrogant and self-absorbed Hollywood director to find his estranged wife and son, now gone for more than 10 years. He just wants to connect with his son. Finding the woman is easy enough, but Cole learns she is now the VP of a small-town bank who is being used by some Boston mob bosses to launder money.

Now, I think Cole screwed up by trying to fix things in his macho way. A quick call to the FBI (despite her reluctance to enter witness protection) might have solved things since she had evidence of all sorts of wrong-doing. Cole risked messing up her life and that of her kid. She wanted nothing to do with Peter, the Hollywood bigshot, and to my way of thinking should have had nothing to do with Cole either.

All that aside, at least Cole uses his brain to figure a way out for her by pitting one member of the “family” against another. The spate of violence at the end is really not their doing. It was also refreshing that neither Cole nor Pike found it necessary to jump in Karen's bed.

Satisfactory, although Pike starts to grate after a while. ( )
  ecw0647 | Jul 3, 2015 |
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Dedication
Dedicated with love
and respect to
my mother,
Evelyn Carrie Crais,
who saved me from the monsters.
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Patricia Kyle said, "Is this Elvis Cole, the world's greatest detective?"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:44 -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 7 descriptions

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