Looking for love and a whole lot more

If you’re looking for a good detective novel, Bob Moyer is the man to ask.

Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer

RACING THE LIGHT. By Robert Craig. Putnam. 355 pages. $29.

In the pantheon of L.A. crime writers, Michael Connelly stands head and shoulders above a crowded field. His Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch manifests a modern-day version of Raymond Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe. Right below Connelly’s shoulder stands Robert Crais. He has created two very different, and very engaging, private eyes — Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. Cole is the intuitive witty one, finding clues and wisecracks wherever he goes. Pike is the quiet one, who stands out for his stakeouts and surveillance. They have appeared as standalone stars, as well as in tandem. This latest installment is a tandem novel.

Cole gets hired by an eccentric old lady escorted by what look like government agents. Her son has disappeared, and she wants Elvis to find him. In a brief opening chapter, Crais has shown us that the son, an aspiring podcaster, has been handed some information of unknown substance. Cole doesn’t find out what the information is until deep into the narrative, but he knows it’s important when the girl who gave it to the son turns up dead. When he can’t find the son, but discovers a Chinese national lurking around the son’s house, he calls in Pike to do what he does best — watch and listen. Pike finds state-of-the-art Chinese electronic bugs in the house. The race is on to find the son before the nefarious forces do. The trail leads to corporate and political bodies who need to silence the son.

In the meantime, Elvis has to deal with the love of his life. She left town because of him, and comes back — because of him. He rides a rollercoaster of emotions while looking for love, and the son. Does he find them? Only a long, but fun read will tell


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