Received from the Publisher
From the BLURB:
Dru Rayne and her uncle are Louisiana refugees who relocated to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina. Now, five years after the storm, their struggling restaurant faces a different danger. When Joe Pike witnesses Dru's uncle beaten by a neighborhood gang intent on extorting protection money, he offers his own brand of protection. But neither Dru nor her uncle want his help - and neither do the federal agents mysteriously watching their store - agents who seem more than willing to let the gang have their way.
But Pike is falling for Dru and won't back away whether she wants his help or not. As the violence escalates, the gang targets Pike, who, with Elvis Cole's help, learns that Dru and her uncle are not who they seem. It soon emerges that everything Pike thought he knew about them, their relationship to the gang and the reasons they fled New Orleans have been lies.
‘The Sentry’ is the third book in Robert Crais’s ‘Joe Pike’ action-thriller series. And it is the twelfth book to feature his Elvis Cole character.
Joe Pike is an ex-marine, ex-cop shady character with a heart of gold. ‘The Sentry’ opens with Pike rescuing a restaurant owner from some thugs. Pike meets the owner’s niece and becomes enamoured of her, to the point that he vows to protect her and her uncle . . . not realizing just how tangled he will become in the seedy goings on of the local gangbangers.
None of it mattered, there in the darkness. He had told her he would take care of it. Told her they wouldn’t bother her again.Pike whispered.“I am here.”Whoever and whatever she was did not matter. If she needed him, he would be there.Pike whispered again.
I really liked the fact that the kick-off for this book was Pike unexpectedly falling in love (lust?). It’s very clear early on that Pike is a man not used to expressing himself or having such tender emotions for other people. It was an interesting twist to see his chivalry kick into gear for a maiden in trouble (a cliché storyline in itself, but a surprisingly fresh take in the action-thriller genre).
I've never read any of Crais’s ‘Elvis Cole’ books, so I think I was quite behind on Cole and Pike’s dynamic. I understood that they were in each other’s corners and were inseparable friends. But it’s hard to get into the ‘buddy-buddy’ side of things when I'm only just meeting these two characters for the first time. But for the most part I can understand the appeal of the Cole/Pike dynamic – instead of writing about loner mercenaries who are islands unto themselves (and really, how many of those characters are there in this genre already?) Crais is writing an action-thriller companionship series. It’s nice, without being too mushy as to insult the very manly readers.
I may be behind on Crais’s series, but I can still appreciate his brilliant storytelling. Everything from the crazed hit-man known only as ‘Daniel’ to Pike’s tender romance . . . I loved how many bases Crais covered. There really is something here for both male and female readers.