This is a difficult book for me to review because Robert Crais is one of my favorite authors and Elvis and Pike are two of my favorite fictional characters. It’s been more than three years since the last Elvis/Pike novel—and maybe that’s why I feel so disappointed with The Promise. I expected a lot more from a book that was delayed several months—presumably for rewrites—and then hyped so much.
In fact, someone who has never read an Elvis/Pike novel might find this more entertaining/enjoyable than longtime fans of the series. If you don’t already have a connection to the central characters, then you won’t notice that the spark is missing this time around.
Don’t get me wrong—Robert Crais is a terrific author, and a disappointing book in this series is still better than the overwhelming majority of books in this genre. But I think longtime readers/fans will be disappointed. I’ll list a few reasons why:
– Elvis’s trademark humor is flat and almost non-existent.
– Jon Stone—who somehow gets younger, more talented, and speaks another language with each novel—is more of a central character than Pike. I’d love to see a standalone Jon Stone novel, but I’d rather see more of Pike in this series.
– The Promise was originally billed in the product description as Elvis and Pike give their word and they keep it. They make a promise to a client, and they will keep it no matter the consequences. It also had Pike “bloodied” in a warehouse as Scott and Maggie arrive on the scene, and a group of rogue veteran soldiers up to no good—but none of that made it into the actual book. Which begs the question: why wasn’t the title changed? Because very little of the plot/storyline touches on the theme implied by the title and the product description.
– I didn’t like the hybrid Elvis/Pike/Scott & Maggie show. There were too many POVs and protagonists for a novel of this length.
Overall, it’s a good book for this genre—but a disappointing book for such a great series: 3/5 stars. Use this Amazon affiliate link to read more about this book.