Cover Image: Racing the Light

Racing the Light

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Member Reviews

Fast paced, sometimes humorous,sometimes snarky,Private Investigator on the job! I sort of lost interest toward the end when things were wrapping up as it became more predictable. Overall, a good read. I was provided an advanced reader copy and was under no obligation to write a review. The opinions expressed are my own. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

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Elvis hasn’t left the building - he’s back with book 19. Elvis Cole and his partner, Joe Pike, get hired by a Stanford prof who is retired to find her missing son, a podcaster. There are shady characters all around and mom isn’t all who she is cracked up to be. Why the personal bodyguards? Face paced read - thanks Netgalley for the ARC

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Cole and Pike are back. Yay! And they are hired to find a missing podcaster & pornstar/escort by the podcaster's weirdly security conscious parents. They are right to be worried. Fun being back with the partners and mayhem and even an past love and son.

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Racing the Light is the 19th Elvis Cole & Joe Pike PI mystery by Robert Crais. Released 1st Nov 2022 by Penguin Random House on their Putnam imprint, it's 368 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. Paperback format scheduled for release in 2nd quarter 2023 from the same publisher. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a solidly entertaining and very well established series. At this point, the primary returning characters are so well fleshed out that they live and breathe. The plot is packed with story threads: a kidnapping, the world of podcasts, conspiracy theories, corrupt politics, dodgy ruthless business cartels, the adult film industry, and the seedier elements of Los Angeles. There is rough (R-rated) language, and some graphic violence, typical for the genre.

As always, it's well written and fast paced. The author definitely knows the technical aspects of his job very well. Although it's the 19th (!!) book in the series it works well enough as a standalone. Due to the excellent overall quality and length of the series, they're all highly recommended. It would make an excellent choice for a long binge/buddy read, as well as public library acquisition.

Fans of Michael Connolly, John Sandford, and Lee Child will likely already have this series/author on their radar, but if not, there's a lot to like here.

Four and a half stars. Excellent read.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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Don’t swim with sharks
Elvis Cole is a detective, something like a cop, but better dressed. He is the owner of Elvis Cole Detective Agency; if he can’t find it, it can’t be found. Some days are great; others are bad all the way around.
“Racing the Light” unfolds in Cole’s first person narrative, with alternating chapters in other voices. Several stories evolve, and the details intertwine. Joshua Albert Schumacher, an investigative journalist, is missing. Police have dismissed the case, but the family wants him found. Cole is the one to hire, but the search is complicated, confusing, and downright dangerous. Was Josh investigating something that lead to his kidnapping? Characters from the past make appearances as well. Lucy Chenier, one of Cole’s closest friends, is coming to L.A. She and her son would like to stay with him. Cole is haunted by tragedies in the past, and reminded of the good in it at the same time. Everything is complicated and filled with tension, surprises, and emotional encounters. The truth is out there, as real as a white light on a dark horizon, but can Cole reach the light and reveal the truth? It takes a toll on Cole. He does not sleep; he is tired; he does not know what the future will hold. Then, he goes home.
“Racing the Light” is book nineteen in the “Elvis Cole” series. Every sentence is full of eloquent descriptions and packed with meaning.
She sounded as lost as yesterday’s kiss.
The sky was unnaturally clear, a clarity so abnormal in the City of Angels.
The Pinocchio clock has a long nose, a jaunty yellow cap, and bulging eyes; he never answers, but he always listens.

I received a review copy of “Racing the Light” from Robert Crais, Penguin Group, and, G.P. Putnam's Sons “Racing the Light” is now available in print, as an e-book, and on audio from independent bookstores, online booksellers, retail stores, public libraries, and anywhere you get your books.

#BookReview “RacingTheLight #RobertCrais #ElvisCole

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This is an enjoyable fast paced thriller about a kidnapping. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are asked by a woman to find her missing son Josh, a controversial podcaster. She provides conspiracy theories and other interesting evidence.
As they start trying to find Josh, they discover that they are not the only people looking for him.

This book is a fun read, I couldn’t put it down. 4 stars.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed as in this review are completely my own.

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Another great book in the Elvis Cole series, with lots of adventure, humor, and twists that kept me rapt throughout. It's always great to revisit the characters, and each book has been a delight. This one is just as good as the rest, so fans of the series should really enjoy it. I know I did! Highly recommended.

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I enjoy reading Elvis and Joe adventures. This one contained less of Joe than I would have like. It also didn’t contain the usual tense action scenes that the books normally have. Still a good read, but took me a couple of weeks to finish.

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If you're a fan of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, you'll love it. Another excellent story about them with plenty of action, slight humor, twists and turns, and "who dun it." In this one Elvis is hired by an eccentric couple to find their missing son, a podcaster who is trying to become famous, in the process he enlists the help of his friend Joe Pike, a man of few words.

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For years, Crais and Elvis Cole have been a go-to combo that satisfies my craving for a balls-to-the-wall detective story with a killer plot, snappy dialog, and characters as comfortable as a pair of worn in boots. Crais has mastered the art of the hard-boiled detective novel and this series never disappoints. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are by turns rough & tumble and completely soft-hearted when it counts. The usual characters are back and as wise-cracking and world-weary as ever.

Not to throw shade at that *other* author who writes 1,000+ page detective novels, but ma'am THIS is how you write a detective novel.

Crais fans will devour this.

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I started reading this series in college in the late 1980s and there are now nearly 20 books. This latest one is a great addition and continues the evolution of two awesome detective characters, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. There's the usual zany adventures, funny banter, and great storytelling. It's all here as only Robert Crais can deliver. I'll eagerly look forward to the next book in this series.

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This dude is not your average detective. He is 10x better considering he is considered the best. This is just so good. Highly recommended

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Crais delivers another great story in the Elvis Cole series. Entertaining, adventure packed, page turner and dimensional characters with a variety of personalities. Crais is one of the few authors who is able to keep a long running series alive and interesting.

ARC was provided by NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam in exchange for an honest review.

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Another wonderful installment to this series. I always enjoy the balance between the excitement of the case and at humanity of the characters. Crais does a wonderful job creating believable characters with concerns and problems we all can relate too. Can't wait to see where this series goes next!

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I love the Elvis Cole and Joe Pike books – they are full of intrigue, suspense, fast paced, and such witty humor, I’m always entertained.

Each book has great plotlines and I love Elvis and Joe, but I never seem to get enough Pike scenes. I always want more of each of their stories!

This story is a great addition to the series, and I look forward to more of their special brand of humor and action with some of my favorite characters.

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and publisher for the opportunity to read this new work and I look forward to more from Mr. Crais.

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Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on November 1, 2022

Josh Schumacher does a podcast (Josh Shoe in Your Face) with the help of his friend Ryan Seborg. The podcast focuses on conspiracy theories, aliens, and the other nutcase attractions that the mainstream media supposedly hide from the public. The content is nutty but the podcast is well executed. Some of the better episodes featured interviews with a porn star whose professional name is Skylar Lawless. Skylar is making art from text messages. After she snooped through text messages of a local politician who hired her for sex, she learned a secret that she can’t be allowed to share.

When Josh goes missing, his wealthy mother (who has some secrets of her own) hires Elvis Cole to find him. Since her son depends on his generous mother for a regular cash infusion, she is convinced that he would not willingly drop out of contact with her. Cole isn’t certain that she’s right, but he agrees to take the case.

As a private investigator who lives in the rational world, Elvis knows that most podcast conspiracy theories are utter nonsense. His search for Josh leads to evidence of an actual conspiracy involving political corruption and real estate development. It isn’t as sexy as hiding aliens in Area 51 or putting tracking devices in vaccines, but it’s the kind of thing that causes actual harm to the public.

Murders ensue and characters the reader should care about are placed in danger's way. Saying more about the plot would spoil it, but I can say that Cole’s footwork leads him from clue to clue as he comes to understand why Josh has disappeared. He encounters plenty of jerks and a few decent people while crisscrossing LA in his entertaining quest to find the absent podcaster.

Racing the Light isn’t an action novel — this is a novel of detection rather than shootouts — but series regular Joe Pike shows up when Cole needs muscle. Action fans will be pleased that muscle becomes necessary in one of the final scenes.

Racing the Light advances Cole’s previously unsuccessful relationship with Lucy and her son Ben. Good novels are about people, after all, and fans of the series who have developed some affection for Cole will be pleased to know that his life might be improving.

Still, this is a detective novel. Most of Robert Crais’ effort goes into the development of a credible but offbeat plot and interesting characters. Sadly, we don’t see much of the porn star, but Josh’s sincerity and professionalism make him a likable character despite his tenuous connection with reality. Josh’s cantankerous neighbor adds comic relief to a plot that, unlike some Elvis Cole novels, is never heavy. People use the term “beach read” dismissively, but Racing the Light is the kind of novel that allows a reader to escape daily worries by focusing on a fun and absorbing story.


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I have been a Robert Crais/Elvis Cole fan from WAY back and I have to be honest and say that I was a little disappointed in this one.

I know that it's hard to crank out a book a year, but when one of my favorite prolific authors puts out a book that's almost all dialogue, I'm side-eyeing that a little.

I liked the premise of this - a young man whose mother thinks he's been kidnapped by aliens - and I was happy to see my girl Lucy back to (maybe) get back together with Elvis. But I can't say this was Crais's best or my favorite.

3.5 stars rounded up for Lucy

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This is book #19 in Robert Crais" excellent Elvis Cole series. Each book can stand on it's own but each also contributes to the background and character building the Crais is famous for. Each of his books is pure entertainment that pushes them into many different genres.

When Elvis is hired to find a missing son, an adult missing son, he starts assembling the familiar team plus adding a few new characters to his work family. Each of the characters could probably carry a story themselves so the investigation takes many twists and turns as each has their own ideas on how it should run. But there are so many questions with no good answers that Elvis takes us on a pretty wild ride without a clear destination. WOW! What a ride!!! Robert Crais deserves so much more than 5 stars for Racing The Light. Read it to see if you agree.

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Racing The Light by Robert Crais was a slam dunk in my opinion. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are back together and two are always better than one. The storyline moves fast and will keep you wanting to read just one more chapter. I think Robert Crais gets better and better and this tale was one of his best. Don’t let this book get by you. I will recommend this novel to my library patrons. I know they will enjoy it too.

Thank You to the author Robert Crais, the publisher Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.

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Josh Shue is a controversial podcaster who has gone missing. His mother, Adele Schumaker, wealthy in her own right with private security, hires Elvis Cole to find him. Josh has disappeared with his porn star girlfriend. But all is not what it seems - Josh has obviously touched a nerve with one of his investigations and someone else, ruthless and violent, is looking for him as well. Bring on Joe Pike, Cole’s friend and enforcer, a man of few words but plenty of action. Elvis’ investigation leads them on a path of betrayal and violence. And add the return of Lucy Chenier, Elvis’ former love who moved to New Orleans with her son Ben, which is preying on Elvis’ mind. This is the 19th book featuring Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. I have now read all of them and Crais has been consistent from the very beginning. Plenty of humor - Elvis is a character on his own and the play between he and Joe is most entertaining. Crais keeps you guessing until the very end with plenty of suspense and plot turns.

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