Saturday, February 26, 2011
THE FIRST RULE by Robert Crais
For me, Robert Crais' The First Rule was a good but not a great book.
PI Joe Pike sets out to find the murderers of Frank Meyer and his family. Meyer was a member of Pike's group when Pike contracted his services to the military.
Pike and his partner Elvis Cole have two objectives: to avenge Meyer and his family and to clear them of the implication that they were killed because they were involved with organized crime.
This is a mystery story in the sense that the ground keeps shifting. The original motive for the murders morphs into something else, and then that changes too.
Along the way, Pike and Cole murder several people, and there are other bodies too. Pike also has a soft spot which we see especially near the end.
The book ends with action. Crais' narrative is clear and straightforward.
As I wrote these comments, I found myself wondering, What exactly was the first rule? I guess I read the whole book without paying enough attention to really know. I suspect it is, "Revenge is good. Be loyal to your own." Whatever else happens, avenge the murders of those with whom you've partnered, those who have saved yours and other buddies' lives along the way.
If that's the case, the first rule applies, not just to Pike, but to the female ATF official Kelly Walsh with whom Pike works to solve the case. In some ways, though she is a "minor" character, she is the most interesting character in the book. She too is focused on The First Rule.
If you like action stories with some mystery in them, you might well like Robert Crais' The First Rule.
This is the second Robert Crais book I have ever read. I checked it out in electronic form from the local library.