Concerned about her son, single mother Devon Connor hires Private Investigator Elvis Cole to look into things, which turn out to be much worse than she ever imagined in Robert Crais’ new novel, The Wanted.
At first, the case sounds fairly simple. A mother is worried about her teenage son, and Cole is brought in to provide some answers. But during their first meeting to discuss the investigation, things take an interesting turn when Cole hears why, exactly, the woman is concerned about her teen.
It turns out that Tyson, Devon’s only child, has anxiety issues and hates going to school. Subsequently, he was previously expelled from two different high schools before his mother enrolled him in an alternative school as a way to help make sure he received some form of education. Behavioral and attitude problems aside, it was something else that caused Mrs. Connor to question him.
Devon tells Cole that she first started growing concerned about her son when he came home wearing new designer shirts from Barney’s, a store she cannot afford to shop at. Tyson, like any teenager, was quick to come up with a plausible story and claimed that one of his friend’s parents runs a wardrobe department and got them the new threads for pennies.
Unfortunately for Tyson, his mother isn’t buying what he’s selling. Mother’s intuition told Devon something else was going on, and she was right.
Over time, new shirts turned into an Xbox, a new computer with three monitors, and a stash of hidden cash totaling tens of thousands of dollars. But the real standout item in Tyson’s collection of valuable stuff is a white-faced Cosmograph Daytona Rolex, which boasts a price tag north of twenty grand. It’s obvious that Tyson is doing something illegal, but what?
Cole thinks the kid might just have sticky fingers, while Devon is worried her son is dealing drugs. Either way, Elvis Cole is going to find out what, exactly, is going on.
Thankfully, the Rolex offers a solid lead to follow up on. Enlisting the help of his old girlfriend, Sherri Toyoda, who owns a watch shop in Santa Monica, Cole gives her the model and serial numbers to see if the watch has been reported stolen. The story takes its first shocking turn when the watch comes back registered to someone named Doctor Richard Slauson, with a note to immediately call the police–who have their own reasons for hoping the timepiece shows up.
The story moves forward at blazing speeds, bouncing between Elvis Cole and two hired killers, Harvey and Stems, allowing the plot to develop from alternate points of view. Each time the narrative shifts, readers get a new piece to the puzzle, though Crais saves plenty for a bigger reveal later on.
It doesn’t take long for Cole to figure out that Tyson and his buddies have been carrying out a number of high-end burglaries. In fact, Tyson, working with two accomplices, has been part of more than a dozen robberies. At one point, they even made off with eighteen thousand dollars of property from one home, a lucky score that left them with more loot than they knew what to do with. The teenagers’ luck ran out, though, when they inadvertently stole the wrong thing from a very dangerous man.
As the case starts to come together, one of the young accomplices is murdered, which leads to Tyson suddenly disappearing. Realizing he’s caught in a bigger game than he initially realized, Cole calls on Joe Pike and Jon Stone for backup, and soon the three of them find themselves going toe-to-toe with a pair of ruthless killers in what’s easily Elvis Cole’s most dangerous case to date.
Robert Crais is in top form here as he expertly weaves together an entertaining but complex plot that starts with a bang and continues to pick up speed as the story unfolds. As the suspense ramps up, readers will find themselves glued to their chairs and flipping pages at a lightning-fast clip to find out how this one ends.
Robert Crais reminds readers why he’s one of the very best in the business with The Wanted, a masterfully-crafted story that blows the competition away. There’s no question that this is the final must-read book of 2017 — if you’re not already a fan of Elvis Cole, it’s time to see what you’ve been missing out on.
Author: Robert Crais
Series: Elvis Cole and Joe Pike
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: December 26th, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10