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The Best American Mystery Stories 2012

by Robert Crais Otto Penzler

The Best American Series®First, Best, and Best-SellingThe Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected -- and most popular -- of its kind.The Best American Mystery Stories 2012 includesPeter S. Beagle, Kathleen Ford, Mary Gaitskill, Lou Manfredo, Thomas McGuane,Gina Paoli, T. Jefferson Parker, Kristine Kathryn Rusch,Charles Todd, Daniel Woodrell, and others

Chasing Darkness (Elvis Cole #11)

by Robert Crais

Elvis Cole is Back--In a Desperate Fight to Clear his Name. . . It's fire season, and the hills of Los Angeles are burning. When police and fire department personnel rush door to door in a frenzied evacuation effort, they discover the week-old corpse of an apparent suicide. But the gunshot victim is less gruesome than what they find in his lap: a photo album of seven brutally murdered young women -- one per year, for seven years. And when the suicide victim is identified as a former suspect in one of the murders, the news turns Elvis Cole's world upside down. Three years earlier Lionel Byrd was brought to trial for the murder of a female prostitute named Yvonne Bennett. A taped confession coerced by the police inspired a prominent defense attorney to take Byrd's case, and Elvis Cole was hired to investigate. It was Cole's eleventh-hour discovery of an exculpatory videotape that allowed Lionel Byrd to walk free. Elvis was hailed as a hero. But the discovery of the death album in Byrd's lap now brands Elvis as an unwitting accomplice to murder. Captured in photographs that could only have been taken by the murderer, Yvonne Bennett was the fifth of the seven victims -- two more young women were murdered after Lionel Byrd walked free. So Elvis can't help but wonder -- did he, Elvis Cole, cost two more young women their lives?Shut out of the investigation by a special LAPD task force determined to close the case, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike desperately fight to uncover the truth about Lionel Byrd and his nightmare album of death -- a truth hidden by lies, politics, and corruption in a world where nothing is what it seems to be. Chasing Darknessis a blistering thriller from the bestselling author who sets the standard for intense, powerful crime writing.

Demolition Angel

by Robert Crais

With the most unforgettable female lead character since Clarice Starling, Demolition Angel is a blistering stand-alone thriller from the freshest bestselling voice in crime fiction. Carol Starkey is struggling to pick up the pieces of her former life as L. A.'s finest bomb squad technician. Fueled with liberal doses of alcohol and Tagamet, she's doing time as a Detective-2 with LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section. Three years have passed since the event that haunts her--a detonation that killed her partner and lover, David "Sugar" Boudreaux. Fragments from the same explosion sliced through Starkey's protective Kevlar, scarred her beyond repair, and left her outside looking in at the life she left behind. Now she can't bear her reflection in the mirror, and hasn't been with another man since Sugar left her bed the morning they rolled out to the bomb site. When a seemingly innocuous bomb call turns into a devastating murder scene, Carol catches the case and embarks on an investigation of a series of explosions that reveal intentions far more disturbing than one-shot acts of anarchy. The bombs are designed expressly to kill bomb technicians, and as the one tech who survived the deadliest of blasts, Carol is in for the most intense fight of her life. Against the dazzling and lonely backdrop of contemporary Los Angeles, Robert Crais has crafted a work of ingenious depth of character, matched with a transcendent narrative velocity. Demolition Angelis sure to take its place among the finest thrillers of the modern age.

The First Rule

by Robert Crais

When Frank Meyer and his family are executed in their home, the police begin investigating the secret life they're sure Meyer had. Joe Pike's on a hunt of his own: to clear his friend's name, and to punish the people who murdered him. What starts out as a simple trail gets twisted fast by old grudges, double crosses, blood vengeance, and a crime so terrible even Pike and his partner Elvis Cole have no way to measure it.

The First Rule (Joe Pike #2)

by Robert Crais

From the "New York Times"-bestselling author who sets the standard for intense, powerful crime-writing comes a blistering thriller featuring Joe Pike and Elvis Cole.

The Forgotten Man (Elvis Cole #10)

by Robert Crais

A dying man claims to be the unknown father of Elvis Cole, private eye.

Free Fall (Elvis Cole #4)

by Robert Crais

Private detective Elvis Cole takes Jennifer Sheridan's case, which involves her decorated Los Angeles cop boyfriend in some mysterious trouble, and Cole and his partner Pike are soon plunged in police corruption, gangs, and the depiction of themselves as armed killers.

Hostage

by Robert Crais

The bestselling author of Demolition Angel and L. A. Requiem returns with his most intense and intricate thriller yet. As the Los Angeles Times said, Robert Crais is "a crime writer operating at the top of his game." His complex heroes and heroines, his mastery of noir atmosphere, and his brilliant, taut plots have catapulted him into the front rank of a new breed of thriller writers. Hostage proves his earlier success was no fluke. It's an unstoppable read. An ex-con with delusions of grandeur and his tagalong brother unwittingly team up with a psychopath one wrong word away from meltdown. When their late afternoon joyride turns into a random act of violence, they take a family hostage in the affluent bedroom community of Bristo Camino. Enter Chief of Police Jeff Talley, a stressed-out former LAPD SWAT negotiator who is hiding from his past. Plunged back into the high-pressure world that he desperately wants to forget, Talley soon learns that his nightmare has only begun. The hostages are not who they seem, and the home contains secrets that even L. A. 's most lethal and volatile crime lord, Sonny Benza, fears. As Talley tries to hold himself together and save the people inside, the full weight of Benza's wrath descends on him, putting the police chief and his own family at risk. Soon, all involved are held hostage by the exigencies of fate and the only one capable of diffusing the standoff is the least stable of them all. Hostage is a blistering stand-alone thriller with superb characters in crisis, multistranded plotting, and pitch-perfect Southern California sensibility.

Indigo Slam

by Robert Crais

Available for the first time as an ebook!Life in the California sun suits Elvis Cole--until the day a fifteen-year-old girl and her two younger siblings walk into his office. Then everything changes.Three years ago, a Seattle family ran for their lives in a hail of bullets. Hired by three kids to find their missing father, Elvis now must pick up the cold pieces of a drama that began that night. What he finds is a sordid tale of high crimes and illicit drugs. As clues to a man's secret life emerge from the shadows, Elvis knows he's not just up against ruthless mobsters and some very angry Feds. He's facing a storm of desperation and conspiracy--bearing down on three children whose only crime was their survival...

Indigo Slam (Elvis Cole #7)

by Robert Crais

From the back cover: Life in the California sun suits Elvis Cole-until the day a fifteen-year-old girl and her two younger siblings walk into his office. Then everything changes. Three years ago, a Seattle family ran for their lives in a hail of bullets. Hired by three kids to find their missing father, Elvis now must pick up the cold pieces of a drama that began that night. What he finds is a sordid tale of high crimes and illicit drugs. As clues to a man's secret life emerge from the shadows, Elvis knows he's not just up against ruthless mobsters and some very angry Feds. He's facing a storm of desperation and conspiracy- bearing down on three children whose only crime was their survival....

L.A. Requiem (Elvis Cole #8)

by Robert Crais

A reckoning has come to the City of Angels . . . Karen Garcia is missing and her father doesn't trust the cops - he wants someone he knows on the case - so he enlists the help of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. It seems that Karen is the latest victim of a distinctive serial killer and the police are determined to pin her death, and four others, on the witness who found her body. Cole doesn't believe the man has the guts to murder, and with his partner and the police at each other's throats, it's down to him to find the connection that will reveal the killer. But nailing the murderer means choosing between the two people he cares most about . . .

The Last Detective (Elvis Cole #9)

by Robert Crais

Elvis Cole is once again coming to terms with his life as a PI on the streets of LA. He loves his girlfriend, Lucy Chenier, but his constant exposure to the Californian underclasses has stretched their relationship to the limit - especially when Cole's job brings danger too close to her beloved son. The young boy, Ben, is rapidly becoming the light in both their lives. Then one sunny afternoon, the demons from Elvis's past finally come to visit. Ben is snatched from Cole's secluded home. The kidnappers call. They don't want money. They only want retribution. But who from his past is capable of such a crime? The only clue is that the kidnappers mention the words 'five-two'. Five-two was his unit designation in Vietnam - a life he has avoided thinking about for over twenty years. But now he must embark on a journey into his own past to try to protect his future. For it seems that this kidnapper is not only someone who knows him, but someone who owes him.

Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole #3)

by Robert Crais

Hollywood's newest wunderkind is Peter Alan Nelson, the brilliant, erratic director known as the King of Adventure. His films make billions, but his manners make enemies. What the boy king wants, he gets, and what Nelson wants is for Elvis to comb the country for the airhead wife and infant child the film-school flunkout dumped en route to becoming the third biggest filmmaker in America. It's the kind of case Cole can handle in his sleep -- until it turns out to be a nightmare. For when Cole finds Nelson's wife in a small Conneticut town, she's nothing like what he expects. The lady has some unwanted -- and very nasty -- mob connections, which means Elvis could be opening the East Coast branch of his P.I. office . . .at the bottom of the Hudson River.From the Paperback edition.

The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole #1)

by Robert Crais

Taking the mystery community by storm, this Elvis Cole novel was nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, Shamus, and Macavity awards and won both the Anthony and Macavity for Best Novel of the Year.

The Sentry

by Robert Crais

After Joe Pike saves a man's life, the man's family seems oddly resentful. Maybe because they're not who they seem to be-including the seductive Dru. But it's more than a charade-it's a trap. And Pike's already been hooked...

The Sentry (Joe Pike #3, Elvis Cole #12)

by Robert Crais

The extraordinary new crime novel from the New York Times bestselling author. Dru Rayne and her uncle fled to L. A. after Hurricane Katrina; but now, five years later, they face a different danger. When Joe Pike witnesses Dru's uncle beaten by a protection gang, he offers his help, but neither of them want it--and neither do the federal agents mysteriously watching them. As the level of violence escalates, and Pike himself becomes a target, he and Elvis Cole learn that Dru and her uncle are not who they seem and that everything he thought he knew about them has been a lie. A vengeful and murderous force from their past is now catching up to them ... and only Pike and Cole stand in the way.

Stalking the Angel (Elvis Cole #2)

by Robert Crais

Hired by a hotel magnate to locate a priceless Japanese manuscript, L.A. private eye Elvis Cole encounters the notorious Yakuza, the Japanese Mob, and is drawn into a game of sexual obsession, amorality, and evil.From the Paperback edition.

Sunset Express

by Robert Crais

Available now as an ebook for the first time! Prominent restaurateur Teddy Martin is facing charges in his wife's brutal murder. But he's not going down without spending a bundle of cash on his defense. So his hotshot attorney hires P.I. Elvis Cole to find proof that Detective Angela Rossi tampered with the evidence. Rossi needs a way back to the fast track after falling hard during an internal investigation five years ago. But Cole needs to know if she's desperate enough to falsify the case against Martin in order to secure her own position. As Cole and his partner Joe Pike work their way through a tangle of witnesses and an even greater tangle of media, they begin to suspect that it's not the police who are behind the setup.

Sunset Express

by Robert Crais

Available now as an ebook for the first time! Prominent restaurateur Teddy Martin is facing charges in his wife's brutal murder. But he's not going down without spending a bundle of cash on his defense. So his hotshot attorney hires P.I. Elvis Cole to find proof that Detective Angela Rossi tampered with the evidence. Rossi needs a way back to the fast track after falling hard during an internal investigation five years ago. But Cole needs to know if she's desperate enough to falsify the case against Martin in order to secure her own position. As Cole and his partner Joe Pike work their way through a tangle of witnesses and an even greater tangle of media, they begin to suspect that it's not the police who are behind the setup.

Suspect

by Robert Crais

The explosive new masterpiece of suspense from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author. LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well. Eight months ago, a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty--until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. A German shepherd who survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before losing her handler to an IED, her PTSD is as bad as Scott's. They are each other's last chance. Shunned and shunted to the side, they set out to investigate the one case that no one wants them to touch: the identity of the men who murdered Stephanie. What they begin to find is nothing like what Scott has been told, and the journey will take them both through the darkest moments of their own personal hells. Whether they will make it out again, no one can say.

Suspect

by Robert Crais

One of Booklist's 10 Best Crime Fiction Books of the Year LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well. Nine months ago, a shocking assault by unidentified men killed his partner, Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty--until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. A German shepherd who survived two tours in Afghanistan sniffing explosives before losing her handler, her PTSD is as bad as Scott's. They are each other's last chance. And they're about to investigate the one case no one wants them to touch: identifying the men who murdered Stephanie. But what they find could ultimately break them both.

Taken

by Robert Crais

When Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are hired to find her missing girl, the investigation derails into a nightmare. Cole himself disappears and it's left to Pike to burn through the deadly world of human traffickers to find his friend. But he may already be too late.

Taken (Joe Pike #4, Elvis Cole #13)

by Robert Crais

When the police tell a wealthy industrialist that her missing daughter has faked her own kidnapping, she hires Elvis Cole and Joe Pike--and Cole soon determines that it was no fake. The boy and his secret girlfriend have been taken, and are now lost in the gray and changing world of the professional border kidnappers who prey not only on innocent victims but also on one another-buying, selling, and stealing victims like commodities. Fortunately, the kidnappers don't yet know who the boy is, but when Cole goes undercover to try to buy the two hostages back, he himself is taken and disappears. Now it is up to Pike to retrace Cole's steps, burning through the hard and murderous world of human traffickers before it is too late.

The Two Minute Rule

by Robert Crais

Two minutes can be a lifetime. Ask anyone on the wrong side of the law about the two-minute rule and they'll tell you that's as long as you can hope for at a robbery before the cops show up. Break the two-minute rule and it's a lifetime in jail. But not everyone plays by the rules. . . When ex-con Max Holman finally gets out of jail, freedom doesn't taste too sweet. The only thing on his mind is reconciliation with his estranged son, who is, ironically, a cop. But then he hears the devastating news: His son and three other uniformed cops were gunned down in cold blood in Los Angeles the night before Holman's release. When the hit is exposed as a revenge killing and the question of police corruption is raised, it becomes a father's last duty to clear his son's name and catch the killer. With all the elements that have made Robert Crais one of the very best crime writers today, The Two Minute Rule is gripping, edgy suspense from the author who sets the standard when it comes to surprising plot twists and powerful characters.

Voodoo River (Elvis Cole #5)

by Robert Crais

The fifth in sseries involving Los Angeles detective Elvis Cole and his ex-cop partner Joe Pike. This one takes them to Louisiana.

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