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List of Books Written by Robert Crais

List of Books Written by Robert Crais

Robert Crais is an ace crime-fiction author credited with creating the unconventional private-eye characters Elvis Cole/Joe Pike, who are the central characters in a series of detective novels. This Buzzle article enlists the list of Robert Crais books in order of publication.
Mary Anthony
Last Updated: Jun 15, 2018
A True Fan
While script writing/producing for two TV pilots of Warner Bros. Television's, The Amazing Spiderman, Robert Crais got the chance to meet Marvel legend Stan Lee, and as a excited fan-boy, presented him with a 'No-prize' to autograph. It still hangs in his office as a prized possession.
Known for this action-packed novels, crime-fiction author Robert Crais attributes his success as an author to being a Marvel Superheroes' Fan since childhood. He says that he was fascinated by the idea of good prevailing over evil, hence he created the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series. The characters in his book are influenced by his upbringing in the law-abiding environment, and the fact that he lost his father early made him create a father figure character in all his novels. His in-depth knowledge and love for L.A. prompted him to set all his novels in the city and its suburbs.
A native of Louisiana, Robert Crais grew up in a blue-collared workers surroundings. He first fell in love with crime-infused fictional writing at the age of fifteen after reading Little Sister  by Raymond Chandler. Later, he moved to L.A. to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. But he achieved recognition and success by scripting and producing major television series like Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, 4-hour NBC series Cross of Fire and Miami Vice.
He retired from Hollywood and turned a novelist after the death of his father. He created the hit crime novel series of unconventional private-eye characters Elvis Cole/Joe Pike. He currently lives in Santa Monica with his wife and two cats.
Awards and Recognitions
  • Received the 2014 Grand Master Award the highest recognition for a mystery writer by Mystery Writers Of America.
  • Received the Ross Macdonald Literary Award for his contributions in raising the standard of literacy writing.
  • Emmy Award Nomination for television series Hill Street Blues.
Chronological Order of Elvis Cole/Joe Pike Novels
The Monkey's Raincoat
Year of Release: 1987
  • The Macavity Award for Best Paperback Original Novel, 1987
  • The Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original Novel, 1987
  • Edgar Award Nominee for Best Paperback Original Novel, 1987
  • Shamus Award Nominee for Best Paperback Original Novel, 1987
In his maiden thriller, Elvis Cole and his partner Joe Pike search Hollywood trying to find client Ellen Lang's husband and son. Cole soon finds out that her husband Mort Lang has been killed by ex bull-fighter Dom Duran, who believes that Mort stole his cocaine. The hunt leads them through the land of sex, drugs, and murder, as Cole races against time to save Ellen's son still held hostage by Dom.
Stalking The Angel
Year of Release: 1989

Client Bradley Warren's precious Japanese manuscript relic the Hagakure is stolen. Elvis and Joe go on a relic hunt through Los Angeles' Little Tokyo and stumble upon the notorious Japanese mafia Yakuzawho don't forgive or forget anything soon.
Lullaby Town
Year of Release: 1992
  • Anthony Award Nominee for Best Novel, 1992
  • Shamus Award Nominee for Best Novel, 1992
This fast-paced action packed thriller leads Elvis and Joe into the deadly world of the New York Mob in search of a missing woman and child. The blurry lines of Hollywood glamor and high-life mingled with dark family secrets make it an interesting read.
Free Fall
Year of Release: 1993
  • Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel, 1994
Elvis and Joe are accused of murder and are targeted by every cop in L.A. The novel follows their quest to prove their innocence and rescue Jennifer Sheridens' fiance who is a decorated L.A. cop. The book exposes the world of South Central gangs, corrupt cops, and conspiracies of silence.
Voodoo River
Year of Release: 1995

This novel marks the first appearance of the character Lucy Chenier―Cole's potential love partner. Entangled in a web of deceit and lies, Elvis and Joe land in Louisiana searching for popular television star Jodie Taylor's biological parents, only to find that they are not the only ones in the search hunt.
Sunset Express
Year of Release: 1996
  • Shamus Award Winner for Best Novel, 1996
  • Publishers Weekly - Best Books of 1996 Selection
Elvis Cole doubts the law firms who have been fabricating the fact that police detective Angela Rossi fooled around with the evidence of a crime suspect―a wealthy, L.A. restaurateur who is accused of murdering his wife.
Indigo Slam
Year of Release: 1997
  • Shamus Award Winner for Best Novel, 1998
Elvis Cole comes face to face with the Russian Mafia and U.S. Marshals in this action thriller set in Seattle, in order to find a clients' missing dad. The father is an itinerant printer and travels from city to city, but has been missing for more than eleven days. The plot thickens when one of the children of the missing father is kidnapped, and it leads to a race against time to save both the father and the son.
L.A. Requiem
Year of Release: 1999
  • Dily Award Winner for Novel Most Enjoyed Selling, 1999
  • Edgar Award nominee for Best Novel, 1999
  • Anthony Award nominee for Best Novel, 1999
  • Shamus Award nominee for Best Novel, 1999
This novel proved to be a turning point for detectives Elvis and Joe. It portrays L.A. in a different light and focuses on the lives of law enforcement officers who zealously guard the city from danger. Elvis agrees to help Joe find the killers of his girlfriend Karen Garcia, who is found dead in the Hollywood Lake by L.A.P.D. Joe's troubled past with the law enforcement hinders the way. Together, they unmask the serial killer and the lies that infests the police department.
The Last Detective
Year of Release: 2003
  • Audie Award Finalist, 2003
Carol Starkey from The Demolition Angel joins the Cole series. Elvis' past demons come to haunt him when his long time ex's―Lucy Cheniers'―son goes missing. He heads on a road to self-evaluation from the secrets of his childhood to the haunting, long-suppressed images of his service in Vietnam.
The Forgotten Man
Year of Release: 2005
  • Shamus Award Nominee for Best Novel, 2005
Elvis' worst nightmares come to life when an unidentified body supposed to be of his father is discovered. This triggers a series of events that lead to a deadly killer who has been waiting for this day to come. Suspecting and fearing that his so-called father might have had a very shady past, Elvis takes the help of his close confidant Joe and sets on a journey of discovering missing identity, lies, deception and sinister drama.
The Watchman
Year of Release: 2007
  • The Barry Award for Best Thriller, 2007
  • Mystery Ink Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller, 2007
  • Strand Critics Award Nominee
  • Anthony Award Nominee for Best Novel, 2008
  • International Thriller Writers Thriller Award Nominee for Best Novel, 2008
This is a Joe Pike thriller, his world swirls to attention when he is called to defend and protect a rich socialite Larkin Conner Barkley, who is caught in the entangled web of witnessing a secret federal investigation. Joe an ex-cop, ex-Marine, ex-mercenary owes a bad man a favor, and that favor is to keep Larkin alive. Will he be able to keep up with the uncontrollable socialite? Or teach her a lesson about life and love, makes it an interesting read.
Chasing Darkness
Year of Release: 2008
  • Southern California Independent Booksellers Association - Best Mystery Award Nominee, 2008
A week-old corpse is found in the burning hills of Los Angeles with an eerie album of seven brutally murdered young women―one per year, for seven years. In an open and shut case, Elvis is termed as accomplice to murder when it is discovered that the apparent corpse is of Lionel Byrad, who was suspected of being the murderer of the seven alleged victims found in the album, but due to the evidence found by Elvis then, he had walked free. The scenario moves into a world of truth hidden by lies, politics, and corruption, in a world where nothing is what it seems to be.
The First Rule
Year of Release: 2010

Pike goes out to clear his friend Frank Meyer's name when unexpectedly his whole family is murdered by a gang of robbers. The police believe that Frank is part of an organized crime that concerns drugs, hence Joe teams up with Elvis to prove that wrong.
The Sentry
Year of Release: 2011

Dru and her uncle fall victim to a protection gang that seem to know something about their dark past. Joe and Elvis set out to protect them ending up in an escalating order of violence, in due course, they learn that Dru and her uncle are not at all what they seem to be.
Year of Release: 2012

Elvis gets thrown into the world of human traffickers in search of Nita Morales daughter and boyfriend. It appears that they have been kidnapped by bajadores―bandits who are notorious and prey on other bandits, They steal drugs, guns, and people―buying and selling victims like commodities, and killing the ones they can't get a price for.
Chronological Order of Other Novels
Demolition Angel
Year of Release: 2000
  • Mary Higgins Clark Award Nominee for Best Novel, 2008
An exceptional thriller about a surviving bomb squad technician―Carol Starkey―who is dealing with the trauma of her dead colleague and lover 'Sugar' Boudreaux, in a bomb explosion. Living on a steady diet of Tagament and gin, Carol has to deal with her injuries and loss. But her quest for survival is thawed when a seemingly clever killer sets off an innocuous bomb and takes the life of another colleague, leading her to investigate the whole deceitful situation.
Year of Release: 2001
  • New York Times Book Review - Notable Book, 2001
A frontline LAPD Swat negotiator transforms into a chief-of-police in a mundane sleepy town when he spirals down psychologically after he is unable to talk down a despondent father before he murders his wife and son, and takes his own life. This hardcore cop thriller was later adapted into a blockbuster movie starring Bruce Willis.
The Two Minute Rule
Year of Release: 2006
  • Best Crime Novel of the Year - London Evening Standard
  • Top Ten Best Crime Novels of the Year - Otto Penzler, New York Sun
  • Top Ten Best Crime Novels of the Year - Oline Cogdill, Sun-Sentinel
  • Best Books of 2006 - January Magazine
  • Audie Award Finalist, 2006
In an edgy thriller, Max Holman, an ex-con, is released out of jail only to find his cop son wrongly accused of corruption and murdered. A father sets out to change the rules of the game, and punish the murderer and clear his son's name.
Year of Release: 2013

LAPD cop Scott James deals with the shame of being unfit for duty, as his partner Stephenie had been killed and he nearly survived an assault by unidentified men eight months ago. He meets his new companion Maggie―a German shepherd―who survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before losing her handler to an IED. Both have their own personal demons to deal with when they set out on the case to solve the murder of Stephenie.
If you are a crime-fiction fan and want more information about the author and his works check out his official site. All his novels provide the reader with action, drama, and suspense, and make an exceptional read of the crime world.