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The Forgotten Man

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Forgotten Man (2005) Robert Crais

The 10th Elvis Cole book.

The story opens with the discovery of a brutal murder–the bodies of mother, father, and son are found, along with the bloody footprints of their unharmed four-year-old daughter. The girl is physically unharmed, but no one involved leaves that home unchanged.

Padilla was relieved when Alvarez left. Part of him wanted to do the cop work of finding the perps, but more of him had assumed the role of protecting the little girl. She was calm, so protecting her meant preserving her calm, though he worried about what might be happening in that little head. Maybe her being so calm was bad. Maybe a child like this shouldn’t be calm after what happened.

Meanwhile, Elvis is a shell of a man, going through the motions of living, trying to get over the events of the previous book, and missing Lucy and Ben to the point he barely sleeps.

In my fantasies, my own mother loved me as much; my own father cared. That Lucy gave up so much for her child left me loving her more and wanting her more and willing to sacrifice anything to nurture her love. What she gave Ben was everything I had wanted for myself; what she was to him was everything I had been denied by my own parents.

So when he is called to the scene of a crime, because the dead man claimed to be Elvis’ father, Elvis become intrigued, even though he doesn’t believe the man could have been his rather.

The dead man had a head like a praying mantis and I had a head like a rutabaga. I didn’t look anything like him. Nothing like him.

We also get glimpses into Elvis’ past, mostly from the point-of-view of the detective who repeatedly found him when he ran away from home, searching for his father.

“Kid, I don’t have any doubt you’ll find him, but be careful what you wish for. Whoever he is, he won’t be anything like you imagine.”

“I don’t care.”

“I know you think that now, but once you find him, you can’t unfind him. He’ll be part of you forever.”

We’re in 2005 now, but the world isn’t quite our own.

LAPD’s SWAT is headquartered at Central, as is the elite uniformed Metro Division. Like the other police stations in Los Angeles, it was known as a Division until someone decided that Division made the police sound like an occupying army. Now we had Community Police Stations, which sounded user-friendly.

But it is getting very close.

No mention of Vietnam or military service at all here.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Doubleday

Categories: 8/10, Mystery, Private Eye, Re-Read     Comments (0)    



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