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The Forgotten Man    by Robert Crais order for
Forgotten Man
by Robert Crais
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Elvis Cole, detective extraordinaire, has the phone call he's been waiting for all his life. His father is looking for him. But, there's a down side. The man just died from a gunshot wound. Elvis never knew his father. His mentally unbalanced mother told him that his dad was a performer with a carnival. Was it true? Elvis sets on a path to prove this dead man was/was not his father.

He and his live-in girl friend split after he rescued her son from kidnappers. Now, a local police officer has set her cap for him. Various strings eventually all weave together. This newest novel by Robert Crais is hard to put down once started. Action flows from one direction to another, never losing the continuity of the plot. The story is told alternately by Elvis and several other main characters. Knowing the mindset of one of these players only increases the reader's anxiety for Elvis.

The Forgotten Man has every element anyone could want in a good book. Mystery, suspense, intrigue, prostitution, blackmail, betrayal, a few kernels of romance, and downright good writing. The breathtaking climax is alluded to before it occurs, but the reader keeps hoping that everything will go all right. Crais has a great character in Elvis. One with human emotions, unsure enough of himself to elicit unwanted sympathy, faithful to the woman who walked out on him, and with a bevy of friends in all the right places.

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