three-and-half-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
16-May-June-2005
By: 
Robert Crais
user_rating: 
0

A-ForgottenManPrivate investigator Elvis Cole is woken by a 4 a.m. call from the LAPD. A dispossessed man found fatally injured in an alley told an officer on the scene that he was Cole’s father immediately before he died. Cole, who has been obsessed with finding his father for years, starts uncovering the man’s true identity. Of course, it’s not a simple task. What’s more, the novel opens on a seemingly unrelated crime: a father, mother, and son are found brutally beaten to death in their home, with one survivor left behind. How does this relate to Cole’s "father’s" demise?
Doubleday. 352 pages. $24.95. ISBN: 0385504284

South FL Sun-Sentinel 4 of 5 Stars
"The Forgotten Man is another memorable entry in a series that has never disappointed." Oline H. Cogdill

Philadelphia Inquirer 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Crais writes a spare prose that modulates smoothly into something bordering on the poetic. ... But what really works about his writing is the pointillist details he drops along the way. They seem casual, but are always telling." Frank Wilson

USA Today 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Chapters move crisply, like the scenes in a good movie, to a brutal but exhilarating climax." William F. Nicholson

Entertainment Weekly 3 of 5 Stars
"Crais won’t win any prizes for prose style. … But you won’t easily put down this lurid, fast-paced, solid B thriller." Jennifer Reese

St. Petersburg Times 3 of 5 Stars
"The conclusion to all this is something of a shocker, but it’s not the story that pulled me along so much as Crais’s superb writing." Jean Heller

Chicago Sun-Times 2.5 of 5 Stars
"The author has assembled the components of a story, but he’s forgotten the soul. ... fans probably will enjoy it, but it falls short of Crais’s usual excellence." David J. Montgomery

Critical Summary

The 10th Elvis Cole novel earns well above average praise from most critics. In the series’ latest, Crais develops one of his most complex characters yet by expanding on the detective’s painful childhood. But The Forgotten Man does have flaws, especially in comparison to the earlier, and stronger, Cole novels. "All the elements are present to make another thrilling Crais mystery," writes the Chicago Sun-Times, "but the spark ... is missing." In other words, longtime fans will appreciate this quick-paced and gritty mystery thriller, but newcomers should stick to previous Cole installments.

Start of the Series

The Monkey’s Raincoat (1987): Elvis Cole, ex-Vietnam vet turned private investigator, makes his debut. Cole is hired to find a missing Hollywood agent, Mort, by Mort’s wife. The agent is found dead, and soon his wife goes missing too.