three-and-half-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
22-May-June-2006
By: 
Robert Crais
user_rating: 
0

A-TheTwoMinuteRuleMax Holman, 46, has spent 10 years in the clink for disobeying a bank robber’s cardinal rule: never stay in a bank for more than two minutes. His release from jail should be a joyous day; instead, he learns that his son, Richie, an LAPD officer, has been killed in the line of duty and is being vilified as a crooked cop. Wise to the deceitful customs of L.A. law enforcement, Max seeks help from Katherine Pollard, the now ex-FBI agent who busted him 10 years earlier. The two puzzle their way through a maze of corruption to uncover the truth behind Richie’s death.
Simon & Schuster. 336 pages. $24.95. ISBN: 0743281616

Evening Standard (UK) 4 of 5 Stars
"… a nerve- racking, switchbacking tale of guilt and redemption. It’s so good it gives you goose bumps." Mark Sanderson

Ft. Worth Star Telegram 4 of 5 Stars
"Crais’s deft mechanics are a given. What’s special about this novel is the emotion that drives it." Carlo Wolff

Los Angeles Times 4 of 5 Stars
"Like the best L.A. noir writers, Crais nudges the mystery genre into higher gear, tackling grand themes in exceedingly personal ways through flawed heroes and hard-to-spot villains." Kristina Lindgren

San Jose Mercury News 4 of 5 Stars
"Crais has an understanding of and clear empathy for people who have known nothing in life but poor education, a short life of street crimes and then a lot of years in prison." John Orr

Orlando Sentinel 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Two Minute Rule is not your usual story about an ex-con seeking redemption. It is a gripping, vigorous yarn about a small-time crook, whose entire career as a bank robber netted him less than $20,000, and his quest for justice for his son." Ann Hellmuth

Oregonian 2 of 5 Stars
"It fails to negotiate a single, unpredictable curve. Neither does Crais succeed in introducing a single character possessing more than cardboard complexity. … It’s been far too many years since we’ve seen Robert Crais at his best." Steve Duin

Critical Summary

Most reviewers are slaphappy with praise for Robert Crais’s 13th novel. While some critics note a preference for his Elvis Cole books, they find that believable, complex characters, the vibrant settings around Los Angeles—from the dive bars to the straitjacketed Los Angeles river—and heartfelt emotions separate The Two Minute Rule—and Crais—from the bulk of crime fiction. The sharp note of dissent from the Oregonian only serves to reinforce the impression that middle-of-the road Crais is better than many other writers’ best.

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