The Sentry, by Robert Crais.
Experienced investigators referred to the site where an abduction took place as ground zero. It was the intersection where the paths of the victim and perpetrator converged, and merged into one. It was an ambush zone of abrupt furious violence or quiet threat where two paths led in and only one path led out, but these paths weren't made in a vacuum. The physical world was disturbed -- a fish rippled the water; a gliding bird cast a shadow. Pike knew this better than most because he spent most of his life trying to move without being heard or seen, or leaving a trail that others could follow. - from The Sentry, page 111 -
Joe Pike is back in The Sentry, the third book in the Joe Pike series by Robert Crais. When Pike stops to fill his car with gas, he becomes witness to a brutal beating. And Pike, being Pike, inserts himself into the crime scene. The victims -- Wilson Smith and his niece, Dru Rayne -- are transplants from New Orleans who have come to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina and are trying to build a restaurant business. Pike is immediately smitten by Dru, and allows himself to become vulnerable to the possibility of love. But when the violence escalates, Pike begins to uncover information that throws everything he knows about Dru and Wilson into question. A dark shadow is following the two -- a man who hears voices in his head that tell him to kill ... and to save Dru and her Uncle, Pike must put his own life on the line.
The Sentry is Crais at his best -- fast paced, twisty plot with lots of violent interactions. Pike is the super hero -- quick on his feet, aware of the smallest sound, able to predict others' behaviors before even they know what they will do. It is very good fiction in the suspense-thriller genre, a book whose pages practically turn themselves.
Out of the three, I liked The Sentry the best in this action-packed series which pits Pike against the most evil plots and villains imaginable. Readers will have to suspend some reality to buy into Pike's exceptional crime fighting abilities, but those who do will be rewarded with an entertaining ride. Once again, Crais allows readers to get a glimpse into Pike's vulnerable side which allows him a likability that might otherwise be missing.
Readers who like rapid-fire page turners, will want to pick up a copy of this book. Although The Sentry could be read as a stand-alone novel, I recommend reading the first two books in the series before reading this one.
★ ★ ★ ★
Read my reviews of previous books in the series:
- Rating System
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ = Excellent
★ ★ ★ ★ = Good/Very Good
★ ★ ★ = Okay read
★ ★ = Not recommended
★ = Ugh! Don't waste your time.
Catch all of Wendy Robard's reviews in her fabulous blog, "Caribousmom".