Rather, it respects them, cherishes them.
This is power-packed with plot, hard work and clue finding. Detective Elvis Cole is at the wheel and partner Joe Pike is riding the figurative shotgun seat.
The story gets a jump start with the discovery of a body in a house that’s part of a neighborhood being evacuated due to wildfires. The body is that of one Lionel Byrd, who Elvis Cole helped exonerate, three years earlier, from charges he had murdered a young prostitute. Byrd’s body is found with a photo album in his lap—a photo album full of grizzly photographs—that make it look as if Cole helped clear a man who should have been convicted.
The strength of “Chasing Darkness” is in the intricate—but easy to follow—plot. That’s always a delicate balance, in my mind: putting enough players on the stage to make it interesting but not getting overly complicated, either. This allows Crais to pop a nice surprise on readers at the end and it’s a beauty.
Cole works hard and nothing comes easy (always a good combination) as Cole pursues matters deep into the heart of politics and power. “Chasing Darkness” is missing some of Cole’s earlier snappy attitude and the story is told with a dry, straightforward style.
To me, it’s as if Crais just wanted to step out of the way and let Elvis and Joe take over. And they do.