11/series. The OED defines a pike as a long-bodied, predatory fish, known for speed and aggression. Joe Pike, quiet, self-contained and deadly, gets a call from someone he owes a favor to. The man calls in the favor: bodyguard wealthy young Larkin Barkley. Somebody’s tried to kill her five times in the past week. Pike, whose sense of right and wrong is knife-edge keen and marrow deep, takes on the task of whisking her to safety with his trademark single-minded efficiency. But Larken, LA’s pampered party girl, tries to bring her chichuahua and a dozen monogrammed suitcases. Instant antipathy. Pike wins: one suitcase, no dog. But who’s trying to kill her and why? Why are the Feds involved? Is anyone telling the truth? Crais, a fabulously talented writer, unspools this betrayal-within-a-betrayal until you’ll just give up trying to follow the trails and enjoy the ride. And it’s a wild one. Joe pike is a 5+ and so’s the book. www.robertcrais.com
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