The Two Minute Rule (2006)
Simon & Schuster
Book description (from Amazon.com)
Max Holman knew the two minute rule: Get in, get the cash, and get out. But in one moment of weakness he botched a bank job and went away for a decade. Now released from federal prison, Max wants to reconcile with his estranged son, an L.A. cop. Instead he receives the devastating news that his son’s been gunned down in cold blood. To uncover the truth about the killing, Max aligns with Katherine Pollard, the ex–FBI agent who put him away, in a father’s search for justice and revenge.
Robert Crais takes a break from his Cole & Pike novels but simply can’t get away from Los Angeles and from cops&crooks. He scored big again, giving us a work that respect all the basic rules of police procedural plus more than a lot of juice from noir and pulp. What we got here is the king of the underdogs, an ex-con who discover moments before being released that his only son, an LAPD officer has been murdered. Max Holman is a man out of his time after ten years behind bars but being jailed gave him the choice to clean up from his bad habits, leaving the core of a man ready to take the fight anywhere to understand what’s happen to his son.
In a good work you got to have a strong female character and Crais gives us another wonderful underdog: Katherine Pollard, former FBI agent, mother of two kids and widow of a fellow FBI officer. The connection is simple and works wonders, she was the one who put Holman in jail when he was robbing banks up and down LA. It’s a strange bond but lay out a good terrain to build a buddy-buddy novel with all the choices to become something more.
You see, Crais doesn’t have to reinvent crime or find a new way to tell an hard looking story. He’s a talented story teller, who can find many different versions of the same story, hooking his readers from cover to cover and leaving them ask for more. Even the little crack in the novel plot don’t spoil the joy of reading. Basically an expenrienced reader knows for sure that he/she will follow false leads for a while, that the main suspect for a crime could be or not a real crook, that he/she will have to wait the last ten pages to get the final shakedown. These are the rules in Crais’ house.
There is, as always, a silent character. A giant in its own complexity, Los Angeles show up in every corner of this work. For the people who live in it, for its distinctive features, for the cultural references that half a century of cop movies gave to the audience of the whole world. Now have a seat and listen, Robert Crais is gonna tell us a story. “Once upon a time, there was an ex-con in the big, bad, LA…”
If you don’t know who Robert Crais is, then you’re on the wrong blog. Fifteen novels about the Elvis Cole & Joe Pike saga, three more (with this one) on the score. That makes eighteen good books, each and every one top notch quality. Plus, he’s a a man who respect truly his readers, giving them his best in every page. Check out his site, it’s worth the trip.