Tuesday 21 May 2013


Hired to uncover the past of Jodi Taylor, an actress in a hit TV show, Elvis leaves his native Los Angeles to head for Louisiana in search of Jodi's biological parents. But before he can tackle the mystery of the actress's background, he is up against a whole host of eccentrics, including a crazed Raid-spraying housewife, a Cajun thug who looks like he's been made out of spare parts, and a menacing hundred-year-old river turtle named Luther. As Elvis learns about the enigmatic actress's origins, he also discovers the real reason he's been sent to Louisiana...

The latest instalment of Robert Crais’ series involving LA PI Elvis Cole was probably my most enjoyed book so far in this series...........5 down, about 7 to go.

Cole moves off his home turf of Los Angeles and heads to the steamy south to try and track down the natural birth parents of the latest American sweetheart - Jodi Taylor, star of the small screen.  Ostensibly Taylor, adopted at birth, wants Cole to establish whether her birth parents had anything in their medical history that may be of concern to her in the future.

Cole quickly realises he’s been duped by the actress and her agent, and that a local investigator has already uncovered the actress’ family history and has been blackmailing her. After confronting the investigator, Elvis crosses paths with the local big-shot, Milt Rossier and his stooges and is warned off. When the investigator turns up dead, Cole realises there’s more at play and calls in Pike.

What started as a relatively uncomplicated investigation into tracing an adoptee’s family history evolves into a sorry tale involving people smuggling from Central America by competing factions of ruthless criminals, who served their apprenticeships operating in 80’s Salvadorean death squads.

Cole for the first time sacrifices his client’s interests in pursuit of a bigger goal, whilst also finding time to romance Lucy Chenier, Taylor’s Louisianan lawyer.

If you like mysteries involving wise-cracking PI’s, enigmatic sidekicks, blackmail, Cajun food, family secrets, murder, people smuggling, race issues, gun-play, crooked cops, violence, romance and a 100-year old snapping turtle this one is definitely the book for you.

5 stars out of 5 from me.  

Next month, I will hopefully be reading Sunset Express, winner of a Shamus Award in 1997 – I’m only 16 years late to the party!

I bought my copy of Voodoo River too many years ago to recall exactly where from.        


  1. Col - I like this series quite a lot, not least because of the relationship between Cole and Pike. Cole's a great 'lead character' too I think. In fact, I think I prefer these novels, where Cole 'takes the lead' to some of the others, where Pike does.

    1. Margot, I'm loving this series so far. I'm tempted to go pedal to metal on the books, but I'm limiting myself to one a month, so it will be a few months yet, before I reach the "Pike" novels.
      It's a funny old relationship between the two, Coke and Pike.....so little said, but so much trust.
      I think Pike is "growing" in the books, if that's the right word - I'm sure he spoke a couple of sentences this time around, whereas previously Crais has restricted him to a nod or a twitch or some other gesture.

  2. Another series that I have sampled (first two books, I think) and want to continue but just got derailed. Glad to see you are enjoying them.

  3. I plan to read Crais soon. I've never read him.

    1. I reckon he's worth a try Keishon. I reckon I'm enjoying them more now than when I read the first couple back in the 90's.