The coolest private eye in mystery fiction is back and facing the baddest bad guys of his career.
"Indigo Slam," Robert Crais ' seventh Elvis Cole mystery, shows no signs of the kind of wear and tear that usually begins to show about this time in long-running detective series.
Crais , in fact, seems to have shifted into a higher gear in the last several books, leaving every other series in this genre eating his dust.
When 15-year-old Teri Hewitt - with her 10-year-old brother and toddler sister in tow - shows up at Elvis' office and tries to hire him to find their missing father, his first instinct is to call social services.
But Elvis is impressed by Teri, who seems to have things well under control with her little family.
Leaving his ultra-laconic - and deadly - partner, Joe Pike, watching over the kids, Elvis begins his search for Clark Hewitt, an unemployed printer.
Elvis is not the only one looking for the master printer who, it turns out, specializes in counterfeiting. Two people in particular not only want Clark, they resent Elvis' meddling in the case: a U.S. marshal who wants Clark as a witness and an ex-KGB Special Forces enforcer, now with the Russian Mafia.
Clark, in the meantime, has a tragic reason for wanting to do one last big job to provide for his family, and he is working for some Vietnamese anti-communist insurgents with a plan for taking back their country.
Pike, in particular, is quite comfortable on the side of anti-communist Vietnamese and opposing KGB types - this, rather than baby-sitting, is what he was once trained for.
Elvis also has some domestic complications. His girlfriend, Lucy, is about to make the big move to L.A., but her ex-husband back in Louisiana is under the mistaken notion that he can intimidate Elvis into rescinding his welcome.
All of the parties come together in a hair-raising climax at Disneyland that makes us wonder why some movie producer hasn't been smart enough to snap this series up.
"Indigo Slam" is yet another smart, funny and exciting entry in the best private eye series going.
If you've never read an Elvis Cole mystery, this is a good place to start. Just be warned: Once you do, you won't be satisfied until you've read them all.