This is the first Robert Crais that I have read, and I enjoyed it very much. It is certainly action-packed and fast-paced from the very first page. There is a lot of brutal violence involved, and plenty of blood.
The hero, Joe Pike, watches out for the oppressed. He is a very tough guy, and I would certainly prefer to have him as a friend than an enemy. Surprisingly, for such a character, he sometimes lets his heart lead his mind. His supporter, Elvis Cole, is tough too, but seems more analytical in his approach, and tries to make Pike see the sense in his actions. The balance is great.
Some of the FBI agents and police officers involved are complete idiots, and some are bent. However, some of them are doing the right thing, and are straight down the middle. The twists and turns in the story keep you wondering which is which until the author chooses to reveal the truth. That is good suspense writing.
The bad guys are also very tough, and the match is almost even. Who will prevail? Well you have to read the whole book to its very gory conclusion to find out!
The one thing that did confuse and distract me, was that one of the characters is called Chloe, and is male. I have always thought of Chloe as a girl's name, so I was thinking, "This is one helluva tough chick," for about two-thirds of the book! Maybe it's a common guy's name in America, but not here in In-ger-land!
Anyway, this is a book that I'd recommend to anyone who can cope with a good story ladled with a huge dollop of violence.