'Be warned: once started, you'll have to cancel all engagements until you finish it' Independent on Sunday
'The action in THE SENTRY is intense and the body count high but what is more memorable is the manner in which Crais cracks open the door into the enigmatic Pike's emotions' L A Times
After the nightmare of Hurricane Katrina, Dru Rayne and her uncle relocated to Los Angeles. Five years later, their struggling restaurant faces a different danger. When Joe Pike witnesses Dru's uncle beaten by a neighbourhood gang, he offers his own brand of protection, but neither Dru nor her uncle want his help. And neither do the federal agents mysteriously watching their store . . .
But Pike is falling for Dru, and won't back away whether she wants his help or not. As the violence escalates, Joe discovers Dru and her uncle are not who they seem - and now a vengeful, murderous force from their past is catching up with them...
Near the outset of Crais's impressive third thriller featuring L.A. PI Joe Pike (after The First Rule), Pike notices two suspicious characters enter a Venice, Calif., sandwich shop. Pike, an ex-Marine and former LAPD patrol officer, walks into the shop just in time to rescue its owner, Wilson Smith, from a vicious assault. Pike soon takes an interest in Smith's niece, Dru Rayne, whose "smart eyes" and warm smile lure him into a lethal gangland battle involving La Eme, the Mexican mafia, and a Bolivian drug connection. The LAPD and the FBI both try and fail to warn Pike off, but PI Elvis Cole, the lead in nine other Crais books, is as ever ready to support his pal. Heartbreaking ironies, frustrated desires, and violent nonstop action make this a standout. Crais just keeps getting better at giving depth to the laconic Pike and the anguished Cole, who still pines for his lost love, Louisiana attorney Lucy Chenier. Author tour.