THE FIRST RULE (read by Robert Crais)
The organized criminal gangs of the former Soviet Union are bound by what they call the thieves' code. The first rule is this: A thief must forsake his mother, father, brothers, and sisters. He must have no family - no wife, no children - because only other criminals are his family. If any of the rules are broken, it is punishable by death. Frank Meyer had the American dream - a wife and family he adored, a successful business - until the day a professional crew invaded his home and murdered everyone inside. The only thing out of the ordinary about Meyer was that - before the family and the business and the normal life - a younger Frank Meyer worked as a professional military contractor, a mercenary, with a man named Joe Pike. Frank was one of Pike's guys, and they faced death together in every rotten hellhole around the world. The police think Meyer was hiding something very bad, because previous home invasions by the crew had targeted only criminals with large stashes of cash or drugs. Pike cannot believe it, and with the help of Cole, he sets out on a hunt of his own: to clear his friend, to punish the people who murdered him. A trail that at first seems relatively simple, however, very quickly becomes complicated, as the two of them find themselves entangled in a web of ancient grudges, blood ties, blackmail, vengeance, double crosses, and cutthroat criminality, and at the heart of it all, an act so terrible even Pike and Cole have no way to measure it.
THE SENTRY (read by Luke Daniels)
Five years ago, Dru Rayne and her uncle fled from Louisiana to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina hit, but now they face a different kind of danger. A neighborhood protection gang savagely beats Dru's uncle, but Pike witnesses it and offers his own brand of protection. Oddly enough, neither of them seems to want it - and neither do the federal agents mysteriously watching their storefront, men who appear quite willing to let the gang have its way. None of that deters Pike - there's something about Dru that touches him and he won't back away, whether she wants his help or not - but as the level of violence escalates, and Pike himself becomes a target, he and Elvis Cole begin to discover some things. Dru and her uncle are not who they seem, and everything Pike thought he knew about them, their relationship to the gang, and the reasons they fled New Orleans - it's all been lies. A vengeful and murderous force is catching up to them...and it's perfectly happy to sweep Pike and Cole up in its wake.
TAKEN (read by Luke Daniels)
When Nita Morales hires Elvis Cole to find her missing adult daughter, she isn't afraid, even though she's gotten a phone call asking for ransom. She knows it's a fake, that her daughter is off with the guy Nita will call only "that boy," and that they need money: "Even smart girls do stupid things when they think a boy loves them."