Q&A With Robert

How did it feel returning to your Elvis Cole and Joe Pike characters, after a two-book hiatus?

I returned to Elvis Cole and Joe Pike charged with energy and purpose. Cole and Pike were never far away during the writing of HOSTAGE and DEMOLITION ANGEL; I thought about them constantly, about who they are and what I wanted to accomplish with THE LAST DETECTIVE. After two years away from them, Elvis and Joe commanded the story and rushed onto the page.

It took eight books to finally delve into Elvis's past - was this a conscious choice on your part?

It was a conscious decision to explore the characters in greater depth. I knew that I wanted to tell Joe Pike's story somewhere around the fourth or fifth novel, but I didn't get to it until the eighth--L. A. REQUIEM, which was the last Elvis Cole novel. Having written about Joe in such detail, it seemed natural to open the doors to Elvis Cole. I wanted to see what makes him tick. The earlier books look outward; the newer books--L. A. REQUIEM and THE LAST DETECTIVE--turn inward. The characters demand it, but maybe I demand it, too. I don't just want to write about what these guys do; I want to write about who they are.

Do you most enjoy writing stand-alone thrillers or your signature characters?

I enjoy the differences in each. The stand-alones give me the freedom to write with new characters and settings, but Elvis and Joe are old and trusted friends. It's all good.



The Last Detective
Robert Crais
February 2003
$24.95/$37.95 Can.