Robert Crais Books

Robert Crais was born on 20th June 1953 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States. He is the author of the best-selling Elvis Cole series. A native of Louisiana, Robert Crais grew up in one blue collar family of police officers and oil refinery workers. He was trained as a mechanical engineer before he pursued his dream of becoming an author. After years of writing short fiction and amateur film-making, he journeyed to Hollywood back in 1976, where he found work writing scripts for major network television series such as Hill Street Blues, Quincy, Miami Vice, Cagney and Lacey and L.A. Law.

Order of Elvis Cole Series

# Read Title Published
1 The Monkey's Raincoat 1987
2 Stalking the Angel 1989
3 Lullaby Town 1992
4 Free Fall 1993
5 Voodoo River 1995
6 Sunset Express 1996
7 Indigo Slam 1997
8 L. A. Requiem 1999
9 The Last Detective 2003
10 The Forgotten Man 2005
11 The Watchman 2007
12 Chasing Darkness 2008
13 The First Rule 2010
14 The Sentry 2011
15 Taken 2012
16 The Promise 2015

Order of Joe Pike Series

# Read Title Published
1 The Watchman 2007
2 The First Rule 2010
3 The Sentry 2011
4 Taken 2012
5 The Promise 2015

Order of Robert Crais Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published
1 Demolition Angel 2000
2 Hostage 2001
3 The Two Minute Rule 2006

Order of Scott James & Maggie Series

# Read Title Published
1 Suspect 2013
2 The Promise 2015


Print: Print PDF


An award winning novelist, Robert’s books have made into the New York Times best seller lists. He is also the 2006 recipient of Ross MacDonald Literary Award. In addition, he has authored several New York Times best sellers.

He also received an Emmy nomination for his works on Hill Street Blues. Besides all these, Robert Crais is most proud of his four-hour NBC miniseries, The Cross of Fire, which was declared by The New York Times declared as “A powerful and searing documentation of the Ku Klux Klan’s rise to national prominence back in the 1920s.”


Crais’ debut in the fiction world was The Monkey’s Raincoat back in 1987 –the first novel of the Elvis Cole series. Apart from the Cole and Pike series, Crais has also written several standalone novels. One of these novels, Hostage, was adapted into a Bruce Willis movie of the same name. One of the rare cases where the movie may just be better than the book.


The Elvis Cole Series is one of the best series that Robert Crais has written. Below are the top 3 books in this series.

Indigo Slam: This is the seventh book in this series. It is an action packed and razor sharp thriller that features Elvis Cole, LA private eye. Meet Elvis Cole, a Vietnam Veteran, private eye who always carries a .38 and is very much determined never to grow up. Fifteen year old Teri Hewitt has been left to hold the babies now that Clark , her dad, has disappeared without trace. Teri Hewitt wants Cole to find her dad. The search then reveals an unemployed drug addict who’s caught up in several counterfeiting scams and mixed up with the Vietnamese Gunmen and Russian mafia. As the novel’s action heads towards a gunfight at Disneyland and Elvis Cole dodges his girlfriend’s husband , Indigo Slam shapes up into the most exciting and entertaining American crime novel for several years.

The Last Detective: Elvis Cole is again coming to terms with his whole life as a PI on L.A streets. He loves Lucy Chenier, his girlfriend, but his constant exposure to Californian underclasses has stretched further their relationship to the limit more so when Cole’s job brings danger close to her much-loved son. Ben, the young boy, is quickly becoming the light in their lives. Then on one sunny afternoon, the demons from Cole’s past finally come to visit. The young boy is snatched from his secluded home by kidnappers. The kidnappers call but they do not want money. The only thing that they want is retribution. However, who from his past is able to do such type of crime? The only clue is that kidnapper mentions the words ‘five two’. Five two used to be his unit designation when in Vietnam. This is a life that he has avoided to think about for over 20 years. However, he now has to embark on a journey into his past to try to protect his own future. This is because it seems that this kidnapper is not just someone who knows him well but he’s also someone who owes him.

The Watchman: In Robert Crais’ novel, The Watchman, we have this author firing on all cylinders and all Crais aficionados shall know that’s an experience to savor. It is one of the tough long-term Robert Crais protagonists, Joe Pikes, who sets this edgy narrative in motion. The narrative barely pauses for breath once this Crais’ high adrenaline novel gets in motion. Joe Pike has been requested to look after a young female witness in a case that involves an extremely dangerous gangster. Larkin Conner Barkely, the witness, could not be more different from the silent Joe: she is rich, willful and much used to getting her own ways. The uneasy alliance between these two is not helped a lot when some violent men start to breath down their necks. Joe Pike realizes that he will have to drag the reluctant Larkin from her privileged background and then hide her from view in down-market areas of Los Angeles, while at the same time still bloodily taking the battle to the enemies.