Bob Cannon
February 23, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Watchman

Current Status
In Season
Robert Crais
Mystery and Thriller, Fiction

We gave it a B+

In Robert Crais’ thriller The Watchman, former cop and mercenary soldier Joe Pike is hired to protect a spoiled rich girl who’s due to testify against a drug cartel. But when they’re ambushed by gunmen, he disappears with her and decides to hunt down the hunters with the help of his PI pal Elvis Cole. Hiding in seedy L.A. flophouses, they brush up against crooked feds, hit squads, and barrio gangs — none as dangerous as Pike himself. Packed with whiplash plot twists and taut dialogue, Crais’ latest deftly reveals the taciturn, damaged Pike, who’s more comfortable meting out torture than talking about himself. Watchman is as good a psychological test case as it is a thriller. B+

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