I just finished reading Chasing Darkness, by Robert Crais, and felt that usual satisfaction as I finished the last page, plus that wee bit of disappointment that the story was over. As with other Elvis Cole novels, Crais used his succinct writing style to move the action along, never making me feel like I was slogging through unnecessary descriptions or dialog. At the same time, he's able to effectively convey a wide range of emotions, from humor to grief. More than once, I've found myself misting up over a passage in a Cole novel, only to get mad at myself for being such a wimp. These are fictional characters! Why am I getting so upset? Because the words are so damn believable, that's why.
And Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are the best detective friends since Thomas Magnum, Rick, and T.C. (I really should let go of 80's TV, but with the new A-Team movie coming out soon, looks like I'm not the only one stuck in the past). While they occasionally skirt the law, their actions are always based on stopping the bad guys and serving justice.
Such is the case with Chasing Darkness. What looks to be a cut-and-dried suicide turns into a murder investigation when the man is linked to several deaths and Cole becomes convinced the man was framed. At the same time, Cole must evade the police who have warned him off the case. And while the man's death is related to a previous case that Cole worked on, we don't get bogged down with too much maudlin guilt.
Instead, Chasing Darkness moves away from Cole's personal life and back to a more straight-forward thriller. And that's a good thing. I don't mind telling you that Cole's relationship with Lucy was often-times sappy and annoying, and I was happy to see her return to Louisiana. While Lucy has a cameo in this book, it's limited to a few paragraphs before Cole gets back on track and sweeps us forward in the story to an exciting finish that's all wrapped up with a tidy little bow on top.