Robert Crais is one of my favorite authors. I've read [and enjoyed] all of his novels... and I'm proud to say that I've been with his sigature characters Elvis Cole and Joe Pike since their first appearance in The Monkey's Raincoat. In each previous novel, Cole was always center stage with Pike coming in to back-up his partner. Pike was the tough, no-nonsense hardened gunman. We knew little about him other than he had a strict code of honor, he was loyal and he never backed up.
With The Watchman, Crais turns the tables and gives Joe Pike center stage when he agrees to protect a young heiress who has become the target of a hit squad. Seems she was in the wrong place at the wrong time and now the US Government wants her as a witness and a terrorist wants her dead. Pike is more than up to the task of protecting her [especially with Elvis Cole backing him]. The book is fast paced and just as good as the previous novels featuring Cole and Pike. I just wonder if long time readers are going to like the way Crais has filled in some of the blanks about Pike's life. As for me, I can't wait for their next "case" -- no matter who is at center stage.