I hadn't read any of Robert Crais's private eye novels with Elvis Cole, but I had heard good things about them, so I was curious when The First Rule from 2010 was translated in Finnish just this month. It stars Joe Pike, who was first Elvis Cole's dangerous sidekick buddy, but has now his own series of books. He's a former mercenary and he's also as tough as they come.
The First Rule is about Pike investigating the killings of his former colleague and friend and his family. It seems soon that there are bigger things at stake and the clues lead to the Eastern European mafia. Crais moves the story along smoothly, which is always an asset, when you're talking about a book like this. This kind of stuff is almost comfort reading for me. Pike is violent, but only when it's necessary. He's a vigilante, but he doesn't go about babbling about it, which makes the ideology easier to stomach and the character more believable. There are some moments, where I would've cut down the wordage, but all in all this a compact book, gripping and fast to read.
This is by no means an entry for the Friday's Forgotten Books meme, but take a look at the other entries here.