Audiobook Review: The Sentry by Robert Crais

22 01 2011

The Sentry (Joe Pike Book3) by Robert Crais

Read by Luke Daniels

Brilliance Audio

People seem to really like Joe Pike. I personally am more of an Elvis Cole fan, myself. I enjoy the wise cracking world’s greatest detective. I always liked Joe Pike as a background character, but had my concerns when he became the dominant point of view. To me, Pike has always been sort of like a superhero, unstoppable, unkillable, and unable to hold a decent conversation beyond a few grunts, and some ass kicking.

So, I began to listen to The Sentry by Robert Crais with a bit of trepidation. The first two Pike novels were solid, but didn’t blow me away. Yet, I found the sentry to be a much more engaging tale. I think the big difference here is that Pike comes off as less of a “can do no wrong” superhero. Here Pike is quite human, even if it be a monosyllabic gruff human. Crais doesn’t use the normal tricks to humanize Pike, like examining his rough upbringing, or trying to see what makes him tick. All Crais does here is allow Pike to make mistakes, to be manipulated, to be flawed. Yet, I like this Joe Pike much better. Of course, it helps that Elvis Cole does play a significant and poignant role here. The closing moments of The Sentry were some of the most satisfying that I have encountered in the series. We truly see the essence of the friendship between the two men, who at a surface glance seem so different, yet make such a strong team.

Luke Daniels is the narrator for this latest entry in the series, which has seen a lot of different narrators. Daniels seamless enters the fray, giving you the feeling he is familiar with the characters. Usually a change in narrator can be jarring for a long time fan of a series, but here Daniel proves up to the task. Hopefully we can see more of him telling us the tales of Cole, Pike and their assorted cohorts.


Grade B



3 responses

22 01 2011
Susan Dunman

I enjoyed your review – you gave me plenty of info to decide if I would like hearing this title (I think I would). Also, thanks for posting a link on Audiobook Jukebox!

25 02 2011

I followed your review over from audiobook jukebox. I was looking at Crais books. Nice review.

I was similarly concerned about the Pike books – Pike is a great supporting character but there’s not much there to develop – he’s Batman with a gun and without the car and the cool outfits. But, Crais pulls it off. Besides that, Cole as the sidekick in these books is lots of fun – his wisecracking comments stand out in stark contrast to the quiet purposeful nature of Pike.

Crais, in my opinion, is just about as good as it gets in the detective genre – I think only Connelly writes them better. But, Connelly can put out a dud from time to time and I cannot think of a single dud in the Cole/Pike series. I always try to listen to those two authors rather than read them – their writing is so solid that it stands out in the adudiobook format.

8 09 2011
Elvis & Joe in Audiobook: The Sentry | It Rains… You Get Wet

[…] I’m in agreement with my audiobook colleague, The Guilded Earlobe, with this point from his fine review of the novel in audio form: “… I found the sentry to be a much more engaging tale. I think the big difference here […]

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