Am I a sucker for a Joe Pike novel or what? Yes I am and like many of you I marked the release date on my calendar and waited patiently to get my hands on it. I buzzed through it and, well, let me just hold off on my thoughts for a little bit. Let’s get to what is inside the covers first:

“Dru Rayne and her uncle fled to L.A. after Hurricane Katrina; but now, five years later, they face a different danger. When Joe Pike witnesses Dru's uncle beaten by a protection gang, he offers his help, but neither of them want it-and neither do the federal agents mysteriously watching them.

As the level of violence escalates, and Pike himself becomes a target, he and Elvis Cole learn that Dru and her uncle are not who they seem- and that everything he thought he knew about them has been a lie. A vengeful and murderous force from their past is now catching up to them . . . and only Pike and Cole stand in the way.”

Nothing but our buddy Jared getting his daily moo is what it seems in The Sentry. Personally I enjoyed the interludes with Jared and hope that he makes appearances in future Pike vehicles. The reason I enjoy Robert Crais’ work so much is not the twists and turns this novel takes and it is not so much Joe Pike (but I do like him very much), it is the ability, skill and consistency that comes with each read. I know that I am getting a very rich, well- constructed plotline, characters that I can identify with on some level and either root for them or grow to dislike them. I develop a feeling that I am right there in whatever environment Crais wants to place me in, basically your textbook, by the numbers, well- conceived and executed novel. In this day and age of receiving value, this author is bank, all the way. There are far too few of them in my estimation anymore, Robert Crais just doesn’t take a novel off or mail it in.

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