Robert Crais: The Sentry

Joe Pike, the central character in Robert Crais’s thriller The Sentry, is in for a wild ride this time out. That’s because nothing and no one is what they seem to be in the latest fast-paced, engaging installment in the Joe Pike series. The trouble starts when Pike stumbles upon a restaurant owner being beaten up by a couple of gang members. Experienced in combat, Pike steps in and saves the man. The man is Wilson, who, along with his niece Dru, escaped Hurricane Katrina and eventually made his way to Los Angeles. At least that’s what they tell Pike.

Charmed by Dru’s good looks and damsel-in-distress situation, Pike quickly becomes the pair’s unofficial bodyguard. He meets with the gang’s leader, a cool cholo who looks more GQ cover boy than convict, who promises Pike that Wilson and his niece will be left alone. Almost immediately, the pair go missing. While he searches for his friends, Pike finds a string of dead bodies. From there, it’s a backstabbing, double-triple-cross that moves so quickly even Pike has trouble keeping up with who’s on what side. 2 p.m. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit Free.
Sun., Jan. 16, 2011

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Olivia Flores Alvarez