The two-minute rule

Two_minute_rule This book is a great read. It’s fast, tense, funny and poignant. Robert Crais is not just on top of his form, he’s above his form in this one, which is a "standalone" book. (This means that it does not feature his regular characters Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.)

The two-minute rule refers to the fact that if you rob a bank, you have two minutes to grab the money and run before the cops arrive. The book starts with such a robbery: totally botched. The scene then shifts to Max Holman, another bank robber about to be released after a 10-year jail sentence. Max’s time in jail has given him time to reflect on his pathetic life, and he’s decided to go straight. First up, he plans to find his abandoned son and ex-girlfriend, and try to make up for the years he’s lost.

Events take a tragic turn, however, and Max is soon sucked into a convoluted police investigation.  Struggling to make sense of an increasingly confusing series of events, Max teams up with an ex-FBI agent, the very person who put him away, now a widowed mother of two young boys who has the most awful mother I have come across in a book for some considerable time. Together, this pair of middle-aged detectives tenaciously investigate the crime or crimes, putting together the pieces in the face of all kinds of reasonable and unreasonable opposition.

The book is a delight: the plotting is sure, the relationship between the two main characters builds nicely, the pace is fast, the writing deft — go for it! You won’t be disappointed.

Amazon (UK) link: The Two Minute Rule.

Keeping the House blog and website

Our friend Dave Lull’s friend Ellen Baker now has a blog and a website. In her blog, "Keeping the House", Ellen writes about her book (of same name as blog) and her experiences on the road to publication and subsequently. So far there is only one post on the blog, but it must be a busy time, publishing your first novel.

Ellen’s website is a nice-looking promotional site for the author and her book: visitors can find out about her, the book, and her event schedule. There is also a section for book clubs if you want Ellen to join your reading group by phone. As for the book itself, here is a short description:  "Rich in period atmosphere and in 1950s detail, KEEPING THE HOUSE illuminates the courage it takes to shape and reshape a life, and the difficulty of ever knowing the truth about another person’s desires.  KEEPING THE HOUSE is an unforgettable novel about small town life and big matters of the heart."