The Sentry: Robert Crais Strikes Again

02/08/2011 12:41 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

There are a lot of writers out there of thrillers. Some of them are very successful. Some of them are very talented. Robert Crais is one of the writers who is at the very top of this field. Crais knows how to make a book suspenseful, entertaining, and compelling reading. A prime example is his latest novel The Sentry. This is Crais at his best.

The Sentry is another Joe Pike novel. Joe is an investigator who operates outside the law. His partner of sorts is Elvis Cole. These two men take on causes in which they believe and help people who they are drawn to in a variety of ways. In The Sentry Pike inadvertently stumbles upon a robbery. By trying to help out the owner he gets drawn into a morass of mayhem that is as complicated as it gets.

It seems the owner has a niece who catches Joe's eye. He tells her he will take care of the thugs who tried to rob her uncle. She seems to be appreciative and the possibility of a romance arises. Then she and the uncle disappear and Joe fears foul play. Guilt makes him pursue any and all leads to this possible crime that he can find. Elvis joins in the hunt and make some unexpected discoveries of his own.

The reader is drawn into this book without conscious thought. One minute he/she is the reader and the next they are a part of the story. Each page brings another twist or a piece of insight. Crais knows exactly how to pace his story to get the maximum enjoyment from each and every experience.

The plot of The Sentry is complicated and there is a large cast of characters. Still in the hands of Crais it is easy to understand the plot and simple to keep the characters identified. That is the mark of a skilled novelist.

If you are a fan of suspense thrillers you could not do better than to read The Sentry. It has it all - drug smugglers, money launderers, deranged killers plus two guys who are trying to do the right thing and solve a crime. Joe and Elvis are quite a pair but when they are on the job you know you are in good hands.

Michael Connelly, Jeffrey Deaver and Robert Crais are all masters of suspense. They are also masters of creative writing that weaves spellbinding stories. Crais only recently ascended to his ranking in this glorious triumvirate but he earned the position fair and square.

The Sentry is published by G P Putnam's Sons. It contains 306 pages and sells for $26.95.