Robert Crais is an American novelist who specializes in detective fiction and thrillers. He started out writing scripts for detective shows such as Miami Vice and L.A. Law. His influences include such novelists as Raymond Chandler, Ernest Hemingway and Robert B. Parker. He is best known for his Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series.

Crais’ debut in the world of fiction was The Monkey’s Raincoat in 1987 – the first of the Elvis Cole series. Aside from the Cole/Pike series, he has also written three standalone novels. One of which, Hostage, was adapted into a Bruce Willis film of the same name. Crais refuses to sell the rights to Cole and Pike, however.

Below is a list of all of Robert Crais’ published works in order of when they were originally released:

Publication Order of Elvis Cole & Joe Pike Books


The Monkey's Raincoat(1987) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Stalking the Angel(1989) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Lullaby Town(1992) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Free Fall(1993) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Voodoo River(1995) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Sunset Express(1996) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Indigo Slam(1997) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
L.A. Requiem(1999) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Last Detective(2003) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Forgotten Man(2005) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Watchman(2007) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Chasing Darkness(2008) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The First Rule(2010) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Sentry(2011) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Taken(2012) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Promise(2014) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

Publication Order of Standalone Novels


Demolition Angel(2000) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Hostage(2001) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Two-Minute Rule(2006) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

If You Like Robert Crais Books, You’ll Love…

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  • ERA

    JUST GREAT – A MUST READ

  • David Winfrey

    I recommend reading “The Watchman” which is the first Joe Pike novel, then read “The Monkey’s Raincoat” and read them in order. Skip the second book, “Stalking the Angel”. My favorite books are “The First Rule” and “the Watchman”, the pace is fast, all of Robert Crais books are like a great summer movie in a book. Action packed !

  • Cathy

    I started with “The Monkey’s Raincoat” and recommend readers read them in the order of publication and as RCrais wrote them. I saw where Elvis who is such a great character, developed and even changed. n an interview RC said that he consciously changed his personality by toning him down. But it’s my feeling that they should be read in order. Regardless of the order, they move fast with a great storyline and pace, so read them all.

  • Mongoose218

    I agree with Cathy, they do best read in order! They get better and better!!