Published: January 11, 2011
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.
As you know, Joe Pike is one of my favorite fictional character and I had high hopes for him with this book, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
In previous books Joe Pike hid behind sunglasses he never took off. He usually wore a gray sweatshirt with the sleeves ripped off to show tattoos of red arrows (pointing forward, of course) on his biceps. He owned a gun shop and drove a Jeep he kept spotlessly clean and always had Cole’s back in a jam. The most emotion he showed was when the corner of his mouth twitched after Cole said something particularly funny.
He’s loyal to his friends, especially Cole, and his lonely side is coming out over the last few books. It’s making him behave oddly and get involved with people he’d never bother with in the past, like the seemingly innocent man and his niece whose sandwich shop gets attacked by Mexican gangbangers in Venice, Calif., at the start of “The Sentry.”
Pike makes quick work of the gangsters, of course, and sparks fly with Dru Rayne, the hot young niece from New Orleans. They go on a friendly little date and all sorts of trouble results. Dru Rayne and her uncle aren’t what they seem, the FBI and the Mexican mafia and a scary hit man sent by some South American drug lords are all in the mix, with Pike in the middle and Cole watching out for him for a change.
Even when Joe finds out Dru is real Rose and was playing him, he still insists on helping her out of the jam she’s in. Does he love her? No, I don’t think so, but could he have loved her? Yes, definitely and that would take Joe way outside his comfort zone.
I’ve rarely seen Joe Pike this vulnerable, this unsure of what the truth is. For Joe things are absolute, either black or white. It’s hard to read about him floundering a bit in the murky gray.
By the end of the book, which did not end well for “Dru” and “Wilson”, Joe is bouncing back. It will take time but he will rally. He always does!