6574542Reviewed by Jennifer Reed

The First Rule is part of the Joe Pike series by Robert Crais. This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I was initially hesitant to pick up The First Rule and read it out of order. However, it turned out it really did not make a difference (that I could tell) and I am glad I took the chance!

Joe Pike learns of the murders of an old friend — a fellow mercenary from their military days — and his family. The police suspect that the friend was “dirty” and that’s why he was the 7th targeted in a line of home invasions. But Pike believes otherwise, so he sets out to investigate the murders on his own. Not only does he use his sources to learn about the murders, while staying a step ahead of law enforcement the whole time, but he also ends up finding about a much more complicated plot involving a Serbian mob and the lengths they will go to to outdo their enemies. Pike’s discovery is weaved into an interesting storyline about “the first rule” and its significance to the mob.

The novel was fast paced without sacrificing the development of plot and/or characters that are often found in other similarly paced mysteries and thrillers. The plot was involved (but not confusing) and had some surprising twists. I enjoyed how there was more than one “mystery” that had to be solved and how things kept unfolding.

I also loved Joe Pike! Imagine Jack Bauer from 24 –  totally brave and physically capable, but also a good and well-intentioned guy. For those of you unfamiliar with that show, Joe Pike is the type of character who isn’t scared to go off on his own to find justice, even when it means risking his own life. At the same time, he knows that he’s capable of doing what it takes to get to the bottom of things. The sources he uses are sometimes a little too convenient, but it adds to the story and makes it fun to read.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who already loves mysteries and thrillers. For those who are new to the genre, The First Rule is an excellent place to start!

For more information, please visit Robert Crais’ website.

Jenny is a social worker in her late twenties who lives with her husband and Jack Russell Terrier in the central Florida area. In her “free” time she loves reading books of all genres. She also reviews books on her book blog TakeMeAway.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Putnam. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.