Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing.
This week I’m revisiting The Promise, an audiobook released in 2015, and narrated by MacLeod Andrews and Luke Daniels.
Meryl Lawrence hires PI Elvis Cole to find missing chemical engineer Amy Breslyn, who has supposedly embezzled a large amount of money from Woodson Energy Solutions, the company she works for. They manufacture fuels for the Department of Defense, which gives their work a classified status.
Arriving at the address he was given as a starting point, Elvis finds himself in the middle of a police operation. Elvis and Scott initially cross paths briefly as Scott is in pursuit of a fugitive who is eventually found brutally murdered at the address Elvis was given by Meryl. Scott and the police also find a large supply of explosives in the house. Elvis was sworn to secrecy by Meryl, and feels obliged to keep his word. He is caught up in the action and, unable to fully explain why he was there and enquiring about the house in question, Elvis becomes ‘someone of interest’ to the police.
The killer, Mr Rollins, concerned he could be identified by Scott, targets him and Maggie. This gives Scott and Elvis the opportunity to work together, as their cases connect and indicate a potential terrorist threat. Elvis realises he is being manipulated, but for what purpose and by whom, he has yet to determine.
Four days earlier, Amy Breslyn had taken a leave of absence without explanation and with no advance warning. She did so by email. Meryl and her bosses tried to reach Amy, but their calls and texts were not returned. A day later, Meryl went to Amy’s home. Amy was gone, but nothing seemed amiss. The following day, Meryl discovered four hundred sixty thousand dollars missing from Amy’s department. Meryl kept this discovery secret. She believed her friend had been coerced, and hoped to handle the situation without involving the authorities. She hired me off the books and without her company’s knowledge. She also refused to give me access to Amy’s office, corporate email, and any information related to Amy Breslyn’s work. Security.
I love the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike novels, and have listened to most of them, especially when narrated by Luke Daniels. The Promise has an added bonus, it’s a dual performance with MacLeod Andrews. It incorporates the heroes from the standalone book ‘Suspect’, LAPD Officer Scott James and his K-9 partner, Maggie, which MacLeod Andrews also narrated. Great job by both.
That said, with Jon Stone also included, bumping up the number of main protagonists, at least one character had to take a back seat and unfortunately that was Joe Pike. I missed the usually great interaction between him and Elvis. The story is told from multiple characters’ perspectives and some scenes are replayed from more than one characters’ point of view which, for me, interrupted the flow slightly.
There’s more insight into Jon Stone’s character, fleshing him out and giving the mercenary a previously rarely seen compassionate quality. The relationship between Scott and Maggie is developed too, with more awareness of the after effects due to the trauma they both suffered and how they both deal with it.
The pace, storyline and writing are excellent as usual, and I love the characters, but perhaps not all together. Unless it was a longer book so the depth, characterisation and personality of these great protagonists is not lost.
About the Book
Loyalty, commitment, the fight against injustice – these are the things that have always driven Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. If they make a promise, they keep it. Even if it could get them killed.