The Monkey's Raincoat

Version: Unabridged
Author: Robert Crais
Narrator: Patrick Lawlor
Genres: Suspense, Detective Stories
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published In: February 2008
# of Units: 7 CDs
Length: 8 hours
Tell Your Friends:


“Elvis Cole provides more fun for the reader than any L.A. private eye to come along in years.”—Joseph Wambaugh
Meet Elvis Cole, L.A. private eye . . .
He quotes Jiminy Cricket and carries a .38. He's a literate, wisecracking Vietnam vet who is determined never to grow up.
Praise for The Monkey's Raincoat
“Outstanding characters, tight plot, and scintillating prose style. . . . This fast-paced story speeds Elvis Cole to a chilling, heart-stopping ending.”—Mystery Scene
“Is Bob Crais good? Put it this way: if they're taking you out to put you against the firing squad wall, and you want to enjoy your last moments on earth, pass on the last cigarette and ask for an Elvis Cole novel.”—Harlan Ellison
“Far and away the most satisfying private eye novel in years. Grab this one—it's a winner!”—Lawrence Block
“The best private eye novel of the year . . . lots of action; bright, crisp dialogue; and sharply drawn characters.”—The Denver Post
“Robert B. Parker has some competition on his hands. . . . Elvis Cole is an appealing character and Crais's style is fresh and funny.”—Sue Grafton
“In Crais, a new star has appeared on the private eye scene—a dazzling first novel.”—Tony Hillerman

Reviews (9)

Written by John C. on March 27th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

for the first Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series it was a very good book kept me excited all the way through it could not put it down will look for more

Fair beggining

Written by Coral on July 1st, 2017

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Maybe because this was an early Elvis/Pike book but it was at times silly not gripping ....

The Monkey\'s Raincoat

Written by Anonymous on December 29th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I now understand that this was the first Elvis Cole story. However I usually like the humor in hid books, I found this off-putting to many jokes and too many deaths!

Written by Robert Reid on December 17th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great story. Great intro to the Elvis Cole series, "the biggest dick in the business". Ha-ha! This one will get you hooked on Robert Crais. Witticism run rampant! I love it and I hope he keeps writing.

Monkey's Raincoat

Written by Anonymous on March 10th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 2/5

The narrators voice is horrific. He makes it very difficult to listen to the story. I would not rent this CD if I had a chance to do it over again.

The Monkey's Raincoat

Written by Connopa on September 13th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 1/5

This was by far one of the worst books I have ever rented. It was boring and waste of time.

The Monkey's Raincoat

Written by Jean from Santa Cruz, CA on January 27th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I had rented another one of Robert Crais Elvis Cole series and enjoyed. Saw that SAB had the very first one "The Monkey's Raincoat" so decided to try it out. I can see how the people and story has evolved. I enjoyed the fast pace with the bit of humor in the dialog. Look forward to more in this series. Has some violence but the joke cracking off sets it.

The Monkey's Raincoat

Written by Anonymous on September 16th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 0/5

I could not get past the first cd because the narrator was not very good at reading this book. I could do better than this.

A Sad Narration

Written by Anonymous on June 1st, 2008

  • Book Rating: 2/5

A modest effort from Robert Crais is made worse with the poorest narration (an incredibly annoying voice) and recording quality I have ever experienced with a book on CD.

Author Details

Author Details

Crais, Robert

Robert Crais is the author of the best-selling Elvis Cole novels. A native of Louisiana, he grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River in a blue collar family of oil refinery workers and police officers. He purchased a secondhand paperback of Raymond Chandler’s The Little Sister when he was fifteen, which inspired his lifelong love of writing, Los Angeles, and the literature of crime fiction. Other literary influences include Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Robert B. Parker, and John Steinbeck.

After years of amateur film-making and writing short fiction, he journeyed to Hollywood in 1976 where he quickly found work writing scripts for such major television series as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, and Miami Vice, as well as numerous series pilots and Movies-of-the-Week for the major networks. He received an Emmy nomination for his work on Hill Street Blues, but is most proud of his 4-hour NBC miniseries, Cross of Fire, which the New York Times declared: "A searing and powerful documentation of the Ku Klux Klan’s rise to national prominence in the 20s."

In the mid-eighties, feeling constrained by the collaborative working requirements of Hollywood, Crais resigned from a lucrative position as a contract writer and television producer in order to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a novelist. His first efforts proved unsuccessful, but upon the death of his father in 1985, Crais was inspired to create Elvis Cole, using elements of his own life as the basis of the story. The resulting novel, The Monkey’s Raincoat, won the Anthony and Macavity Awards and was nominated for the Edgar Award. It has since been selected as one of the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.

Crais conceived of the novel as a stand-alone, but realized that—in Elvis Cole—he had created an ideal and powerful character through which to comment upon his life and times. (See the WORKS section for additional titles.) Elvis Cole’s readership and fan base grew with each new book, then skyrocketed in 1999 upon the publication of L. A. Requiem, which was a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller and forever changed the way Crais conceived of and structured his novels. In this new way of telling his stories, Crais combined the classic ‘first person’ narrative of the American detective novel with flashbacks, multiple story lines, multiple points-of-view, and literary elements to better illuminate his themes. Larger and deeper in scope, Publishers Weekly wrote of L. A. Requiem, "Crais has stretched himself the way another Southern California writer—Ross Macdonald—always tried to do, to write a mystery novel with a solid literary base." Booklist added, "This is an extraordinary crime novel that should not be pigeonholed by genre. The best books always land outside preset boundaries. A wonderful experience."

Crais followed with his first non-series novel, Demolition Angel, which was published in 2000 and featured former Los Angeles Police Department Bomb Technician Carol Starkey. Starkey has since become a leading character in the Elvis Cole series. In 2001, Crais published his second non-series novel, Hostage, which was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and was a world-wide bestseller. Additionally, the editors of selected Hostage as the #1 thriller of the year. A film adaptation of Hostage was released in 2005, starring Bruce Willis as ex-LAPD SWAT negotiator Jeff Talley.

Elvis Cole returned in 2003 with the publication of The Last Detective, followed by the tenth Elvis Cole novel, The Forgotten Man, in 2005. Both novels explore with increasing depth the natures and characters of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. RC’s third stand-alone novel, The Two Minute Rule, was published in 2006, and was followed in 2007 by The Watchman, the first novel in the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series to feature Joe Pike in the title role.

The novels of Robert Crais have been published in 42 countries and are bestsellers around the world. Robert Crais is the 2006 recipient of the Ross Macdonald Literary Award.

Currently, Robert Crais lives in the Santa Monica mountains with his wife, three cats, and many thousands of books.