I picked up The Watchman because I read other books by Robert Crais and have always found him interesting. I enjoy fiction mystery stories and try to guess ahead as to where the story is ultimately going to end.
Joe Pike is Crais' alter-ego, super hero. He is a private investigator - body guard - do whatever it takes handy-man for hire. Like most heroes in fiction today he is ex-military special forces war veteran who has seen it all and can handle any situation. He is strong, silent, emotionless, and has no conscience.
I wonder if the popular fiction in the 1950s had as heroes or villains, Korean war vets? It seems to me since the Viet Nam War most heroes are dedicated, misunderstood, veterans from Viet Nam, Desert Storm, and the Gulf War on Iraq. While the villains are disgruntled, deranged, ego maniacs from the same wars.
In The Watchman, Joe Pike is hired to protect Larkin Barkley, a Hollywood rich brat loosely based on Paris Hilton. She runs a red light and smashes into a car carrying three people. Even though she is at fault, the victims insist on leaving the scene. Two take off in the damaged car while the third limps away down the street. After reporting the accident and license plate of the car, she becomes the object of intense scrutiny of police, FBI, and other various agents. Her life is threatened and a number of officers assigned to protect her are killed.
Enter Joe Pike who quickly realizes someone is tipping off the bad guys with Larkin's whereabouts. He takes her underground without telling the police or feds where they are going and protects her the best way he can by hunting down the bad guys who are tying to kill her.
From here the story breaks down to dirty international business dealings, laundering drug money, a criminal long thought dead, and a rich father who is not all he appears to be.
During their time together, Pike and Larkin realize they share similar emotional events that shaped their personalities. Pike develops a big brother - father type feeling for Larkin and promises to take care for and protect her.
I really enjoyed this book. It is an easy read. Satisfying in storyline, plot, and conclusion.