Goodreads ~ Joe Pike didn't expect to rescue a woman that day. He went to the bank same as anyone goes to the bank and returned to his Jeep. So when Isabel Roland, the lonely young teller who helped him, steps out of the bank on her way to lunch, Joe is on hand when two men abduct her. Joe chases them down and the two men are arrested. But instead of putting the drama to rest, the arrests are only the beginning of the trouble for Joe and Izzy.
After posting bail, the two abductors are murdered and Izzy disappears. Pike calls on his friend, Elvis Cole, to help learn the truth. What Elvis uncovers is a twisted family story that involves corporate whistleblowing, huge amounts of cash, the Witness Relocation Program, and a long line of lies. But what of all that did Izzy know? Is she a perpetrator or a victim? And how far will Joe go to find out?
After Joe Pike does his business at his bank, he sees the Isabel, the teller who had taken care of him, get kidnapped right in front of the bank. He follows the car and saves her. The would-be kidnappers are found dead shortly after they are released from jail the next day. When Isabel disappears again, Joe begins to look for her. He discovers Ted, a family friend of Isabel's who was a retired U.S. marshal, was recently murdered and Joe asks his friend and partner, Elvis Cole, a private investigator to find out what's going on.
Elvis discovers that Ted bragged about some of the people he had put in the witness protection program and it seems that Ted had helped Isabel's family many years ago get a new life. But there may be someone who still carries a grudge against the family and there may be some missing money they want back ... and they think Isabel knows where it is.
I discovered the Elvis Cole series in the 1990s. What attracted me to it was that Elvis was funny and tried to be charming ... the books were a fun read. I find when Joe Pike is the focus, as it is with this book, it is more heavy and serious and not as much fun. The book is written in third person perspective with whoever the focus is. Though it's #18 in the series, it works as a stand alone. As a head's up, there is some swearing and violence.
I found some of the writing a bit lazy and confusing. Like what is "PT"? It's something Joe did after a run and before he got dressed. Another line was "Cole glanced at Carly as they shook." Did Elvis and Joe shake hands? Or did they both physically shake? What's a "scimitar smile"? I had to look up what scimitar meant and it's a short sword. What is a sword smile?! And what's a "Cheez-It dick"? Chen is describing a police officer ... I didn't know what the "Cheez-It" meant.