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Authors: Robert Crais

Stalking the Angel

The blonde who walked into Cole’s office was the best-looking woman he’d seen in weeks. The only thing that kept her from rating a perfect “10” was the briefcase on one arm and the uptight hotel magnate on the other. Bradley Warren had lost something very valuable—something that belonged to someone else: a rare thirteenth-century Japanese manuscript called the Hagakure.

Just about all Cole knew about Japanese culture he’d learned from reading
Shōgun
, but he knew a lot about crooks—and what he didn’t know his sociopathic sidekick, Joe Pike, did. Together their search begins in L.A.’s Little Tokyo and the nest of the notorious Japanese mafia, the yakuza, and leads to a white-knuckled adventure filled with madness, murder, sexual obsession, and a stunning double-whammy ending. For Elvis Cole, it’s just another day’s work.

By Robert Crais

THE MONKEY’S RAINCOAT
STALKING THE ANGEL
FREE FALL
LULLABY TOWN
VOODOO RIVER
SUNSET EXPRESS
L.A. REQUIEM
HOSTAGE
DEMOLITION ANGEL
THE LAST DETECTIVE

Available from Bantam Books

STALKING THE ANGEL

A Bantam Crime Line Book
PUBLISHING HISTORY
Bantam hardcover edition / October 1989
Bantam paperback edition / April 1992

Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to reprint the following: “Somebody to Love,” on page vii, Lyrics and Music by Darby Slick, copyright © 1967
IRVING MUSIC INC.
(
BMI
).
All rights reserved. International copyright secured. “Old Time Rock & Roll,” on page 56, copyright
©
1977. Muscle Shoals Sound Publishing Co. Inc. “Cruel Summer,” on page 38, copyright
©
1984
IN A BUNCH MUSIC LTD. &
RED BUS MUSIC, LTD
. All rights on behalf of
IN A BUNCH MUSIC LTD
. administered by
WARNER-TAMERLANE PUBLISHING CORP
. All rights reserved. Used by permission
.

All rights reserved
Copyright
©
1989 by Robert Crais
.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number:
89-6805
.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher
.
For information address: Bantam Books
.

eISBN: 978-0-307-78996-9

Bantam Books are published by Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Its trademark, consisting of the words “Bantam Books” and the portrayal of a rooster, is Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. Marca Registrada. Bantam Books, New York, New York.

v3.1

For Lauren,
whose parents will always love her,
& for Carol and Bill,
who have made me larger
by sharing their lives.

I love to hear the story
which angel voices tell.

—The Little Corporal
Emily Miller

When the truth is found to be lies,
and all the joy within you dies,
don’t you want somebody to love?

—Jefferson Airplane
Contents
1

I was standing on my head in the middle of my office when the door opened and the best looking woman I’d seen in three weeks walked in. She stopped in the door to stare, then remembered herself and moved aside for a grim-faced man who frowned when he saw me. A sure sign of disapproval. The woman said, “Mr. Cole, I’m Jillian Becker. This is Bradley Warren. May we speak with you?”

Jillian Becker was in her early thirties, slender in gray pants and a white ruffled shirt with a fluffy bow at the neck and a gray jacket. She held a cordovan Gucci briefcase that complemented the gray nicely, and had very blond hair and eyes that I would call amber but she would call green. Good eyes. There was an intelligent humor in them that the Serious Businesswoman look didn’t diminish.

I said, “You should try this. Invigorates the scalp. Retards the aging process. Makes for embarrassing moments
when prospective clients walk in.” Upside down, my face was the color of beef liver.

Jillian Becker smiled politely. “Mr. Warren and I don’t have very much time,” she said. “Mr. Warren and I have to catch the noon flight to Kyoto, Japan.” Mr. Warren.

“Of course.”

I dropped down from the headstand, held one of the two director’s chairs opposite my desk for Jillian Becker, shook hands with Mr. Warren, then tucked in my shirt and took a seat at my desk. I had taken off the shoulder holster earlier so it wouldn’t flop into my face when I was upside down. “What can I do for you?” I said. Clever opening lines are my forte.

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