The Monkey’s Raincoat
by Robert Crais
Book 1 in the Elvis Cole series (1987)
Ellen Lang’s husband disappeared with their son. Now, Ellen decides to hire Elvis Cole to track him down. A quiet and seemingly submissive wife, Ellen can’t even write a check without him. All she wants is to get him and her son back—no questions asked.
The search for Ellen’s errant husband leads Elvis into the seamier side of Hollywood. He soon learns that Mort Lang is a down-on-his-luck talent agent who associates with a schlocky movie producer, and the last place he was spotted was at a party thrown by a famous and very well-connected ex-Matador. But no one has seen him since—including his B-movie girlfriend.
At the same time the police find Mort in his parked car with four gunshots in his chest —and no kid in sight—Ellen disappears. Now nothing is what it seems, and the heat is on. It’s up to Elvis Cole and his partner Joe Pike to find the connection between sleazy Hollywood players and an ex-Matador.