Ali Karim recently interviewed Robert Crais for The Rap Sheet. Crais' most recent novel The Watchman puts Joe Pike, formerly the sidekick in Crais's novels featuring Elvis Cole, at the center of the story.
Part of the Karim-Crais exchange:
AK: Crime-fiction sidekicks such as Pike, Hawk, Dennis Lehane’s Bubba Rogowski, Harlan Coben’s Win [Windsor Horne Lockwood III], et al. have a certain appeal to readers, and morally, they often allow the hero not to be tarnished when there’s a bad guy to kill. So, what’s your take on sidekicks and their morality in crime fiction?Read the entire interview.
RC: I had a publisher back in the old days, who dubbed Joe Pike as a sociopath. I guess they did that for commercial reasons, but I resented it then and I still don’t believe it today. I think Joe Pike is a very moral guy (from his point of view), ethical, with his own code. He just sees the world differently from you and I. He’s not a slave to what we call the law, so I don’t really think of Joe doing Elvis Cole’s dirty work, I think he functions within his own code and his own universe, and there is a very rigid standard to Joe Pike’s universe, which others have to respect.