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Posts Tagged ‘Janet Evanovich’

The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

The Job” is the latest in the collaboration between Evanovich and Goldberg in their “A Fox and O’Hare Novel” series.  In this series FBI agent, Kate O’Hare is tasked with managing a famous art thief, turned FBI informant, Nick Fox.  They get into some pretty hair-raising situations as they skirt along the edges of what is legal– and go over the edge quite often– in order to catch murderers and drug lords.  The action is non-stop and gives this series the kinds of qualities that one finds in action adventure movies.  That stands to reason, since Goldberg is a screenwriter and TV producer and at least one of Evanovich’s books has been turned into a movie.

In “The Job” Nick and Kate recruit some of the criminals Nick has worked with before, along with Kate’s own father, to pull a scam on a major Latin American drug lord living under an assumed identity in Marbella, Spain.  The story begins with someone apparently assuming Nick’s identity and committing art robberies in several cities around the world in order to attract Nick’s attention.  That individual is a former associate of Nick’s who just wants him to help her by taking revenge on a drug lord who killed her brother after he performed plastic surgery on the criminal.  Nick and his crew pull off a scam to make the drug lord believe he is financing the salvage of millions of dollars in gold and jewels from a shipwreck off the coast of Spain.  It’s an ingenious ruse, if one that is a little hard to believe could be pulled off so quickly or inexpensively.

Like most of Evanovich’s works “The Job” is a fast read and an entertaining plot.

Liz Nichols

 

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Top Secret Twenty-one by Janet Evanovich

Once again, Trenton NJ bond enforcer, Stephanie Plum is off to another batch of zany assignments in “Top Secret Twenty-One.”

Stephanie starts out on the latest adventure working as a look-out for her occasional boss, Ranger, in an attempt to bring down a high ticket bond-jumper and gangland thug, Emilio Gardi to extradite back to Miami.  Next up is a local businessman, Jimmy Poletti, who seems to have disappeared.  Everyone, including his wife, is after him. In looking for Poletti Stephanie and her side-kick, Lula, run into Poletti’s accountant, Briggs who admits he has been cooking the books for Poletti.  When Brigg’s apartment is blown up and other people who know too much about Poletti start showing up dead, it becomes apparent that Poletti is out to remove any evidence of his mis-deeds before he is caught.  Briggs, who comes across as a Danny Davito look-alike, obviously needs protection and shelter, and Stephanie reluctantly provides it.  Briggs and Lula play off their nearly opposite personalities for some pretty funny reading.

As usual, Evanovich intertwines several mysteries into one mad-cap story with vivid characters for another entertaining read in “”Top Secret Twenty-one.”

Liz Nichols

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Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich has served up one of the most entertaining Stephanie Plum novels in recent memory with “Takedown Twenty.”

Things get very serious in the Trenton bail bond business– serious in Stephanie’s usual zany way.  She helps Ranger figure out who is murdering older women and stuffing their strangled bodies in dumpsters.  She also has two dangerous bond jumpers who almost get the best of her.  One is a Mafia wiseguy named Sunny Sunnuchi, a relative of Stephanie’s boyfriend, Joe Morelli.  Stephanie is nearly taken out a number of times trying to capture Uncle Sunny, and she gains the ire of the neighborhood and Joe’s Grandma Bella because Sunny is a favorite son to many inhabitants of the Burg.  Grandma Bella carries out a couple of serious curses on Stephanie and makes our favorite bail bonds enforcer unwelcome around the Morelli family home.  The second bounty hunt is against a young guy who is wanted for murder.  As a result of her attempt to capture the young thug she manages to fracture a finger and break her nose.  Her luck seems so bad on all fronts that she decides to quit the bond business and become a butcher’s assistant for the owner of a deli–until disaster strikes on that brief stint at the deli.

To add a little quirky humor to the plot, Lula keeps seeing a real giraffe loping down the streets surrounding Uncle Sunny’s establishment and she keeps following it just at times when Stephanie needs her help.  The whole mystery behind the giraffe is explained toward the end as Stephanie gets all the story threads tied up.

As usual for an Evanovich novel, “Takedown Twenty” is a funny, fast-paced read that will please the legion of Stephanie Plum lovers.

Liz Nichols

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Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

It is no secret that the Stephanie Plum series is one of my guilty pleasures.  In “Notorious Nineteen” Janet Evanovich manages to blow up yet another of Stephanie’s cars within the first few pages of the book and I think later on Morelli’s car is also totaled.  It’s a good thing her sometime boss Ranger has an endless supply of nice vehicles for her to borrow and he no longer blinks an eye when someone destroys one of his cars while chasing Stephanie.

Stephanie is in one of her dry periods as far as the bond recovery business goes.  She accepts the job of tracking the disappearance of an assisted living residence owner who is accused of embezzling from the residents.  He has disappeared from a hospital after an appendectomy.  Was he murdered, or did he get help escaping?  Either way, Stephanie needs him or his body to collect the fee for recovering the bond.  She also takes a bodyguard job with Ranger to protect the life of one of his buddies who is being threatened by one of the men who was part of a special forces unit with Ranger and this other mark, Kinsey.  She must appear as the maid of honor in Kinsey’s wedding while Ranger is the best man.  Meanwhile, in this book, Stephanie has decided to maintain a monogamous relationship with Morelli.  The job with Ranger complicates that relationship a bit, but in the end Morelli seems to take it in stride.

Once again, this Stephanie Plum installment is a quick and pleasurable read, although I have to admit I’m getting a little tired of all the cars that get blown up.

Liz Nichols

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Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich

Wicked Business” is the second in the Lizzy and Diesel Novel series.  I read the first one, “Wicked Appetite” and felt Janet Evanovich had taken a whole new leap into wackiness.  Diesel is familiar from the Stephanie Plum series as one of Ranger’s bounty hunters.  In the new series he has returned to his Salem, MA roots in order to save the world from destruction at the hands of his evil wizard cousin, Wulf.  “Wicked Business” continues the effort to fend off Wulf, but adds a second evil character who calls herself Anarchy.  Anarchy is not as smart as Wulf and very unpredictable while Wulf usually announces what he is going to do before he does it in order to give Lizzy and Diesel a “friendly” warning.

Lizzy is a pastry chef, Lizzy Tucker, who lives in Marblehead and works at a bakery in Salem.  Like Diesel and Wulf, Lizzy has supernatural powers.  She can feel the presence of evil and powerful, dangerous forces.  Diesel has special powers to destroy evil in the world, but he can’t necessarily sense its presence before it is in sight.  He sticks close to Lizzy for that.  The series if full of sexual tension between Diesel and Lizzy.  They come close to consummating their feelings for each other, but they always stop short because to do so would most likely rob one of them of their powers.

The plot takes the pair on a hunt for the killer of a Harvard professor who is associated with magic stones and tablets that each represent one of the 7 deadly sins.  Lizzy and Diesel discover that the professor was killed because he was harboring the stone that embodies the power of lust and had documented a number of hidden clues to lead to the stone.  Supposedly, if all 7 stones are brought together the wizard possessing those stones can rule or destroy the world.  Wulf and Anarchy are both after the stone while Lizzy and Diesel want to be able to destroy the stone or at least hide it where the bad wizards can never find it.

All this sounds vaguely like the plot of “Lord of the Rings” or possibly “Harry Potter,” but is much racier and meant for an adult audience.  While the series includes the familiar Janet Evanovich wackiness, I don’t find them nearly as spell-binding as either of the other two fantasy classics.  “Wicked Business” is more a Stephanie Plum take-off character wrapped up in a fantasy quest.  It is a fast, entertaining read, but not great literature.

Liz Nichols

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